Sermon for 4/28/2002
For years, the opening of "The Wide World of Sports" television program illustrated "the agony of defeat" with a painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure. This reminds me of my skiing adventures
What viewers didn’t know was that he chose to fall rather than finish the jump. Why? As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down the ramp, he realized if he completed the jump, he would land beyond the safe landing area, which could have been fatal. As it was, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble. To change one’s course in life can be a dramatic and sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than a fatal landing at the end.
A. Song- Peter and John went to pray. They met a lame man on the way. He held out his palm and asked for an alm and this is what Peter did say, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I have give I thee, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." He went walking and leaping and praising God, walking and leaping and praising God. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
B. Peter begins to speak a powerful message on the gospel, centered on Christ.
C. He immediately takes the people’s attention off of himself and his brother John. Put it on Jesus Christ. What a great opportunity to proclaim Christ. Vs. 12
D. We should not boast save in the cross of Christ.
E. Peter would tell them about Jesus Christ, and about nothing else but Jesus Christ. Vs. 13-15, 17-18.
F. Vs. 16 in our series on the 3:16’s of the Bible.
1. It is through the name of Jesus Christ that men are made strong.
2. Two fold thrust here:
a. The messenger, the healer must have faith in the Name.
1) One politician said of a fellow politician, "That man will go far for he believes every word he says."
2) One of the reasons for the slow progress, the lack of advancing in the church, is that the Church does not half believe its own Gospel.
3) Told of a young man who was healed of a brain tumor. Had many people praying for him. When he was miraculously healed through simple faith in God, many of those same people did not believe it. They even spread slanderous reports that he made the whole thing up when the doctors had records of these brain tumors.
4) Many people are just going through the motions in the church. They do not really believe in the teachings of the Bible. If they did, then the church would be on fire.
5) Many times God does not do great things because of our unbelief. Jesus could not do great things in his hometown because of their unbelief. Are we becoming this way?
b. The one hearing, the one asking for help, must have faith in the Name.
1) We don’t know much about the lame man and his faith. Peter seems to indicate that he had some faith in God. He was walking, leaping and praising God.
2) The Bible, the church, Jesus Christ, they are no good unless we have a personal faith.
3) No one inherits his or her faith; it must be theirs personally.
G. Vs. 19 is the thrust, the challenge, and the invitation.
H. Whether we have known it or not, the messages over the last month have been very evangelistic. This message is no different.
Thesis: We see four applications or challenges to the non-Christian (and to the Christian) in this verse.
I. And the first is this, that THE APOSTLE Told MEN to REPENT AND BE CONVERTED.
1. To change one’s mind.
2. "Repentance is to leave The sins we loved before, And show that we in earnest grieve, By doing so no more."
3. Repentance is a part of conversion.
4. Literally it means here to repent and turn. Make a U-turn.
5. We want to make a change from our sinful, old ways and become new. We have sorrow and feel bad for our sins. We want to change so we look to Jesus Christ, through His Holy Spirit at baptism, to help us to change our ways.
6. The apostle Peter, addressing the crowd, said to them, "Change your minds; be sorry for what you have done; forsake your old ways; be turned; become new men."
7. Some times men’s sins find them out. This is not so bad. It can lead to their conversion. However, there are some people who have repentance but it does not lead to conversion. Think of Judas. He did not throw himself on God’s mercy.
8. (2 Cor 7:10 NIV) Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
9. Some people realize that they need to change but do not want to do it. Many people are sorry that they were caught, they are sorrowful because of the consequences of their sins, but they do not want to repent and turn to God.
10. This leads to death. It led to death for Judas. I have heard of people who had reached this point, and have gone into their room, and committed suicide. It doesn’t have to be this way. No matter what we have done, if we turn to Jesus Christ in humbleness and with repentance, he will help us and change us.
11. Peter at the first gospel message on the day of Pentecost said, (Acts 2:38 NIV) "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
12. In the church of Christ, we often tell people and remind people of baptism and what it does and how it fits into the plan of salvation and what it symbolizes, etc.
13. John Caldwell- I think that we are baptizing some people who are not converted.
14. Converted- to undergo a change.
15. I think that some people believe that the plan of salvation is some magical formula, that if they do each step, then they have their ticket to heaven. Hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized.
16. When we come up here and say the Good Confession, when we confess Jesus as Christ, we are saying that we believe and that we want Him to be our Lord and Savior.
17. Yes, we want Jesus Christ to come and wash us as white as the snow, but to have him be our Lord, our example, our leader. That is a different story.
18. Some people have never surrendered their hearts and their minds and their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
19. If our intention in being baptized was to get our free ticket to heaven but we have no desire to surrender our very beings to Christ, if our intention is not to love the Lord with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind, then all we did was get wet.
20. This is the essence of repentance. To want to make a change and follow Jesus who will change us.
21. This is an ongoing process that will not end until our death or until the Lord returns.
II. There was a good reason for this command.
1. Why? Because we have put Jesus to death.
2. How? Every time you do what God would not have you do, you do in effect, so far as you can, put God out of his throne, and disown the authority which belongs to his Godhead; you do in intent, so far as you can, kill God. That is the drift of sin—sin is a God-killing thing.
3. Every sin is really an attempt to thrust God out of the world, that every sin is saying, "Let there be no God."
4. Those who go against the instruction of God. Let there be no God.
5. Every sin is a real crucifixion of Christ, and a mockery of Christ, and a slaughter of Christ.
6. Why did Christ come? Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
7. Every time we sin, we are faced with the fact that we had a hand in his death.
8. Jesus was such a good person and this is what sin does to goodness. It gets rid of goodness.
9. The crowd chose Barabbas. We chose Barabbas every time we go in the way of wickedness. We want him as a friend rather than Christ.
10. Someone that we know if more righteous that we are. Goody too shoes, choir boy, religious nut, he thinks he’s better than we are.
11. It should make us repent to think that the one we want gone, the one who gladly would we see crucified comes to us and offers us salvation even though we have done terrible things to him.
12. When He was on the cross, I was on his mind. He knew me, yet he loved me.
13. Who nailed him there?
III. WITHOUT REPENTANCE AND CONVERSION, SIN CANNOT BE Forgiven.
1. Many Oriental merchants kept their accounts on little tablets of wax. On these tablets of wax, they indented marks that recorded the debts, and when these debts were paid, they took the blunt end of the stylus or pencil, and just flattened down the wax, and the account entirely disappeared. That was the form of "blotting out" in those days.
2. Now, he that repents and is forgiven is, through the precious blood of Christ, so entirely forgiven, that there is no record of his sin left.
3. On our documents, if we blot something out it is still there, but long ago it was no longer noticed.
4. Separated as far as the east is from the west.
5. However, we must hate our sins, or God will hate us. We must confess our sins and repent of our sins, and he will forgive us.
6. The Romans sometimes forced a captive to be joined face-to-face with a dead body, and to bear it about until the horrible stench and decay destroyed the life of the living victim. Virgil describes this cruel punishment. "The living and the dead at his command were coupled face to face, and hand to hand; Till choked with stench, in loathed embraces tied, the lingering wretches pined away and died." Without Christ, we are shackled to a dead corpse- our sinfulness. Only repentance frees us from certain death, for life and death cannot coexist indefinitely.
7. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." The door is shut and fast bolted to every man who will keep his sin, but it is wide open to the biggest and greatest sinner, if he will but leave his sin and lay hold of Jesus and put his trust in him.
IV. Repentance and conversion are precious because times of refreshing will come from the Lord.
1. This talks about the peace that the Lord gives to those who have their sins forgiven. Peace with God and peace in our souls.
2. Refreshing of revival. Revival in the soul and revival in the church if these are practiced. How refreshing to see one come last week and hopeful more this week. How blessed it is to the church!
3. The Wales Revival. Singing in the coal mines.
4. After the rain, the ground is refreshed.
5. (Jer 31:25 NIV) I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."
6. (Mat 11:28 NIV) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.(Mat 11:29 NIV) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.(Mat 11:30 NIV) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
7. (Prov 11:25 NIV) A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
8. The ultimate refreshing will be realized at the Second Coming.
9. After a basketball game, after working in the summer, come in and take some refreshment. How wonderful! The Lord will do this in a certain measure now, but how wonderful it will be to have ultimate refreshment in heaven.
A. After this we are going to take part in some refreshments.
B. Only way to get refreshments in the Christian life is through repentance and giving our all to the Lord.
C. We want you to be comfortable and refreshed; we don’t want you to be miserable for all time.