Summary: Exposition of Acts 3:11-16 about the people’s denial of Jesus as the Christ, and how that was glorifying to God
Text: Acts 3:11-16, Title: Exaltation through Denial, Date/Place: NRBC, 7/15/07, AM
Opening illustration: In what some call a denial of a basic civil right, a Missouri man has been told he may not marry his long-term companion. …The man claims that the essential elements of marriage – love and commitment – are indeed present. “She’s gorgeous. She’s sweet. She’s loving. I’m very proud of her … Deep down, way down, I’d love to have children with her.” Why is the state of Missouri, as well as the federal government, displaying such heartlessness in denying the holy bonds of wedlock to this man and his would be “wife”? It seems the state of Missouri is not prepared to indulge a man who waxes eloquent about his love for a 22-year-old mare named Pixel
A. Background to passage: Similar to the events of Pentecost in the last chapter, Peter seized the opportunity to be a witness. There is a whole sermon there. When he saw that people’s attention had been turned to the supernatural, that God was working in their midst, he was empowered to witness for Christ.
B. Main thought: And what we will see in the text today is the first half of his explanation of what just happened in the healing of the man who was lame from birth and lain daily at the gate called “Beautiful.”
A. The Denial of Self-Glory (v. 12)
1. The first thing out of Peter’s mouth was that the people shouldn’t have two thoughts. First, they shouldn’t be surprised when supernatural events happen. But second, he says that they shouldn’t look upon the apostles as if they had done this miracle. Peter was denying to the crowd his ability. So not only did Peter and John not go seeking their own fame, when it came unsolicited, they vehemently denied it. Peter and John were committed in every way to making God’s fame preeminent. Christ was glorified by Peter giving the credit and glory where it was due. This is consistent with the entirety of scripture: all that God does He does for His own glory, for His name’s sake.
2. Col 1:16,
3. Illustration: tell about the church that had a plaque or a sticker with who bought it named on everything in the church,
4. Far too often we seek our own fame, glory, recognition, and honor. And what’s worse is that if we don’t get what we feel we deserve, we get really upset, offended, and angry about it. Are you really seeking your own glory, or that of Another? And that is probably the real question that we should ask in applying this to our lives: If God is completely and radically committed to magnifying His name and fame, are we? When we work, go to school, plan our budgets, choose our clothing, speak to our neighbors, drink our orange juice, do we do it in a fashion that brings honor to Christ? Self-gratification and self-glorification goes completely against the purpose for which we were made. How is God/Christ made to look greater by your life?
B. The Denial of Irresponsibility (v. 13-14)
1. This is using a double negative. I could have worded it “the affirmation of responsibility,” but in order to stay consistent with the other points… Anyway, the wording Peter used was quite accusatory in nature. All were in second person plural. The words were quite harsh. The first is translated “delivered up” and it means to be turned over to, or betrayed. The second word translated “deny” means to disown, disavow, or reject. Then Peter went on to say that not only had they betrayed and rejected their Messiah, the Prince of Life, they had preferred rather a murderer. What irony! But this is a mark of apostolic preaching that we will see over and over.
2. Rom 3:23-26, 4:5, Josh 7:19, Jer 13:16
3. Illustration: We are a nation of victims- see illustration file, first words out of Mackenzie’s mouth when I cam in to find Kaitlann crying were “I didn’t do it”
4. And this is still true of us. It is our sins that caused the wrath of God to be poured out on Jesus. We are the ones that betrayed and rejected Christ. There is no middle ground. Either you have betrayed, rejected and repented, or you are still betraying, rejecting, and disowning Christ. And the reason that this is glorious and glorifying to Christ is that we serve a God who justifies sinners. The God of the Bible everlastingly redeems the same people who killed His Son. And the means that He uses to do that is the killing itself. This is why God and Christ are exceedingly infinitely glorified in the cross and the resurrection. God’s love for sinners and His love for His own glory collide with an awesome explosion at Calvary. The glory of the gospel is that you killed Jesus, but He wants to forgive, justify, and sanctify you to the praise of His glory. It is to His glory that you admit your sin, turn from your ways, seek His forgiveness, and be transformed by His grace. If you never have, today’s the day…