Summary: In the Bible disease and sickness often pictures sin and healing is a picture of salvation. The story of the healing of the lame man suggests many parallels to coming to faith in Christ. This salvation sermon look at his healing from this point of view.
The Power of His Name
August 10, 2014
TEXT: Acts 3:1-11 – “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 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, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. 11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.”
The Bible often pictures disease and infirmity as a visual picture of sin and healing its results as a picture of salvation. Our text today provides us with as a perfect picture of salvation as I know of. As well as any story in the Bible, it paints the picture of our condition without God, our inability to save ourselves, the way of salvation, and what happens when a person is saved.
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.” (verse 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 our spiritual healing:
I. NOTE FIRST THAT THIS LAME BEGGAR WAS IN A DESPERATE CONDITION
1) Verse 2 tells us that he was born lame.
He was born with a debilitating handicap—he COULD NOT WALK. But he didn’t BECOME incapacitated later in life. Luke says 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 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 2b says, “…whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple…” 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, enthusiasm, or by giving to pay doctors, or buy cures or medicine.
Like this beggar, we too are powerless to save ourselves from the handicap of sin. No amount of self-effort, sincerity, good intentions, tithing, or religious enthusiasm can help us save ourselves. Our condition is too desperate. We’re literally HELPLESS to do ANYTHING to save ourselves from God’s judgment and make us righteous before God.
Romans 5:6, 8 says, “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.”
3) Note thirdly that this beggar was outside the temple – Verse 2
Physically, he was outside the place where God met with mankind. He was separated from God because of his condition, though right beside the door. Spiritually, before we encounter Christ in salvation, WE TOO are separated from God—no matter how close or far away 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.”