6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: When we know the whole story about the human condition, we can fully appreciate how good the Good News really is.

Overview of last week. Overview of chapter: set the drama.

From "happy ship church" to crashing on waves of persecution.

The events of chapter 3 will lead directly to persecution. Peter and John get arrested for this healing and their preaching.

Healing of the Lame Beggar (v. 1--10)

There is a huge crowd, Peter preaches a sermon (v. 11) While the lame beggar clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s.

V. 13-15 Describes what they did--they had delivered Jesus over and denied him in the presence of Pilate, asked for a murderer instead, and killed the author of life, whom God raised from the dead.

"To this we are witnesses" (v. 15)

"you acted in ignorance." (V. 17)

What is Peter doing?

2 main things:

1. Bad news; 2. Good news

I. Bad News

He is preaching the bad news before the good news; the law before the gospel.

Asking them to admit this bad news, submit to it and then repent.

But why should they submit to this bad news, and admit their guilt? Because of God’s authority!

V.18, Key verse: "But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that this Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. "

God foretold; it was God who has written the Scriptures that the people in Acts 2 are observing. Peter is asking the crowd to submit to this authority, the authority of God who foretells the acts of history, whose revelation has broken into OUR STORY here on earth. He is asking them to bend their will to His.

Notice how Peter starts his sermon with the bad news--he wants them to feel their guilt, shame and sin. He is preaching what Calvinists call the Law.

Even back then people did not want to admit their sin, or that God was the Author of life.

Example of Jesse

He is an anarchist. Does not really believe in ethics.

The modern world does not want "right" or "wrong," but as soon as they are wronged they appeal to justice. As soon as you give up truth you should have no right to be angry at anyone for doing wrong.

Peter shows us two things about this kind of truth.

(V.18) "But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled."

It is possible to find final truth.

He does not say that they foretold but that God foretold.

(4:25,26) "who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

"’Why did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed’ "

Words of God through David

They kept their personality, but it is clear that God spoke through them via the Holy Spirit. Psalm 2 is the word of God through David. The Bible is truth from God.

Why is this important that Scripture is truth from God not just about God?

Answer: There will not be greatness or wholeness in your life if you don’t have a Bible that is true, which you have to obey.

People want values, but must discover them by themselves.

Illustration: song lyrics from book on tape (One Night in Frog Town)

"you are all alone

With no place to call home

There’s nowhere left to roam

No one to turn to now

No one’s going to show you how

"But don’t be afraid to sing your song

When it comes from inside

It won’t be wrong

Just listen to your heart

Feel it getting strong

"The night can be so cold and blue

The moonlight hidden from view

No one to help you through

"But inside there is a place

Where tears disappear without a trace

So feel the rain falling on your face

And let your music play

Washing all your fears away."

Lots of parents don’t want to indoctrinate their kids with their morality: "I can’t tell you what is right or wrong but you can discover it for yourself." But what if the child gets out of the story selfishness? The parent at that point will impose his or her values on the child.

If we get our values by our own experience, we will always make them serve us.

What did Jesus do when he was tempted in the wilderness? Did he look inside to the music of his heart? He said, "it is written..."

When he is in pain on the cross, suffering, he quotes Psalm 22.

It is the base, the foundation of his whole life. He is always going to the Scriptures; what God has said.

In the garden He said, "Not my will by Thine." He did not want to follow God at that moment. It was not about "experience" to find "right and wrong" or he would have gotten out of there.

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