Summary: This is a sermon based on Acts Chapter 3: 1-16 as I have been preaching on the miracles of Jesus and those that took place after He had ascended to Heaven. For some time now I have struggled with the lack of power in our churches compared to the church in
IT’S THE SAME NAME WITH THE SAME POWER. CAN YOU HANDLE IT? Acts 3: 1-16
Last Sunday we saw the woman with the issue of blood being healed by Jesus. We noticed the obstacles she had to go through just to touch the hem of His garment and how she had reached a stage in her life when all she had left was to somehow reach out and touch the man from Galilee. This morning we are going to look at another miracle but this was has more of an impact on you and I than possibly any other. I want us to turn to Acts Chapter 3 reading from verse 1-16. Here is the first miracle under the New Covenant. It is the first of the “greatest works shall ye do “ John 14:12 that Jesus had spoken about before the Holy Spirit came. It was one of the most meaningful moments of God’s working His miracles under the New Covenant and using normal human beings. Peter & John are on their way to the Temple to do what every good Jew does, Pray. As they approach the Temple there is a beggar sitting on the outside doing his daily work, begging. Now we have to relate to the times. There is no disability, there is no welfare, there are no shelters for such as he. The only way he can possibly survive is to beg and I would believe that after being there for so many years he has become good at it. He knows the ones that he can hit on and possibly the ones that he can’t. Yet it’s Peter and Johns day. Let’s just take a moment and try to put ourselves in the shoes of the beggar. Let’s say that I am the beggar and I have no way of walking. I have to depend upon others to carry me from point A to point B. So my friends carry me to Adelaide & Richmond right on the corner. Now to begin this is not really a good spot because Marg Giokos can see me every day and she really isn’t too happy with what I am doing. Still and all I would imagine that she would possibly throw in a few sheckles once she saw it was me. Yet consider the life of this man. Dependency upon others, unable to work for a decent wage, daily receiving insults from others who may not understand my circumstances, a man driven to look up in the faces of others and beg with an embarrassment others would never know. But today was going to be the day when he received the greatest gift in his life . Today he would have the chance to know the Son of God whose name was Jesus and something special was about to happen. Is there anyone here who has ever had to be in a position where the dependency upon others was your total existence? I think not. Peter & John approach the Temple and the usual common cry goes out, Alms, Alms for the poor. Hey mister won’t you throw a few coins in the pot. Can’t you see I have nothing. Now if we stop and consider something here for a moment. Do you not think that Peter & John had not seen this beggar before lying outside the steps of the Temple. After all was it not their practise do go daily to the Temple for pray and would the beggar not be there every day? The lame man looks in the face of Peter begging alms of them and Peter looks into his face and for a moment time stops. The natural is about to come face to face with the supernatural world of God. With a voice that has authority and boldness the words come from Peter, Silver and gold have I none but I got something more important , bigger and better than money to give you. The he said “In the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Now I don’t know about you but from the beggars perspective these are not the words I want to hear because I really don’t know this religious nut. But Peter is undaunted by what he sees, he reaches down, and physically lifted his lifeless body up. Suddenly the healing power of the risen Christ came into his limbs. The beggars body starts to tingle, something is happening to his body. Life and feeling is coming back into his legs. Now here have to look at another situation. After sitting there for so long obviously his legs had been rather small from lack of walking and exercise. But the power through the name makes new limbs, new blood vessels, grow as if he had never been sick. The man leaps to his feet praising God and Peter, John and the beggar go into the Temple together. Notice the first thing the beggar does is praise God. The word says walking and leaping and praising God he has a new attitude and heart going into the Temple. This is not only the first healing miracle under the new Covenant but it is the first Biblical recorded time a Christian had used the name of Jesus. The night before the New Covenant was cut into His body on the cross, Jesus said, ”Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name: ask and ye shall receive that your joy may be full.” John 16:24. During the full three years of ministry His disciples had never asked in the name of Jesus. They had asked in the name of the God of Abraham, Issiac and Jacob of the Old Covenant, but as Jesus knew that the very next day He would go to the cross and cut the New Covenant. He told them for the first time that they would use His name with power and authority( Mk 16: 17-19). We have to understand that this miracle in Acts 3 happened AFTER the New Covenant had been cut in the body of Jesus on Calvary, AFTER He had risen from the dead, ascended back into Heaven and AFTER He had sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost sealing them in the New Covenant by the Holy Spirit Himself. Peter & John were New Covenant men. Elizabeth, Marg, Jessica, are New Covenant women, Jimmy, Russ, Mike are New Covenant men and so are all others who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour and who know what the name of Jesus can do when spoken with authority. They did not approach the lame man in their own strength but rather under the power of the New Covenant under the name of Jesus. Now like so many others who have never met the Master, they saw what Peter & John had done and instantly began to give the credit to them. But Peter knows that he is not about to take credit away from Jesus. Remember I have said in the past when I take the glory from God, God takes the glory from me. Instantly Peters lets them know. Don’t think for a minute we did this miracle by our own goodness or power. No pay attention people, this miracle was done by the name of Jesus, through faith in His name healing took place. Now like a lot of other religious people and leaders when the word got out what had happened they got very upset. They called a Board meeting, put the coffee on and had a discussion. They said “what good did it do to crucify this man Jesus if His followers can repeat His name and do miracles like He did.” Here’s the issue for us today. Jesus is a NOW preacher and He taught His disciples to be NOW men and women of God.. The Books of Moses and the Old Covenant had prophets before Jesus who had done some pretty miraculous things but none of them could transmit this power to their followers in their name to do the same. Nobody has ever given His followers what Jesus gave His. Confucius, Buddha, Allah no other but the name of Jesus. Because you and I have made a decision to accept Jesus and His teachings, His Word and His Spirit He is made alive in each of us this very minute. He is continually working in us through the Holy Spirit and by His own word.” Freely you have received, freely give.” We too have His word. It is has I taught on Monday night concerning the gifts of the Spirit, they are much in evidence today as they were on the day of Pentecost when they left the Upper Room and began speaking in other tongues. Nothing has been denied to the believer who knows what the power of the name of Jesus can do. Doesn’t that just give you goose bumps and the willy nillies. Somebody praise the name of Jesus. Just as Peter & John used the name of Jesus, you and I have been given a mandate to do exactly the same today. We have been called to bring hope to the hopeless, joy to the joyless, healing to the sick, eternal life to the lost and that means RIGHT NOW, TODAY. It’s no accident that the book of Acts was written by a physician by the name of Luke who had become a Christian and knew the power of the name. . What Happened? A man crippled and limited from birth is given liberty and life! Why did it Happen? It happened because of two men who were — faithful; focused; and full of the Holy Spirit’s enabling abilities! . Can it Happen Today? It has to because — Only God’s power can put broken people back together again! The demonstration of God’s power readied people for the declaration of God’s Word!
My closing statements were taken from a sermon by Pastor Donny Granberry, whom I give credit and thanks to.