The Book of Acts Chapter 3 Part 2
Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that Christians should be witnesses everywhere they go. Today, we hope to discuss the message that accompanied the healing of the lamb man.
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Read Acts 3:11-26
2. The Message. Peter talks to the crowd that gathers because of the healed man, in this section of the book of Acts. He talks to them about how their actions were based on their ignorance and led to Jesus being crucified.
However, God used their actions to fulfill prophesy, and God raised Jesus from the dead. If the people would repent or turn to God then Jesus would be closer to coming back.
- The purpose of miracles. Notice in vss. 11-13, of this section of the book of Acts, 16 that Peter was clear that the miracles that were just performed were not from his own power.
The miracles were from God. Furthermore, the miracles were for the sake of getting people to pay attention and believe what God was doing.
First, we should be careful about putting too much stock in people. God, not people, is the giver of everything that is good. A clear realization of this will help us stay faithful, when people disappoint our expectations.
Second, we should make sure that we don't get the big head, when God uses us as instruments of His good works. Without God, all of our good works would cease.
Third, we should work to help people move past the show to the substance – past miracles to the Master's plan and message. Shouting is good, but living by what we are supposed to be shouting about is better.
Let's work on keeping our focus on learning and obeying God's will. Miracles and good works are tools to be used to get people to obey God.
- The purpose of suffering. Notice in vss. 13-18, of this section of the book of Acts, that Jesus was exactly who He was supposed to be, and yet He was killed by His own.
First, no matter how saved and holy we strive to be, we can expect some rough times in our lives. Second, God used the wicked ignorance of people for the good of His plan.
It can be very difficult to remember, when things are rough in our lives, but we should try to remember that God is working all things out for the good of His people.
Third, we should strive to make sure we are not like the wicked ignorant people who killed Jesus. A lack of prayerful study with a mind to obey accompanied by a profession to be a Christian puts us high on the devil's list of people to use.
Let's work on trusting God to work our suffering out for good, and let's make sure we don't let the devil use us, in his plans.
- Repentance. Notice in vss. 17-19 that Peter urges the men and his brothers to repent of their sins. In this section of the book of Acts, Peter was not simply telling a story, nor trying to comfort people with human efforts.
Peter was trying to help the people see that they had sinned, but they now have the opportunity to repent and be right with God. This is the task of the church today.
We are not called to simply produce students of the Bible. We are not called to simply make people feel good. We are called to help people turn to God from their wicked ways. Some need help seeing the wickedness of their ways.
Others need help seeing God. And yet others need help with turning. The church – the disciples who make up the congregation – are to be God's agents in helping people repent.
Let's work on helping people repent with not only clear words but also with exemplary lives. There are many who cannot hear what we saying, when our lives are in contradiction to what we are saying.
Notice Peter's moving from "men" in vs. 12 to "brothers" in vs. 17. There are times when we have to appeal to relationships or whatever may be effective to gain a hearing. Flexibility can be helpful in helping people repent.
- Hearing and obeying God's prophet. Notice in vss. 22-23 of this section of the book of Acts that the prophets were to be listened to and obeyed. The prophets were both forth tellers (i.e., exhorters) and foretellers (i.e., speak of the future).
Their significant roles have never included that of entertainer. And they were not comforting to those who were either ignorant of rebellious towards God's word and will. The prophets were messengers of God who were to be obeyed.
In like manner, God is still sending "forth tellers" for the people of God to listen to and obey. The best way to discern God's will is to compare what is in question with the word of God.
This obviously calls for our being familiar with God's word. We like those in the text are heirs of God's word and will. In a sense we have the prophets and covenant, in what we call the Bible.
We surely have the sovereign plan of God. Let's demonstrate appreciation for God's forth tellers by hearing and obeying the word of God.
We must grow up and stop expecting those whom God sends to accommodate what we want. We must learn to deny ourselves and dedicate ourselves to following divine directions (i.e., discipleship).
- Plan A. Notice in vs. 26 that the Jews has first shot at the gospel of Jesus Christ. First, notice the longsuffering kindness of God.
In spite of the Jew's killing His Son, the Father loved them enough to send them a preacher to tell them how to be saved. Second, we will learn that when the Jews don't accept the gospel, God sends the preachers to those who will.
Let's demonstrate our appreciation for the gospel, by living by God's will. No matter what we say, our actions speak louder than our words.
Instead of tempting God to send our messengers to those who are more receptive, with our slowfulness and disobedience, we should give ourselves wholeheartedly to loving God and loving others as we love ourselves.
Conclusion: Let's work on being witnesses everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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