Summary: A sermon based on the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate
"MIRACLE AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE"
ACTS 3 BIBLE STUDY
FBCF – 5/20/20 Midweek Service
INTRO – Martin Luther – “Prayer is a climbing up into the heart of God. None can believe how powerful prayer is, & what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience.”
Luther experienced many interesting answers to prayer.
- Closest friend, Philip Melancthon – very sick. According his biography, Luther came to visit & found Philip “about to give up the ghost. His eyes were set; his consciousness was almost gone; his speech had failed, & also his hearing; his face had fallen; he knew no one & had ceased to take either solids or liquids.”
o Luther overcome w/ grief. Turned toward window & began to aloud earnestly. Almost instantly, Philip began to move & was soon completely restored. Later said, “I should have been a dead man had I not been recalled from death itself by the coming of Luther.”
- Another friends, Friedrich Myconius, dying of tuberculosis. Luther couldn’t go to him, so wrote note: “May God not let me hear so long as I live that you are dead, but cause you to survive me. I pray this earnestly, & will have it granted. Amen.”
o Myconius later said, “I was so horrified when I read what the good man had written, that it seemed to me as though I had heard Christ say, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’”
o Myconius recovered as Luther prayed, & outlived Luther by a few months.
V. 1-10 – The Church’s 1st recorded miracle. In this miracle, God is demonstrating His power, & is bearing witness through His followers
This miracle was more than just a miracle – It was a sign, a demonstration of 2 important things:
1. Jesus is alive – His power is just as active now upon the earth as it was when He was actually, physically walking upon the earth.
2. Jesus is now working through His followers – He is reaching out through them to save the world – & HE’S STILL DOING THAT TODAY!
a. We are His instruments
b. …emissaries, His representatives sent on a mission
c. …ambassadors, His authorized messengers
d. …witnesses – martyrs ready to give up our lives for Him & for the Gospel
“Our missionary God is not waiting for you & me – He is already at work. And the exciting news is that He invites us to join in His mission of reconciliation. The current reality of our world [pandemic] is certainly a motivation for what we do as everyday missionaries, but the ultimate motivation is God Himself. As we are changed & freed, we are compelled to be where He is – right in the middle of the greatest rescue mission ever.” (Life on Mission, p. 41-42)
v. 1 – Peter & John going up the temple to pray “at the hour of prayer, the 9th hour” – This would have been there regular, normal practice.
• The Jews observed 3 times of prayer – morning (9:00), afternoon (3:00), & evening (sunset).
• This would have been the 3:00 time for prayer.
• Cool things happen when you just simply do what a Christ-follower is supposed to do. And cool things happen when you place yourself in a place & position where God could be at work.
v. 2 – “the Beautiful Gate” – an entrance to the Temple – a favorite entrance for many people. The lame man was placed at the entrance that would have most likely had the greatest number of people going in.
• Homeless people at traffic lights – Lakeland Drive, County Line, & other places
v. 3-5 – The interaction between the beggar & Peter & John – The beggar asked for alms (gifts or $ or good given to the poor). Peter & John looked at him, told him to look at them, which he did, expected to get some $ or help from them.
v. 6-8 – The beggar was looking for $ & got so much more! When Peter said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up & walk,” he was invoking the power, presence, & authority of Jesus. He was walking & standing IN THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS.
“What I do have I give to you” – Peter & John gave him the healing ONLY through the power of Jesus Christ & the Holy Spirit who was in them. They didn’t do this in their own power or for their own glory.
So, the question might come to your mind, “Does the Holy Spirit still heal in our day? Is the gift of healing still in operation?”
- Wayne Grudem on “healing” – “A gift of the HS that functions to bring a restoration to health as a foretaste of the complete freedom from physical weakness & infirmity that Christ purchased for us by His death & resurrection” (Systematic Theology, p. 1243)