ACTS CHAPTER THREE
Witnessing by Miracle and Message
Suggested Teaching Objectives:
1. To teach the importance of prayer and of being Spirit filled.
2. To show the terrible condition of lost people.
3. To show how to be saved.
4. To show that God works through us in leading souls to Christ.
5. To show the effect of a true conversion on the populace.
6. To show that salvation is for Jew and Gentile.
7. To create a desire in the pupils to witness boldly like Peter.
8. To create a desire in the pupils to know the scriptures like Peter.
Introduction: In order to keep our thinking straight on the matter of Bible miracles, let us remember the purpose for which the power of working miracles was given. In Mark 16:19-20, we read,"and confirming the words with signs following." In John 20:30-31, "that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through His name". In Acts 2:22, "A man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs." The power to work miracles was the credentials of those to whom the message was given by God. Here we see the actual fulfillment of the words of the above scriptures. As related in Mark 16:20, God is confirming, authenticating the work of these apostles until Christianity is established and the scriptures are completed. I Corinthians. 13:8-10.
I. The Miracle -- Vs.1-10
1. The Sinner -- Vs. 1-3.
Verse 1 - Going to a place of prayer is always "up", though it may be in a cellar. Ninth hour is 3:00 P.M.
Verse 2 - The man was over 40. Acts 4:22. This one pictures sinners. A certain man - All are known by God. His condition - "lame from birth". Cf. Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:19;3:12. His helpfulness -"carried." Romans 5:6. His poverty - "begged." Romans 5:6-10; James 1:17.
Verse 3 - It was commendable that he asked something of God's men.
2. The Saved Servant's Witness -- Vs.4-6.
Verse 4-6 - There are valuable things that silver and gold can't buy and one of them is salvation. Romans 6:23. The name "Jesus Christ" means all He is. Jesus is Christ (the long promised Messiah, God). He who by faith comes to Him always receives more than he asks. Vs.2,5,7. Note these were men of prayer and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
3. The Salvation. -- Vs. 7-10.
Verse 6-7 - Human instruments were active. This is God's plan. Not by angels, but by saved sinners is the work of Christ to be done. Do you use your hands for Christ and lift up the fallen as Peter did? The cure was immediate. Salvation is instantaneous. John 5:24; 10:9.
The cure was complete just as salvation is. John 10:28-30; 6:37.
Verse 8-10 - The cure was evident to all. He praised god. He was a new creation.
II Corinthians.5:17. The people were amazed. Was your salvation evident to others? Was your life transformed when you were saved so that all could see the difference?
II. The Message -- V.11-26
Verse 11 - This sermon of Peter's was delivered to an anxious and amazed audience. The lame man walking and praising God had created great excitement. Christ from on high was continuing through human instrumentality, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that, which He "began both to do and teach", as recorded in the Gospels.
Verse 12 - The work wasn't human. They were only instruments.
Verse 13 - The work was of God. The covenant keeping God (God of Abundance), the miracle working (God of Isaac), prayer answering (God of Jacob), and the Glorified Son of God.
Verse 14-15 -Notice that Peter accused them of putting Christ to death (they were guilty of Deicide; Cf .Vs.15) and denying God Himself by refusing to desire Him. Peter testified that he had seen Jesus after the resurrection.
Verse 16 - Peter's explanation of the man's healing was Christ-honoring. By faith in Christ (by confidence and trust in Christ) this man was given this perfect soundness. By faith, we are all saved. John 3:16; Roman.5:1.
Verse 17-18 -Their appalling ignorance. Christ had fulfilled the Old Testament scriptures and they had been ignorant of these truths. Ignorance is no excuse for lawlessness and will not be a valid excuse in the day of Judgment.
Verse 19 - Repent. Change your mind about Christ. Accept Him as Messiah and Saviour by faith as this lame man had done. Vs.16. Repentance and Faith are necessary for salvation. Cf. Acts 20:21; Luke 13:3. When this is done, sins are blotted out. Acts 13:38.
Verse 19-20 - "When the times of" is noted by C. I .Scofield as "that so may come times of refreshing from the face of the Lord, and (that) He may send.....Jesus Christ".
Verse 21-25 - What a marvelous sweep through the prophetic scriptures. Jesus must be retained in Heaven until the appointed time of which God had previously spoken through the lips of His Holy Prophets. They spoke of His present day (Acts 2:17,18,21). God sent Jesus to the Jews first, so that every one of them might be saved from their iniquities. God loved and loves the Jew. Now the message is to all, both Jew and Gentile. Cf. Roman. 1:16; 3:29,30; I Corinthians. 1:21-24; Roman.10;12-13.
Conclusion: As a result of Peter's boldness in witnessing to an individual (he did personal work) a man was gloriously changed. This led to an opportunity to publicly declare to lost men and women the gospel and their need of Jesus. Due to a man's being miraculously changed and Peter's bold, Christ honoring preaching, 5,000 men were saved. Acts 4:4. The same God is working today but He desires to work only through human instrumentation. We are His instruments. If we will witness like Peter (living like Peter, as a pray-er, as a Spirit-filled person) then God will use us. Souls will be saved and Christ will be exalted. Are you willing to serve Christ like Peter?