I am excited to offer you a video Bible study of the Book of Acts, and I invite you to watch the video of “Being the Church” on Youtube OR Vimeo . . . for Vimeo, see the link in the Blogroll in the right column on my blog screen. Just as with my sermons, I’ll post notes to accompany each Bible study video. The video should be up June 20, 2017.
Session 7 — Acts 3 (whole chapter)
Verse 1 — Peter and John were going up to the Temple at 3 p.m., the hour of prayer during which many people came to pray. Peter and John were there every day, proclaiming Jesus as the Christ (Acts 2:46).
Verse 2 —A man who had been lame from his mother’s womb (he was more than 40 years old, per Acts 4:22) was brought every day to Gate Beautiful in order to beg for money to live on, from those who were entering the Temple. He begged because he had no income or means. There were no wheelchairs, no access for the disabled, no jobs for them in those days.
Verses 3-5 — He saw Peter and John, and asked for alms. But Peter and John fixed their gaze on him, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The man looked up, expecting alms.
He didn’t get what he asked for! He had no idea that Peter and John were ambassadors of the God of more than enough (see Matthew 14:19-20).
Verse 6 — Peter told the man that he didn’t have what the man was looking for. He had no silver or gold. “But what I do have I give to you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, WALK!” Peter had the power of God inside him, since He was filled with the Spirit at Pentecost!
Verse 7 — Peter seized the lame man’s hand and raised him up! And IMMEDIATELY the man’s feet and ankles were strengthened! IMMEDIATELY! No waiting, no rejection, but an instantaneous miracle that only God could do!
Verse 8 — With a leap — the formerly lame beggar was truly strengthened —the man stood upright and began to walk for the first time in his life! And as a lame man, he would have been banned from the Temple (Leviticus 21:18), so, for the first time in his life, he entered the Temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God! IMMEDIATELY! WALKING! LEAPING! PRAISING!
Verses 9-11 — ALL the people saw him walking and praising God, and were bewildered and dumbfounded. They knew this beggar. What had happened? It had to be God! And so what did the people do? They RAN together toward Peter and John!
Verse 12-15 — Peter’s response:
— It was not by John’s or my power or piety that the man is healed
— But my God and your God has glorified His Servant/Son Jesus (Isaiah 49:6) who you delivered and disowned in Pilate’s presence, even though Pilate wanted to release Him (Matthew 27:16-17)! He tells them frankly and bluntly that they killed God’s Son.
— He says “YOU put to death the Author of life (the first One to offer it)
— But God raised Him from the dead and we have seen Him risen! We are eyewitnesses!
Verse 16 — Peter explains how the man became healed:
— On the basis of John’s and Peter’s faith in the name of Jesus (not the beggar’s faith, for he was only expecting money).
— In the name of Jesus (John 16:24) until now, they had not asked in this way, but when they soon would, the Father would do it!
What did Peter mean? Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit had filled them! His character/reputation (His name), and His faith (one of the fruits of the Spirit, per Galatians 5:22-23), were literally in them!
Verse 17 — “But you acted ignorantly, and so did your leaders.” They thought they were serving God by killing Jesus (John 16:2), believing He was a blasphemer (Matthew 26:65) because He said God was His Father, thus making Himself equal with God (John 5:18).
Verse 18 — But God announced all of this through the mouth of His prophets in the Old Testament (Isaiah 53, Malachi 4:2, Zechariah, Abraham in Genesis 22:18, and many other references). His Christ had to suffer, and His suffering has been fulfilled.
Verses 19-20 — Therefore repent! Return! Your sins will be wiped away and God will give you times of refreshing (a moment in time, the Greek kairos, of revival), and once you have repented and returned and been forgiven, the Father will sends Jesus to be IN YOU — filled with the Holy Spirit!
And Peter, the one who flunked rabbi school and was advised to apprentice as a fisherman with his father, reasons in the scriptures, once again —
Verse 21 — Heaven had to receive Jesus, until it is time for His return (1Thessalonians 4:13-18, Acts 1:11), for the restoration of all things (Revelation 19:11-16, 21:1).
Verses 22-25 — Even Moses, whom the Jewish leaders revered, wrote of Him in Deuteronomy 18:15, saying those who did not heed Him would be utterly destroyed.
And all the prophets, from Samuel onward (Samuel by way of David, a who was a type and forefather of Jesus), announced these things. Nathan, in 2Samuel 7:12-16, spoke far beyond Solomon’s reign. Even God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 22:18 and 26:4 spoke of Jesus Christ. Paul confirms it in Galatians 3:26.
Verse 26 — For you first (the Gentiles — non-Jews — were offered Jesus on a large scale after He was first offered to the Jews) . . . For you first, God raised up His Servant/Son (see Romans 1:16, and the same for judgment in Romans 2:16)!
For what purpose? To bless you by turning you from your wicked ways!
What is God’s blessing for you, beloved? It is to turn you from your wicked ways.
It is not your best life now, money power, and success. Turn away from those who teach such things.
It is to be saved from the very wrath of God, reconciled to God, and then to be filled with His Holy Spirit so may become part of “Being the Church!”