Pastor Mike will be speaking on How to Reach People for Christ Part 2. He will be reading out of Acts 3: 1-10.
God is our healer. He is the one that heals the heart. He is the one that heals the soul. He is the one that heals every ailing bone in our body. He is the one who empowers us so that we may move forward for Christ and that we may live a life that brings glory to His name.
Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders with Hope Worth Having and we welcome you to our program today. Today we’re going to be in Acts chapter 3 and verses 1 through 10 learning again how to reach people for Christ.
We live in some crazy times but God is calling us to reach each and every person that we can. If we want to see cultural change, if you want to see a nation turned around, it begins by one -on -one reaching people for Jesus Christ.
So let’s get our Bibles together and let’s start studying today. 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 the 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 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.
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 manifested, 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 3000 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, who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms, or he asked for money, and fixing his eyes on him, which 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, leaping 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.
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 6 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, recognizing the significance of that and 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 they are ready to start praying to God Almighty, they are encountered by a certain man, which the Bible says in verse two, was lain 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 four 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 four 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 to 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 if you 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 sweet 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’s 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 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 sat 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 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. You want a real relationship with God, you want to have an eternal home with God, you want to experience the forgiveness of your sins, you want the weight of your sins lifted off your shoulders and 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, some way, 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?
In the busyness of the season, will you just keep on going and going and going and getting your stuff done, or will you be wise enough and will you be sensitive enough to see the cries of the help and the hope that’s around us?
So many want it. want help. But God’s people find themselves so busy. The Bible promises us that God will bring healing to us. Peter and John, as they pass this man, you will note that they said, look at us.
And so the Bible says that he gave them his attention. In verse 6, 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.
Isaiah the prophet again said that he was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. And the chastised men of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes, we are healed. A Christian soul-winner has been said to be one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
Each of us is reaching a point where we must understand that there are many beggars out there who are looking for help. And the question is, do we have enough faith that we can put aside the finances, we can put aside the agendas, and we can put aside what the schedule is, and we can say, Lord, I want to help this person.
And most importantly I want to give them the bread of salvation. Having received Christ as a believer, each of us has the responsibility and the joy of sharing Him with others. Peter said, look on us.
The second thing that they should see in our lives is that our trust exceeds our trials. Our trust exceeds our trials. In verse 7 of Acts chapter 3, the Bible says, he took him by the right hand and lifted him up and immediately his feet and ankles and bones received strength.
What an amazing experience it was for Peter and John, that as they were witnessing to this man, as they were speaking the power of God into his life, that immediately as they lifted him up, in order for them to lift him up, they put out their hand.
He put out his hand. In order for them to lift him up, they showed faith and he showed faith. In order for them to lift him up and the power of God to fill his legs and ankles with strength, there was a necessity for Peter and John to show trust in the name of Christ and the power of God, and there was the necessity of this lame man to show trust in the power of God, to reach up and to grasp hold of this, never having walked in his entire life, never having taken a step.
He never even crawled. He was a lame man and had to be carried every day, but by faith and trust, he stood up by experiencing the power of God. He was able to experience the joy of Jesus Christ. Rather than giving him a temporary fix, Peter and John gave him a permanent remedy.
And they not only dealt with his physical problems, but they dealt with his spiritual problems. And today it’s gonna take trust on our part. When people look at our lives, they need to see that we are trusting in the power of God, that we are trusting in the name of Christ, that we are trusting him to help us with our trials, to help us with our problems.
The Bible teaches us that God declares in Exodus chapter 15 that he, the Lord, is our healer. God is our healer. He is the one that heals the heart. He is the one that heals the soul. He is the one that heals every ailing physical bone in our body.
He is the one who empowers us so that we might take another step that we may move. one word for Christ and that we may live a life that brings glory to his name. You’ll note that Peter said in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.
Now be careful church. In the name of Jesus is not a magical formula that is simply used to give affirmation or a guarantee to our prayers. But in the name of Jesus is a representation of the authority and the power of Christ.
Consider what is happening here Peter boldly has already declared that Jesus is the Messiah. Remember he is ministering to Jewish people who are looking for the Messiah and the prophets have said the Messiah is coming.
And remember that the prophets have said there’s coming a day in the millennial kingdom that the lame will leap like a deer. So they know all that is going to be taking place. They know that it is to come one day but yet in their minds, they don’t feel like the Messiah has come.
And so when Peter performs this miraculous healing in the life of this lame man, he doesn’t do it in his own power. He doesn’t do it in the power of the temple but rather he does it in the power of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
For us we look at the name Jesus Christ. We assume that’s just his name. His first name is Jesus. His last name is Christ. He’s from Nazarene. Makes a lot of sense. That’s how we operate in America. But in the Jewish culture to identify Jesus which was a common name, a name used and many individuals were named Jesus in the time of our Lord and Savior but to identify him as the Christ.
That is to identify him as the promised Messiah. That is to identify he is the fulfillment of what the prophets have said. And so when Peter says, rise up and walk in the name of Jesus Christ, meaning the Messiah, and then he links him back as the Nazarene, the one from Nazareth, this is confusing, to the hearts and the minds of the Jews.
For they remembered that Jesus was just a young boy. And they said, is he not the son of Mary and is he not the brother of James? Is he not the one that we saw grow up in our own community? And now you’re declaring him as the Messiah?
Absolutely. And he is the Messiah, as Peter already declared, not because he’s on some ego trip and he wants everybody to worship him, but because he was truly sent from the Father and to… confirm that message, he performed signs, wonders, and miracles among the people.
What was distinct about the miracles of Jesus and the miracles of the apostles, which is set apart from all charlatans, even of their day and our day, is that the miracles were instantaneous. There was no process, but they were instantaneous.
The miracles were designed to bring glory to God. The miracles were designed to confirm the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And so Peter says, in the name, in the authority of Christ, in the name, in the power of Jesus Christ, this resurrected savior, this coming Messiah, that has now appeared to us and will one day come again.
And he, in his name, he is the one who brings true healing. So we have something to give to this paralyzed world. And that is that people need to see in our life that even as we walk through trials, we trust in the name of Jesus Christ, that we believe in the name of Christ, that his power is effective, his power is imminent, his power is upon us, and we operate in the authority of Jesus, not in the authority of religion, not in the authority of somebody else, but rather in the authority of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is in that authority, it is in that power, that makes us able to walk and to leap and to rejoice and to get praise even as we go through trials. We’re not ignorant of this time of the year when many of you have mixed emotions.
As we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior, I know that some of you miss your loved ones. And that holidays, which I know some people don’t like anybody using the word holiday, but it means holy days.
Why would you be against that? Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or the highlights of the Christian calendar, these holy days are only reminders of the absence of your loved one. But I want you to rest assured that in the name of Christ, in the power and the authority of Jesus, He’ll give you the strength and the stamina and the hope and the help to move forward for Him.
And that you can be this great testimony and that you can be this person who is trusting God even in your trials and that God will use your adversity and He will use your testimony and He will use your trust in Him as a witness to those who do not know Him.
So every day, we want people to look at us and see the trust that exceeds our trials. But finally, I want you to see that as we invite people to look at us, as Peter did, as he stands as our example, our prudence must exceed our plans.
Our prudence must exceed our plans. What an amazing story. We come down to verse 9, and the Bible says all the people saw him, referring to this lame man, walking and praising God. Would you consider a moment, what if Peter and John, on the way to this prayer service, decided to keep walking?
What if they did not have the wisdom or the prudence or the discernment to stop and engage this man and to share the gift of eternal life and the power of God? What if they had chosen that their agenda and their schedule were more important than any of the plans of God?
What you are witnessing in this miracle is God making his presence and power and purpose, and yes, even his plans manifested. Every day of your life, you have a schedule, you have an agenda. I know some of you are retired, and don’t do much with maybe scheduling anymore, but be assured there are things that you want to get done.
But I want you to know that God will interrupt your plans with divine appointments. God will interrupt your plans so that you will interact and cross the paths of people who are in need of his healing. They are in need of his physical healing, they are in need of his healing.
The question is, what will we do? How will we respond? How will we handle it? Because when the people looked upon this man walking… and praising God. They knew it wasn’t a staged event. They knew it wasn’t something that was pre-planned, but rather it was something spontaneous and instant, and that it was something that was a work of God.
And the Bible says that they were praising God. Will you join God where he’s working? The Bible says man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his heart. Oh, it’s a blessing to be carried to the gate.
But let me tell you what’s an even greater blessing is for you and me to carry hurting souls to the feet of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I admonish you this morning Church to look for opportunities to witness, to look for opportunities to engage people in spiritual conversations.
Each of us was one to Christ so that we might win others. Each of us was told the gospel so that we might tell the gospel. I often consider what might have happened if that pastor had never invited my mother to church.
Where might I be today? And I wonder where you would be if there wasn’t somebody who invited you to Christ, or invited you to church, or invited you into a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is essential that in these busy times, we recognize all that’s going on in our lives, and that God wants us through divine appointments to be personally involved with other people’s lives.
And let us do everything that we can, whether we are passing by or whether we are carrying someone to the feet of Christ, let us do everything we can to bring them to the understanding of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Now you cannot give what you do not have. No person can give another person the Savior unless they have the Savior. You cannot share Christ with others unless you have Christ in your heart. The cripple’s first steps brought him to the temple.
And let that be something for us to remember, that our lives ought to be the kind of lives that we live, that when people look on us, their steps are led to the cross of our Lord and Savior. I am convinced that if you and I would live faithfully to God, and we would accept these divine appointments, God would use us to bring healing powerfully.
and to the hearts of many. Peter had a commission from God and God was uniquely using him to build the church that Jesus had founded one of the ways was he would reach people and he was so personable in relating to people in the circumstances and here we see Peter reaching out to this man who is unable to walk but through the power of Christ Peter sees this man healed and uses it as an opportunity to be a witness to not only the man who was healed but to the entire community and all of those who were in the temple they got to hear the wonderful gospel that Jesus saves and that is our job using every circumstance every event every activity every opportunity to share Christ with others and I hope that that is your passion and I hope that is your his desire.
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