Summary: In this brief study we will take a walk through the book of Acts highlighting some of the more significant verses and ideas presented by Luke. I have drawn some material from "Act Normal" by Scott Wilson.
Acts Pt3- Possessor of Life
Last weeks Challenge
-continue- read Acts- turn a verse into a prayer for yourself/church- share verse prayed.
Looked at- miracle of Pentecost/birth of- early church.
The church had a strong sense of fellowship/unity.
The HS unifies people around the Lordship of Christ.
True unity- result of- inward work/presence of the HS.
Biggest gap in the church today is between that which we know and what we practice.
Acts helps us to see how everyday men/women took their faith and applied it- practically lived it out.
We must close the gap-between mental assent/practice-
Should be part of our practice- verses challenge me-
to believe and
turn that belief into practice. (Jn 6.28-29)
Act 3.1-11 tell story- lame beggar healed
Jews prayed three times a day- 9am, 12 noon, 3pm.
Peter/John- committed to prayer- basis of this miracle-
-the presence/work of the HS in their lives
-learning to wait on God in prayer
This man- 40 yrs old- not ashamed to lay his need before those going into the temple for prayer.
Too often our shame prevents us from going to God.
We must take everything to God and position ourselves where we can receive ministry.
Expectation- important part of faith/receiving from God-
strong belief that something is going to happen.
A door of hope opened in the lame man’s heart-
men filled w/HS awaken expectancy in others.
In a biblical sense- a person’s name- more than a label-
it was-extension of their life/personality/character.
To use- Jesus’ name was to call on His authority/power.
The name- not a magical charm apart from relationship.
Ministry in- name of Christ is powerful when used by someone yielded to the Life-Giving work of Christ.
Jam 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
When a humble heart encounters the One who is Resurrected Life, transformation takes place.
Beggar became a worshipper- left the place of begging and repositioned himself in- place of praising God.
Too often we position ourselves as beggars and not possessors of God’s Life.
If you position yourself as a worshipper you will see the hand of God move in mighty ways in your life.
People saw- human instruments- in hands of God-
Peter/John- channels of God’s power/holiness.
Peter declares that the healing was by virtue of Christ’s-
resurrection- raised from the dead
glorification- exalted to the right-hand of God.
As the risen/glorified Christ He has the power to heal.
Peter/John- arrested-make-case for Christ before Jews.
There is no other god or deity through which one can enter into an eternal relationship w/one true God.
Be careful of- philosophies of this age and people like Oprah Winfrey who do not believe in Christ alone.
All men have a need for salvation-
Rom 3:23 (NASB95) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 6:23 (NASB95) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God places before every man a
great possibility- that of eternal life.
Salvation is offered to every man with
great authority-in the name of Christ.
(the only God raised from the dead).
As men we have a
great responsibility- to consider Christ.
Words of Jesus Himself-
Jn 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
v5.1-11 tell story (read 4.36-5.11)
At first the story seems harsh and non-redemptive-
With discipleship comes responsibility.
v5.1-4 (Mat 22.12, Lk 22.1-6, 2 Ki 5.15-27)
Kept back- to pilfer, embezzle.
You do not embezzle your funds, embezzle others.
Ananias embezzled what belonged to God-
no compulsion to give/pledged proceeds to God.
HS- worked in people- desire to meet needs of others.
Ananias/Sapphira’s hearts were divided over material possessions- opened a door for Satan to enter.
But, the sins of the heart cannot be hidden from God.
Likewise we must guard our hearts/what we say-
God is my Lord and King
Oh God, all that I have is yours (this is a pledge)
If we make- pledge- never ask God how to walk it out and ignore needs around us- we are in danger.
No curse spoken over them- judgment was left to God.
The church is to be a holy body set apart to God.
It is a place where the HS lives in men’s hearts.
God- blessed- early church- 1000s were saved- yet-
In Christ there is both mercy and justice.
The same HS that caused- church to grow- kept it pure.
This is a difficult story that we cannot brush off, it may make us feel uncomfortable, and it probably should.