Summary: The story of the healing of the lame man in Acts 3 paints a picture of a person’s condition without God, his inability to save himself, the true way of salvation, and what happens to a person after salvation.
The Power of His Name
TEXT: Acts 3:1-11
Our text provides us with is a perfect picture of salvation. Perhaps as well as any other story in the Bible it paints the picture of our condition without God, our inability to save ourselves, the true way of salvation, and what happens to a person after salvation.
Also, this passage is a beautiful demonstration of the power of Jesus. Peter and John did not have silver or gold to give this poor beggar. What they did have was Jesus Christ and His power to save and heal. Peter said, “...In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6) And rise up and walk he did!
Not only did he rise up and walk. Verse 8 says he was “...walking, and leaping, and praising God”!
Let’s look at these verses and see what they teach us about salvation:
I. NUMBER ONE, NOTE THAT THIS LAME BEGGAR WAS IN A DESPERATE CONDITION.
1. First of all, he was born lame.
Verse 2 says he was “...a certain man lame from his mother’s womb...” He was born with a terrible, debilitating handicap---he COULD NOT WALK. But he didn’t become incapacitated when he was younger. Our text says he was BORN that way; he was “...lame from his mother’s womb...”
In the same way, you and I were born with a handicap. And like the lame beggar, it is a terrible, debilitating handicap. That handicap is called SIN.
Psalm 51:5 says “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Psalm 58:3 tells us “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”
2. Not only was he born lame...note secondly that he was powerless to help himself.
Note verse 2 - “And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful” He had to be carried to the gate of the temple. There was not one thing he could do to help himself. He could not be healed by: self-effort, sincerity, good intentions, religious zeal, or giving (to doctors, or for buying cures, medicine, etc.)
Like the beggar, we too are powerless to save ourselves from the handicap of sin. No amount of self-effort, sincerity, good intentions, tithing, or religious zeal can help you save yourself. Your condition is too desperate. You are literally helpless to do anything to save yourself from your sins and make you righteous before God. Turn with me to Romans 5:6-8 - “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly....8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (EXPAND AS LED)
3. The third thing about this man’s condition was that he was outside the temple. - Verse 2
Physically, he was outside the place where God was. He was separated from God and His people because of his condition, though he was right beside the door. Spiritually, WE TOO are separated from God---no matter how close we are to the door. Listen to the words of Isaiah in Isaiah 59:1-2 - “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (EXPAND AS LED)
4. Fourth, he was a poor beggar.
Look at verse 2c - “...they laid daily at the gate of the temple... [why?---] to ask alms of them that entered into the temple.” If you’re here today without Jesus, you too are a beggar, searching for peace and satisfaction, but you may be searching in all the wrong places.
--Some search for peace and satisfaction in PEOPLE (whether your spouse, your children, or friends) - But people will always let you down.
--Some look to THINGS to give them peace and satisfaction in life - Things like cars, houses, clothes, stereos, etc., but things wear out and become outdated.
--Others think MONEY will bring them joy and happiness. But money never satisfies. Illus. - Someone asked the super-rich, early twentieth-century oil tycoon John D. Rockerfeller, “How much money does it take to be happy?” - His reply: “A little bit more.”
--Some hope for peace and satisfaction in PLEASURE and ENTERTAINMENT and ALCOHOL and DRUGS But all of these are forms of escape from the harsh realities and the problems of life, or a vain search for fun, or pleasure or a thrill---something to fill an empty heart. But when you finish these, you have to face the real world again, and your life again, and your problems again.