Summary: Peter’s Explanation for the lame man’s healing
Jeff Hughes – March 2, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. Last week we saw how God set the stage for Peter to deliver a message to the crowd gathered at the temple for evening prayer. We saw a man that was lame from his birth miraculously healed by the power of God.
b. The healing served as a visual and tangible affirmation to what Peter was about to say, even before he said it. If you remember, back in chapter 2, the Lord used Peter’s first sermon to draw 3,000 people.
c. Today, we are going to look at another appeal from Peter to the people of Jerusalem. The people gathered together for prayer that day would hear a convincing message concerning Jesus, and about what they needed to do to respond to the gospel message.
d. We are told that this message is even more effective in bringing people to Christ than Peter’s first, and we will look at the fruit of this message next week in detail.
e. But today, we are talking about Peter’s message to the crowd. If you boil everything off, what is really important in an evangelistic message, is clarity of the message. Peter’s message was crystal clear. He cut to the point, and as we will see next week, people responded in droves.
f. But first, let’s take a minute to ask the Lord to come and bless our study of His Word today.
a. When Cambridge University student Thomas Bilney bought a Greek New Testament, his interest was purely academic. But when Bilney opened God’s Word, he encountered the gospel and his entire life was transformed. Bilney felt led by God to join himself to a group that shared his beliefs.
b. This was during the Protestant Reformation, so Bilney joined the Cambridge Protestants. He began preaching and teaching , but was arrested in 1527 and threatened into silence. Bilney would not be silent. He could not keep quiet the gospel that burnrd in his heart. He was arrested, and later released with another warning, and in 1531, he was arrested one last time. Condemned as a heretic, Bilney died at the stake for the gospel of Christ.
c. Like Thomas Bliney, the apostle Peter simply could not keep quiet about Jesus. The opportunity arose to address the crowd that gathered there in the temple courts and Peter seized it.
d. You see, Peter was ready when the opportunity arose. Peter had a divine appointment that day at the beautiful gate with a lame man who was healed. Then, God provided Peter the opportunity to preach to more than 5,000 people gathered there in the outer court of the temple.
e. Like Peter, we need to be ready to share Christ with others as the opportunity arises. Paul instructs his protégée, Timothy, to this in and Timothy chapter 4, verse two, which reads – 4 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
f. Maybe you will have the opportunity to teach a crowd, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll get the chance to share with one of your friends, or co-workers, and in God’s economy, you sharing Christ with one is just as important as sharing Christ with a huge crowd. God’s work is measured in hearts, not in numbers.
g. This is one aspect of the story we are going to see unfold today as we continue our study in Acts. We pick up this right where we left off last week. Our study comes out of Acts chapter 3, verses 12 through 26. We will finish up chapter 3 today, and next week we begin chapter four.
h. If you need a Bible, just raise your hand, and we will get you one. Acts is just past John, and right before Romans in the New Testament. Follow along with me as we read starting at verse 12.
i. 12 So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. 16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 17 Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, ’The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. 25 You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ’And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."