Summary: Those who take the opportunity to pray and take it seriously, will have opportunities to serve.
Acts 3. 10/22/03
The first miracle of healing recorded of the early church in the book of Acts took place when Peter and John had an encounter with a cripple at the temple in Jerusalem. At the 9th hour, Peter and John were on their way to the temple to pray. Those who take the opportunity to pray and take it seriously, will have opportunities to serve.
As Peter and John came to the gate that is called Beautiful, they were confronted with a cripple begging for money. But he got something far better than money. Instead of giving the man money, Peter and John through the power of Jesus performed a miracle of healing. People at the temple were amazed at what happened and Peter again to the opportunity to preach to them Jesus.
In our study want to look first of all at THE MIRACLE FOR THE MAN.
When we think of this miracle, it is a wonderful illustration of the gospel, the good news.
No first of all HIS CONDITION. The Bible declares that he was lame from his mother’s womb. The man’s problem was in his legs. He had to be carried wherever he went. It is the picture of the moral condition of mankind. We do live in the world of cripples in the area of character. Sin has man so crippled that he cannot walk in the ways of God. Man needs the miracle of salvation to remedy the situation.
Now the Bible says the man was born crippled from his mother’s womb and was above the age of 40. That is a longtime. But I want to tell you sin has been with us a longtime. Ever since Adam and Eve. Sin is the problem of the ages. Most people don’t like to hear that. They don’t like the idea that man was born a sinner. Have you noticed that? Especially the so-called experts in child behavior. They will tell you that behavior, that we find unacceptable, is not wrong behavior. It is child behavior and developing the child. The evidence of wrong behavior in the child just tells us that the child was born wrong the first time. The wrong behavior is the depravity of the child. Unable to do good because of the first birth. In order for it to be right there has to be a new birth.
Notice not only his condition the HIS CURE. Peter and John did not give him any money but what they had was greater than money and they gave it to the man. They said in the name of the Jesus of Nazareth rise up and walk. You leave out Jesus and you don’t have a cure. Same in salvation, you leave out Jesus, as many religions do, and you have no salvation.
The Bible indicates the cure was instant. For immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. Verse 7. This is also a fact about salvation. It doesn’t take weeks going through some lessons. I believe lessons after salvation will speed the process of growth but don’t in itself save anyone. As soon as confession is made, a person is saved.
The cure wasn’t partial. It wasn’t one leg for one day then on down the road the other leg healed. This cure was absolutely complete for he was seen walking, and leaping.
When Jesus saves it is sufficient. The church of Rome wants to add Purgatory, others want to add church membership, baptism, and the doing of good deeds. But when Jesus saves, he does a complete job.
We not only notice the condition and the cure of the cripple but also HIS CONFIRMATION. Verse 8 says he was walking and leaping. Peter and John did not have to go around trying to convince the people the man was healed. It was evident in the man’s behavior.
A true salvation will show plainly. It showed in both his walk and his talk. That is where salvation is evidenced the best in our walk and our talk. I believe true salvation we will see it in man’s walk to his church. One who claims to be saved and never finds his footprint in the church becomes a suspect. “You shall know them by their fruit.”
The healed man was praising God as a result of his healing. His lips and legs honored God. It doesn’t take long for true salvation to show in a person lips. John Butler says, “if you claim to have faith in Christ and people around you cannot tell it by the way you talk, you probably do not have it.” “He who has little honor for God in his lips gives little evidence of salvation.” I agree don’t you?