Summary: The Lord has given us the authority to do His work through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are God’s vessels of hope for a hurting world.

This was the first miracle of healing in the Book of Acts, and a first for the newborn church.

This was very unlike the Peter and John we know from the Gospels.

• Here they were very confident and they spoke with authority.

• We saw a paradigm shift in their understanding and belief.

Previously they were following Jesus, and hardly seen speaking in this manner.

• They were asking questions most of the time. They were not the main actors.

• Now they were, and they knew it. They were calling the shots.

• Such faith wasn’t seen in the past, but now they were confronting the forces of darkness like they were Christ.

Jesus has gone but yet it feels like He is right here.

• Replace Peter and John with Jesus and this would seem like a page from the Gospel.

• But now they were doing the same work Christ has been doing, and with the same authority and power.

• They were proclaiming the Gospel and seeing thousands saved. They were seeing miracles taking place as if Jesus was still right there with them.

That’s right. He is. Christ is present with them through the Holy Spirit.

• Christ’s work of proclaiming the Gospel continues, with them.

• Christ’s work of signs and wonders continues, with them.

• They are now the “body of Christ”, in the absence of the physical Person of Christ.

They understand and believe that God’s work will continue through them.

• And they believe that the power of the Holy Spirit will enable them to do it.

• There is an authority that they have, and they know it.

• It is clearly demonstrated here. They believe in the power of the Name of Jesus.

Never have we seen power flowing in such a manner among the believers.

• We have seen that in Jesus, in the Gospels, but not by any of His followers.

• Now we are seeing the power of God flowing through His followers.

Mark 16:19-20 “After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”

• The Lord is present with them and working with them.

• Through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit, believers are using the AUTHORITY God has given them to do His WORK through the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

(1) We’ve God’s given AUTHORITY to do His WORK, through His given POWER.

This is the paradigm we must have today. We need to understand this and believe this. It is basically the core message of Pentecost.

• The Lord says, WAIT until the Holy Spirit comes upon you, then you GO and DO my work.

• And now we are seeing the unleashing of the power of God in the lives of the believers.

• The many miracles in Acts show the believers’ authority over Satan and his works.

God has given us the authority to pray in His Name and do His will.

• When a police officer raise his hands, the traffic stops, because behind that uniform is an authority that is backed by the government.

• When a Christian prays, or do God’s work, things happen because our actions are backed by the authority of Christ. When we pray, Satan trembles.

• “ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:18-19)

Do we recognize the GREAT authority we have in Christ?

• If we do, then we must pray. And use that authority to push back the forces of darkness.

• The way to advancing God’s Kingdom, and binding the devil’s work, is to pray.

• The way to restore a broken life is to pray. The way to heal a wound is to pray. The way to deliver a sinner from his sins is to pray.

• Power is realised when we use the authority of the Name of Jesus.

Do you believe this? Do we believe that God is working through us today?

• Peter and John believe.

• Remember, we walk by FAITH and not by sight. We put our trust in God more than in what we see.

• Our friends may not be interested, or some people we see are too bent on evil to stand a chance. Remember that’s what we see. We live by FAITH in God and not by sight.

• What we see is quite immaterial. A crippled can still walk, by faith in Christ!

When Lazarus died, Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

• There was a limit to her faith – confined by space and time - if Jesus was present, only if He was early.

• John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

• When He asked them to move the stone away, Martha said, “But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.” (11:39)

• Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (11:40)

You see the thrust in Jesus’ words. We need to believe God.

• If it is God’s will, nothing can stop it. If it is not God’s will, nothing can be done.

If ALL authority belongs to Christ and He has invested that authority in us - His church - to accomplish His purposes, then we need to believe it and exercise it.

• God’s power flows where the RIGHT AUTHORITY is RIGHTLY RECOGNIZED.

• Peter and John understood that and believed that.

• This authority we have as children of God is not something we will receive at some time in the future; we have it right now.

• You have power and authority over the works of darkness right now. So let’s use it and start praying!

(2) We are Vessels of God, bringing HOPE to those who need it.

The Lord dwells in us. The world will not be able to meet the physical Christ but they are going to meet Him through us.

• This crippled man did not have the chance to meet Jesus. He missed it. He will never have the chance.

• Jesus has gone home. But he is present through the Body of Christ, the church.

• We are Christ’s presence on earth today. People will meet Him when they meet us.

• Meeting Peter and John was like meeting Jesus. This man was able to experience the presence, the love and healing power of Christ.

God is not confined to a building, to a tabernacle or Temple (like in OT times).

• He dwells in heart that trusts Jesus, and His presence goes with us.

• Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it.”

• When we reach out to touch someone’s life, Jesus touches them. When we encourage someone, Jesus speaks to them.

• The Lord is working with us and confirming His word by the signs that follow.

Hudson Taylor:

“Many Christians estimate difficulties in the light of their own resources, and thus attempt little and often fail in the little they attempt. All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence with them.”

Billy Graham, in The Secret of Happiness, pp.103-104:

“Satan does not care how much you theorize about Christianity or how much you profess to know Christ. What he opposes vigorously is the way you live Christ - the way you become an instrument of mercy, compassion, and love through which He manifests Himself to the world. If Satan can take the heart, motive, and mercy out of Christianity, he has killed its effectiveness. If he can succeed in getting us to talk a good case of religion but to live a poor one, he has shorn us of our power.”

He said (p.65), “You have a tongue and a voice. These instruments of speech can be used destructively or employed constructively. You can use your tongue to slander, to grip, to scold, to nag, and to quarrel, or you can bring it under the control of God’s Spirit and make it an instrument of blessing and praise.”

The famous prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi (c.1181-1226)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

God’s power flows when we offer ourselves to serve Him.

(1) We’ve God’s given AUTHORITY to do His WORK, through His given POWER.

(2) We are Vessels of God, bringing HOPE to those who need it.

You can make a difference, if you believe that you can, in Christ!