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Summary: Peter and John heal a crippled man. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

The Activity - Prayer (vs 1)

The Place – Beautiful Gate (vs 2)

The Request – Money (vs 3)

The Miracle – Salvation (vs 6-8)

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

• What’s in a name?

• List of celebrities actual birth names try to guess their celebrity name.

One of the emphasis in Acts chapters 3 and 4 is on the name of Jesus:

• There are 8 very strong references to it;

• (3:6, 3:16, 4:7, 4:10, 4:12, 4:17, 4:18, 4:30)

• i.e. chapter 3 verse 6:

• “Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.

• In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

• i.e. chapter 3 verse 66: “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see”.

• A name can be much more than identification;

• It can carry authority, reputation and power.

Ill:

• If I gave signed my name to an order at 10 Downing Street (that’s if I could get in),

• It would probably be ignored.

• If Nick Clegg signed the order it would still probably be ignored!

• But if David Cameron signed the order;

• Those who received it would be obliged to obey.

• My name has no official authority behind it;

• But David Cameron being Prime Minister his name has authority behind it.

In this chapter Peter & John will act on a higher authority – the name of Jesus!

• To act on their own authority would be foolish;

• Not even the greatest doctor in the world can heal a man by just using his voice.

• So the disciples must act in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (ultimate authority).

(1). The activity - Prayer (Vs 1):

“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer at three in the afternoon.”

Acts 2:46 says that the Christians were meeting in the temple area on a daily basis.

• So it is not uncommon to see Peter and John going to the temple to pray.

• Remember for the new Christians this is a transition period; a learning curve;

• Jesus has just returned to heaven and the Church has just been born.

• The very first Christians were all converted Jews;

• And so they were still observing many Jewish religious customs.

• It would take years before a clear distinction would form between the two;

• And Christians would discover that which is in Judaism;

• Has now been fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Now for devout Jews there were three special hours of prayer;

• 9a.m., 12 midday and 3p.m.

• Prayer for the Jew was always meaningful;

• But they felt prayers in the Temple courts were especially heard by God.

Application:

• Prayer is a good habit to cultivate.

• Just as bad habits affect our lives so do good habits.

• Quote:

• “Bad habits are like comfortable beds—easy to get into but hard to get out of.”

Ill:

• Talking of bad habits I did hear the story of an elderly couple:

• The wife proudly boasted that; “She had cured her husband of biting his nails”

• When someone asked her; “How did you manage to do that”

• “Simple” she answered; “Every morning I hide his teeth”.

• Don’t forget:

• Just as bad habits shape our lives negatively; Good habits shape our lives positively!

Quote:

“Habit is a cable;

we weave a thread of it every day,

bad habits will hold us in bondage, good habits will support us through life”.

Prayer is a good habit that the Christian must cultivate – but remember that:

“If the request is wrong, God says, "No."

If the timing is wrong, God says, "Slow."

If you are wrong, God says, "Grow."

But if the request is right, the timing is right, and you are right,

God says ‘Go!’”

• “If the request is wrong, God says, "No."”

• This is when we ask a miss – that is out of the will of God

• “If the timing is wrong, God says, "Slow."”

• This is when there are other things that need to happen before the answer comes.

• God's delay is not God's denial.

• “If you are wrong, God says, "Grow."”

• The answer does not come because you are not ready to handle it.

• “But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, "Go!"”

• This is promise fulfilled and Heaven coming down to earth.

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