Monday, June 19, 2023

            In the latter portion of Acts 2, Peter spoke to a crowd of onlookers that had witnessed his healing of a man who had been born lame.  The Bible says that “all the people were astonished and came running to them” (Acts 3:11).  Completely understandable—not every day that you see a miracle that makes a lame man walk as good as new.  Peter seized the occasion to preach the gospel.  For the next fifteen verses, Paul preached a powerful message that connected Jesus to the patriarchs, prophets and promises of God.  He told the crowd that the “gospel” was not some scandalous cult or half-baked philosophy that mixed up a lot of different parts and pieces.  Not at all.  The gospel message of Jesus grew out of God’s earliest work with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Acts 3:13).  In his own words, Peter reached five important conclusions about Jesus and the gospel for the crowd to consider.
            First, Peter declared that God had chosen His Son to be the means for Israel’s salvation.  Peter said, “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go” (Acts 3:13).  While much of Israel rejected Jesus, the Father had made the Son the Savior that the people desperately needed.  God gave the best He could give—His only begotten Son.  Peter wanted the crowd to know that He was acting in the authority and power entrusted to him by the Father through Jesus.  Twice, Peter used the pronoun “you.”  God had chosen His Son but Israel had rejected and disowned their own Messiah.  Because God alone is God, He gets to set the terms for our salvation and for whom He has chosen to be His Messiah.  And what an amazing choice that the Father made!
            Second, Peter maintained that life was found in Christ and Christ alone.  To have a meaningful and fulfilled life, one had to know Christ in a real and personal way.  Peter preached, “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this” (Acts 3:15).  If the crowd that had just witnessed that miracle wanted life, then they had to look no further than Christ alone.  The world could not silence Christ and Satan could not keep Him in the grave.  Since He is life itself, Jesus could bring healing and hope to this crippled man.  Christ alone possessed the power to heal and to bring fulfillment to all lives.  Peter said, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see” (Acts 3:16).  New life comes from Christ.  Healing comes from Christ.  Miracles come from Christ.  Changed lives come from Christ.  As Paul wrote, “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36).
            Third, Peter issued a call to conversion.  He knew that the onlooking crowd was ripe for saving.  He did not waste the moment or lose the moment.  He took his chance and called those who were listening to repentance and salvation.  Peter preached, “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:17-19).  Repent means to turn around and to change directions.  To turn to God means we have given up other ways and other things.  We are trusting Him alone and looking to Him alone.  Those “times of refreshing” are forgiveness and assurance that we belong to Him alone.  We learn from Peter’s example to make the most of every opportunity when we can share the gospel with someone else.  Those moments may never come again.  Someone could easily pass away before another chance is possible.  We must always be ready to share the gospel and call people to a relationship with Jesus.
            Fourth, Peter spoke about the way that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of Israel in Acts 3:22-25.  God acts with purpose and foresight.  He knows where He is leading and guiding history.  Jesus fulfilled not just a few prophecies or ten or twenty.  He perfectly fulfilled every one—from His birth to His resurrection.  The only remaining prophecy is His return to bring history to conclusion and fulfillment.  The prophets always teach us to know, with confidence, that God is at work.  He is not still or paralyzed.  He is at work.  God’s patience is not indicative of indifference or apathy.  God always works with eternity in mind. And, in the fullness of time, God brought forth His Son in keeping with the prophecies found in Scripture (Galatians 4:4).
            And fifth, Peter spoke of Jesus’ return to the earth.  He said, “Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets” (Acts 3:21).  The Lord will return.  We believe He was crucified.  He rose from the dead.  And He will come again.  Or in simple form, crucified, risen and coming again.  Peter guaranteed to that crowd that they would see Jesus again.  They would welcome Him as their Savior or stand before Him as their final judge.  But they would see Him.  Christ would return for His people and establish His kingdom for a thousand years.
            In His own words, Peter gave this crowd of onlookers, gawkers and curiosity-seekers every reason to come to faith in Christ.  The gospel message had been prophesied long ago, fulfilled in Christ, preached by witnesses and changing anyone who heard and believed.  It still changes us today if we heed Peter’s words.  Have a great Monday and remember you can share our worship at any time at   

No Comments





Acts Bible Communion Cross God's will God\'s will God Gospels Holy Spirit Holy Week Jesus Joseph Lent Peter Reformation Satan accountability action advent all saints allegory anger anxiety apologetics atonement awareness awe backsliding baptism beginning beloved betrayal bitterness blessing born again burden burnout calling care change character chistmas choices christian living christmas church history church circumcision comfort commitment community compassion complacency confession confidence consequences contentment control conversation cost courage creation death debt deception decisions deliverance denial dependence depth desire despair determination devotion direction discernment discipleship discouragement dishonesty disobedience distractions doctrine doubt dreams eagerness emotion encouragement end times endurance equality eternal life eternity evangelism evil example facing battles faithful living faithfulness faith family fatigue fear fellowship focus follow foreshadowing forgiveness foundation freedom friends fruit of the Spirit future generosity gifts giving glory goodness gospel grace grateful gratitude greed grit growth guidance guilt halloween happiness healing heart heaven help history holiday holiness home honesty hope humble humility identity impossible incarnation inspiration instruction integrity intentional jealousy journey joy judgment justice justification kindness kingdom knowing God lament law leadership lead lies life listening love martin luther maturity measure memorial memories mentoring mercy messiah minor prophets miracles missions mission mistakes motives mountaintops mourning music nation nativity nature new year new next generation obedience obstacles offering omniscience opportunity opposition overcoming parenting passion path patience peace pentecost persecution perseverence perspective plan poetry power praise prayer preparation presence pressure pride priorities process prodigal progress promise prophecy protection provision psalm purpose rebellion reconcile redemption refuge rejoice relationship remember remembrance renewal renown repentance resentment resolution restoration rest resurrection return revenge revival righteousness risk sacrifice sadness salt salvation sanctification scripture second coming seeking God self-control serenity sermon service shame sharing silence sincerity sin solitude sorrow sovereignty spiritual disciplines standard star stewardship storms strength struggle stubbornness stuck submission success suffering surrender talents talking temple temptation ten commandments testimony testing thankfulness thankful thanksgiving theology time tithes tough times traditions transfiguration trials trinity troubles trust truth veterans victory vision waiting warning weakness wisdom wise men witness wonder work worship