Summary: A sermon on Acts 3:16, 19 (Adapted from Charles Spurgeon Sermon on Acts 3:19)
Sermon for 4/28/2002
For years, the opening of "The Wide World of Sports" television program illustrated "the agony of defeat" with a painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure. This reminds me of my skiing adventures
What viewers didn’t know was that he chose to fall rather than finish the jump. Why? As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down the ramp, he realized if he completed the jump, he would land beyond the safe landing area, which could have been fatal. As it was, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble. To change one’s course in life can be a dramatic and sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than a fatal landing at the end.
A. Song- Peter and John went to pray. They met a lame man on the way. He held out his palm and asked for an alm and this is what Peter did say, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I have give I thee, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." He went walking and leaping and praising God, walking and leaping and praising God. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
B. Peter begins to speak a powerful message on the gospel, centered on Christ.
C. He immediately takes the people’s attention off of himself and his brother John. Put it on Jesus Christ. What a great opportunity to proclaim Christ. Vs. 12
D. We should not boast save in the cross of Christ.
E. Peter would tell them about Jesus Christ, and about nothing else but Jesus Christ. Vs. 13-15, 17-18.
F. Vs. 16 in our series on the 3:16’s of the Bible.
1. It is through the name of Jesus Christ that men are made strong.
2. Two fold thrust here:
a. The messenger, the healer must have faith in the Name.
1) One politician said of a fellow politician, "That man will go far for he believes every word he says."
2) One of the reasons for the slow progress, the lack of advancing in the church, is that the Church does not half believe its own Gospel.
3) Told of a young man who was healed of a brain tumor. Had many people praying for him. When he was miraculously healed through simple faith in God, many of those same people did not believe it. They even spread slanderous reports that he made the whole thing up when the doctors had records of these brain tumors.
4) Many people are just going through the motions in the church. They do not really believe in the teachings of the Bible. If they did, then the church would be on fire.
5) Many times God does not do great things because of our unbelief. Jesus could not do great things in his hometown because of their unbelief. Are we becoming this way?
b. The one hearing, the one asking for help, must have faith in the Name.
1) We don’t know much about the lame man and his faith. Peter seems to indicate that he had some faith in God. He was walking, leaping and praising God.
2) The Bible, the church, Jesus Christ, they are no good unless we have a personal faith.
3) No one inherits his or her faith; it must be theirs personally.
G. Vs. 19 is the thrust, the challenge, and the invitation.
H. Whether we have known it or not, the messages over the last month have been very evangelistic. This message is no different.
Thesis: We see four applications or challenges to the non-Christian (and to the Christian) in this verse.
I. And the first is this, that THE APOSTLE Told MEN to REPENT AND BE CONVERTED.
1. To change one’s mind.
2. "Repentance is to leave The sins we loved before, And show that we in earnest grieve, By doing so no more."
3. Repentance is a part of conversion.
4. Literally it means here to repent and turn. Make a U-turn.
5. We want to make a change from our sinful, old ways and become new. We have sorrow and feel bad for our sins. We want to change so we look to Jesus Christ, through His Holy Spirit at baptism, to help us to change our ways.
6. The apostle Peter, addressing the crowd, said to them, "Change your minds; be sorry for what you have done; forsake your old ways; be turned; become new men."
7. Some times men’s sins find them out. This is not so bad. It can lead to their conversion. However, there are some people who have repentance but it does not lead to conversion. Think of Judas. He did not throw himself on God’s mercy.