Summary: Thirty minutes after Pentecost, the apostles knew more about Jesus Christ than they had known from 3 years of following Him as His disciples.
Thirty minutes after Pentecost, the apostles knew more about Jesus Christ than they had known from 3 years of following Him as His disciples.
The outpouring of Pentecost had given them a new capacity they had not experienced before...the in filling of the Spirit had given them the gift of faith.
Prior to Pentecost they had felt dependency and loyalty...but they had no faith. They had witnessed Christ’s death with anguish and His resurrection with wonderment...but didn’t really understand the meaning of it all until the gift of faith was mysteriously born within them.
Now everything began to make sense...the scattered pieces of the puzzle in their minds suddenly all fit together...and what they heard during the previous 3 years echoed in their souls....What they were experiencing was the abundant life Jesus had talked about.
This is what He meant by their abiding in Him and He in them...for the first time they understood Calvary and the empty tomb....and what it meant not only to vindicate Jesus, but for the victorious life it now made possible for them.
They had come alive...and they would live forever. They knew it was all true...for them! But that’s not all. This new capacity to believe in what Christ had done for them began to grow into an expectant confidence in what He could do through them.
The primary faith they were given by the Spirit for their salvation became a powerful faith to believe that nothing was impossible.
In I Corinthians 12 Paul lists the gifts of the Spirit. They are the grace gifts Charismata endowments graciously given that produce gifts previously unexperienced.
Specifically they are wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, discerning the spirits, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the church clarified for itself and all ages the undeniable evidence of an empowered life.
In Acts 3 we see the manifestation of 3 of the gifts of the Spirit: faith, healing, and working of miracles. The 3 belong together and actually the last two are really part of the first.
The 3 are closely intertwined and they equal a daring faith given to the Spirit filled believers for ministry to people. It is a need that is before us that brings forth the gift from within us. And Christ continues to do through us what He did as Jesus of Nazareth.
The same power which dwelt in Him is ours...and it’s for the healing of the lame of the world...in
body, mind, and spirit.
The power of Pentecost faith is for people in need. It is for our joy but never for our private enjoyment. It is so that the things Jesus did for people, we can do.
In this third chapter of Acts we are going to examine the exposure of the gift of faith, and the explanation of its source. This morning we are going to examine 3 things...What happened? Why did it happen? And how can it happen today?
1. What Happened...Read vs. 1 10
Peter and John are on the way to the temple for afternoon prayers. The historian Josephus tells us that the stated times for prayers was early morning...again at 3:00 (9th hour)...and the evening at sunset when the sacrifices were offered.
The 2 disciples made their way from the Upper Room area of the city to the temple area. Luke tells us that at the Beautiful Gate they met a man lame from birth. This gate is usually identified as the Corinthian Gate.
Josephus describes this gate in great detail. It was made of Corinthian bronze. It’s doors were 60 feet high and the gate itself was 75 feet high.
He says, "It was adorned after a most costly manner having much richer and thicker plates of gold and silver." Other sources tell us that it was cast with the symbol of a vine, signifying Israel’s confidence that they were the vine of God.
In the sunshine the polished bronze, gold, and silver shone with a spectacular beauty. I believe it was just outside this gate, on the side of the Court of the Gentiles, that the lame man was carried each day to beg for alms.
When he saw Peter and John approach the gate, his attention was attracted to them immediately. They had a glow about them that shone like the gate itself.
I think it is really great that Luke, a physician, was the one that described the event...because Greek medical terms diagnose the lame man’s condition and his cure.
The words used to describe the lameness show that the writer was acquainted with medical phraseology, and had investigated the nature of the disease the man suffered from.
The paralytic’s congenital difficulty was centered in his feet. He was lame, cholos, with paralysis in the heel of his feet, in the socket of his ankle. The bones were out of place from birth and he was not able to walk.