How to Maintain Close Fellowship Part 2

Pastor Mike will be speaking on How to Maintain Close Fellowship Part 2. He will be reading out of Acts 2:42-47.

No matter how bleak your circumstances are, I want you to know that there is strength in the Lord and that there is healing power in the Lord. And He may not choose to heal you physically right now, but I promise you He will choose to heal you spiritually right now.

Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders from the Open Door Church. I want to welcome you to our radio broadcast, Hope Worth Having and thank you for being a part of this broadcast. We’re going to be in Acts chapter 3, and we’re going to be learning about how to reach people for Christ.

The Book of Acts is really just a fulfillment of all that Jesus said in Acts chapter 1 and verse 8, in that we are to take the gospel to Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the world. So I want you to grab your Bible and join me as we study together.

And if you have your Bible this morning, I want you to join me in the Book of Acts chapter 3, and this morning we’re going to be covering verses 1 through 10 in Acts chapter 3. And I want to talk to you about how to reach people for Christ.

We live in a unique time, and we live in a unique season, and it is a blessing that so many eyes are upon the birth of our Savior. Yet we understand that’s not the complete story. It is the beginning of the story of a God who loves us, and he did not abandon us, nor did he leave us to ourselves.

Rather, through Christ sending him to this earth as a baby born into this world, he has invaded our world, and he has brought redemption and salvation to us that causes us to rejoice. The birth of Christ is often referred to as the advent of Christ or the coming of Jesus.

celebrate His coming, but we look forward to His second coming. There were doubters about His first coming, and there are doubters about His second coming, but be assured that Jesus is coming. And just as He came the first time, He will fulfill every promise, and He will come the second time.

And He came the first time as a lamb. He came to live a sinless life, to die for our sins, and He came to be resurrected and eventually ascended into heaven. The second time He comes, He’ll be a lion, if you will, in that He will be this King who will come to rule and to come to reign.

He will make every wrong right, and there will be true justice in His kingdom. And it’ll be something that we can rejoice in, and there is so much hope, and there is so much inspiration. When we think in those terms, as we think about those big rocks, those big pictures of what Christ is doing, and that helps motivate us as we live in the day-to-day, as we’re striving to make a difference for Christ.

And God has called us in this beautiful season to reach people for Him. We come to the book of Acts chapter 3. We are reminded that Christianity was founded upon miracles. Think about that. The incarnation of Christ is simply the coming of Jesus.

That is Jesus Christ miraculously, as God Himself was born of a virgin, came into this world. We think of the atoning work of Christ as a miracle, that after He lived a sinless life, Jesus was qualified to obey all the commands of the Old Testament, that He as the sinless Savior went to the cross and miraculously took upon our sins, past, present, and future.

He paid the price, the penalty for our sins, and by faith, we can receive the grace of God, the forgiveness of God, and the redemption of God. The miracle of the resurrection after Christ was crucified three days later, He rose again.

For 40 days He was upon this earth training, equipping, and developing His apostles, helping them to connect the dots to understand the kingdom of God, that it was not to be a physical kingdom at this time, but a spiritual kingdom.

After helping them to understand the launching and the inception of the church would be the vehicle that God would use as a platform for His glory and the advancement of His gospel, the good news of salvation to all who believe in Jesus Christ.

The Bible teaches us that Jesus ascended into heaven. And so then the disciples, as they were gazing and staring and looking, watching this miraculous ascension into heaven, were told by the angels that, why are you standing here?

Because this same Jesus that you watch and as you see Him leave, this earth is coming back. The disciples became so energized and so excited they remembered the promise that Christ had given them, that they were to wait for the pouring out of the Spirit exactly as they were promised on the day of Pentecost.

The Bible teaches us miraculously as the disciples were praying that the Spirit of God poured out upon them and indwelt in them. What was unique about the pouring out of the Spirit is that before that time in the Old Testament covenant the Spirit came upon His servant.

but never dwelt in His servants. The Spirit of God empowered His servants for tasks, teaching, for responsibilities, but the Spirit of God had never lived in the hearts of those who believe in God.

But from this moment on, the Spirit would live in the New Testament within all who believe in Jesus Christ. And miraculously, the Spirit of God lives in each of our hearts today if we know the Lord Jesus Christ.

And so the Bible tells us that Peter stood up in the fullness of the Spirit, and he spoke, and 3,000 miraculously, 3,000 people came and received the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 ,000 people not just received Him, but were baptized.

What a great miracle. Christianity is founded upon miracles. We come to chapter 3, and we see one of the manifestations of the miracles of God. I want you to understand, and I want you to see the big picture because it’s easy to read Chapter 3 and totally misunderstand the message that God wants us to grasp.

It’s easy to read through the book of Acts, see these miracles unfold, and begin to think wrongly about what God is trying to teach us. So let’s take a moment and first understand that miraculous signs were performed to confirm God’s grace, to confirm that God was working in a new way, and that the Old Testament had come to a conclusion.

Why? Because Christ had fulfilled all that was required in the law. And now the New Covenant, the New Testament had come upon. And in order for God to confirm His message of grace, His message of the gospel, that those who repent and believe in Christ can have eternal life.

In order for him to confirm his messengers, those who were preaching and proclaiming that wonderful gospel of grace, God granted them signs, miracles, and wonders. The Bible tells us that as the apostle Paul was trying to defend his ministry to the Corinthians, who were striving to discredit his ministry, he said to them in 2 Corinthians 12, verse 12, that the distinguishing marks of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance by signs, wonders, and miracles.

When you and I see miracles, even today, we must understand that whether we are reading about these miracles in the Scripture, or whether we are experiencing those miracles or witnessing those miracles, they are a message of confirmation, but they are also a message of promise.

Every miracle has a message, and the miracle is pointing us to the promise of what is to come for all believers in the Millennial Kingdom. The prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 35, describing what it will be like in the Millennial Kingdom, said, Then the eyes of the blind shall be open, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped, and then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing, for water shall burst forth in wilderness and streams in the desert.

When you see a miracle, when you witness a miracle, when you read a miracle, God is not only saying and confirming his message of salvation through Christ and the messengers, but he is confirming what is to come for all who believe in Christ.

When we come to Acts chapter 3, in this moment of the journey of the apostles, as they are establishing the church, and this church is expanding by innumerable numbers we see many are coming to Christ, that all of a sudden there is this great healing of a crippled man.

The healing of this crippled man is a sign. It is a sign of what is to come one day. The apostle Paul, in trying to encourage the Thessalonians, said to them, when he comes, referring to Jesus, on that day, what day?

The day that he comes to establish his kingdom after the tribulation period, that seven-year period where the Antichrist will have rule and reign and create great havoc on this world. And the wrath of God will be poured upon those who have rejected God, and the wrath and the anger of the devil and all of hell will be poured out upon this earth.

It will be a miserable time. Jesus describes it as great anguish. But after that period of seven years under a one-world government and a one-world religious system and a one-world currency system, the Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ will come and he will come on that day.

Paul says to be glorified in his saints and to be admired among all those who believe because our testimony among you was believed. And what will he do? He’ll destroy the antichrist. He’ll destroy the systems of man.

He’ll destroy the governments of this world. And he himself will fulfill all that has been prophesied in the Old Testament about his faith. physical kingdom established in the throne of David as we read to you earlier in our service out of Isaiah chapter 9.

But a part of this millennial kingdom I want you to be encouraged and I want you to remember is that not only will justice finally reign and true peace finally be experienced, but all who believe in Christ will be healed.

We will have new and perfect bodies. In this millennial kingdom, there will be no hospitals, there will be no emergency care, there will be no ambulances and all these people are wonderful and are doing the good work of the Lord here on this earth.

We do not in any way demean, but we know that when Christ comes, He will perfect the body. He will grant us a new body in the millennial kingdom that will never suffer disease. It will never suffer any kind of effects of the sinful world.

It will never have to deal with any of the emotional and mental strongholds that take a grip on the hearts of even believers even now. Paul, giving hope to the Roman believers said, not only that, but we also have the first fruits of the Spirit.

Even we ourselves are grown within ourselves eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Our salvation is first and foremost all about our soul and our spirit that when we die one day our soul and spirit absent from the body would be present with the Lord.

That’s what we desire in our salvation, but can I tell you your salvation extends beyond your soul and spirit to your body? to your body, in that God will take the DNA of your old body and He will raise it up, unite it with your soul and spirit, and this body will be brand new.

This body will be identifiable. This body will be functional, and it will be without sin. There’ll be no selfishness. There’ll be no offenses. This body will function in all of its beautiful designs that God intended, and it will bring glory and majesty to the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.

When I see miracles spoken about in the Scriptures, I am immediately pushed my mind to the promise that one day this is coming, one day the lame will leave, and one day the blind will see, and when I say that, I don’t just mean about a selective few, but all of God’s people will be released.

from the damages of a sinful world. This extends even to those of our brothers and sisters in Christ who wrestle with mental illnesses or mental health issues, emotional struggles, and addictions that have gripped the body and the mind which are a daily battle for many of those who love the Lord Jesus Christ.

What a beautiful thought to think that one day instantaneously they will be released from these strongholds and they will live in the wonderful beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. The physical miracles that we see in the Scriptures by Christ and His followers, the apostles, were simply reminding us of a greater promise.

A promise that one day we will, we will be perfect before Him. It is a reminder of confirmation that one day this message that we have is authentic, that it is the true message of Christ. But as we look into this miracle, it is also a reminder that the greatest wonder of all is when God heals the soul, that when God brings true redemption to the hearts of men and women who believe in Jesus Christ, consider this word saved to be saved is to be made whole.

And that’s what Christ is doing. He is making us whole in our fallen world. We have a world that is filled with morally crippled people, people who are spiritually blind, young and old, who are too weak to stand in the face of all the trials and temptations of this world.

And yet through the powerful healing of the redeeming work of Christ on the cross. He can raise our spirit to the newness of life. He can bring salvation and forgiveness, and he can infuse within our hearts hope and power for today and tomorrow.

No matter how bleak your circumstances are, and no matter how frustrated you’re dealing with your realities, I want you to know that there is strength in the Lord and that there is healing power in the Lord.

And he may not choose to heal you physically right now, but I promise you he will choose to heal you spiritually right now. In God’s wisdom and sovereignty, he chooses to bring healing. We do not deny the physical healing power of God.

We have witnessed it. We have experienced it. We have seen His mighty hand manifest it, but it is only again a reminder of what is to come for all who believe in Christ. As we come to our text in Acts chapter 3, it is with those lenses that we understand and interpret this text.

It is with that wisdom that we come to the text and see what God’s mighty hand is doing. We are introduced to Peter again who has already preached powerfully and 3,000 have responded for salvation and baptism.

We understand that Peter had a commission. He had an assignment from God. Peter was uniquely used by God to build the church that Christ was building. We come to verse 1 of Acts chapter 3. The Bible says, Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour, and a certain man, lame from his mother’s womb, was carried whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple.

Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked for alms or he asked for money. And fixing his eyes on him with John, Peter said, Look at us. So he gave them his attention expecting to receive something from them.

And then Peter said, Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

So he leaped up stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. I want to bring special attention to that phrase that we see in the scriptures that the Apostle Peter gives to us in verse 4.

Look at us. Look at us. Look at us. Look at us as God’s servants. Look at us as God’s ambassadors. Look at us as God’s representatives. And I want you to know that we are called to ask the world to look at us, that we are called to understand that as they look at us, there are things that ought to be seen in us that would help them to understand this great message of salvation.

If we’re to reach people in this season, if we’re to reach our family, if we’re to reach our friends, if we are to reach even strangers that we come in contact with, there are some things that need to be true in our lives so that we can reach people for Christ.

Number one is that our faith must exceed our finances. We come back to verse six and we see that Peter said, silver and gold, I do not have, but what I do have, I give you in the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.

Now, we’re told in this story, in this narrative, that Peter and John were heading up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour, which simply means around three o ‘clock. What is interesting is that even though the apostles were leading the charge of transitioning the inception of the New Covenant and the New Testament and the closing of the Old Covenant, they still were attending the prayer services that were required at the temple.

The Jewish people gathered three times a day at the temple. Can you imagine what that would be like? But they gathered together and they would pray. Peter and John recognize the significance of that and recognizing the importance of prayer, the Bible says that they went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer.

And so as they are headed to the temple and are ready to start praying to God Almighty, they are encountered by a certain man, who the Bible says in verse 2, was lame from his mother’s womb. He had a serious defect.

He was lame from birth. It only underscores the condition, because this lame man is a representation. He is an illustration of the plight of all people. We know that this man has been lame not only from his mother’s birth but that he is around 40 years of age.

When we flip over to Acts chapter 4 and verse 22, Peter and John are called before the Sanhedrin to give an account of this miraculous moment that took place in the life of the man. And in their description, they said in verse 22 of chapter 4 that the man was over 40 years old, on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

Again, an amazing truth here as we understand that this man’s plight was from his birth, reminding us that each and every one of us is born into this world spiritually lame and that we are all born sinners.

The Scripture says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter your status in life. And it doesn’t matter how much you have achieved in life.

We all come into this world as sinners. That’s one of the greatest things you can learn as a parent. is that if you would understand that your child is a sinner in need of a Savior, all the battles that you have, all the struggles of trying to deal with the will of this young person who wants to follow their own heart and their own ways are all summed up in that one truth that they are born into this world sinful and selfish just like you and I, and they are in need of salvation and redemption just like you and I, they are in need of their heart to be sanctified through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That’s why when you discipline your children, it’s not just about dealing with behavior modification, it’s not just that I want them to change what they do, but I want them to change their hearts.

The call of every parent is not to just figure out how I can make this person into a moral person, how I can make this person into somebody who listens to what I say and does what I say, but the call of every mom and dad is to shepherd the heart of their children.

It is to make sure that all discipline gets back to the heart and their relationship with God and their relationship with others. Why is that? Because it doesn’t matter who we are, it doesn’t matter how beautiful we are, it doesn’t matter how good we are, the Bible teaches us that we are born into this world sinful and it is that sin that cripples us, it makes us beggars, it is that sin that paralyzes us.

Now the Bible tells us that this lame man that he was at the gate of the temple, I’m in verse 2, which is called beautiful. It is called beautiful. This temple gate, you understand that the temple had several gates around it and this man was brought to the beautiful gate, which was the most majestic entrance of all the temple entrances.

One scholar described this as beautiful. it as artistic excellence. This beautiful gate was so majestic, so beautiful, so beyond comprehension, and it was something that was very much an attraction of people to come and not only see but as they were coming to the temple to practice their faith or to practice their prayers and offer up their sacrifices unto God.

This beautiful gate is where the lame man was. Again, the beautiful gate, a picture of religion, a picture of how it doesn’t matter how majestic religion is, it doesn’t matter how beautiful religion is, it doesn’t matter how much religion may make you feel, it cannot save your soul.

that this majestic, beautiful, artistic gate that this lame man set by every day, asking for people, begging for people to give him money to sustain his life, that as he was placed into this cathedral of a temple, as he was placed there, that the majesty of all that this building was, that cast its shadow upon this lame man, it could not transform this man.

It could not change this man. Reminding each and every one of us that the only thing that changes our lives, the only thing that transforms our hearts, the only thing that brings true forgiveness and redemption into our lives is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is where so many get off track, is that they build their life on religion. They build their life on ceremonies and rituals. What God is calling you to is not another ritual, but he is calling you to a relationship.

Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes unto the Father but by me. Do you want a real relationship with God? Do you want to have an eternal home with God? Do you want to experience the forgiveness of your sins?

Do you want the weight of your sins lifted off your shoulders lifted off your mind and lifted off your heart? Then you must come to Jesus Christ. And when you come to him, you do not come to him on your terms and you do not say, God, this is how I want it to be, but you come humbly and you come honestly and you say, Lord, I’m a sinner in need of a Savior.

Yes. Every day this man was blessed. This lame man was blessed because he was carried by some people who took him to that gate to help him. We don’t know who these people were. The Bible says that they just carried him.

It could have been family, it could have been friends, it could have been strangers who were trying to merit their way to heaven or try to earn points with God. But every day, somehow, someway, they got this crippled man.

He was not left behind, but they had agreed that they would take him to the beautiful gate and there were throngs of people coming to practice their religion. He would cry out for help. He would cry out for hope.

It is a reminder to us, church, that every day as we walk through life, every day as we go to our work, every day as we visit our families, every day as we pass by strangers, unbeknownst to us that there are people who are crying out for help and they are crying out for hope.

And the question is, what will you do? Christianity is founded upon miracles, the miracle of the incarnation of Christ, the miracle of the atonement of Christ, and the resurrection of Christ. These miraculous signs stood out in the book of Acts as a way to let people know that God has sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to bring eternal life.

And that was the message the apostles preached, and that’s how they reached people for Jesus Christ. And that’s our job today, is that we are to continue to proclaim this wonderful message of the Gospel, the good news that Christ has come.

He has died on the cross for our sins, and He has risen again, and now ascended into heaven at the right hand of the Father. So we encourage you to locate this message on our website, HopeworthHaving .com, and you can check us out on YouTube.

That’ll help you have the opportunity to continue to learn and to grow in your faith. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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