Pastor Mike will be speaking on Our Hope in Christ Part 1. He will be reading out of Acts 3:12-18.
The law points us to Jesus Christ. The law reminds us that we are insufficient of ourselves to save ourselves, that where we failed in our obedience, Christ has fulfilled and made it possible for us to stand righteous before the Lord.
Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders. Are you ready to hear the word of God taught? Well, I hope you have and are and we’re here today to teach the Bible. We’re going to be in Acts chapter 3 studying verses 12 through 18 and we’re going to learn about our hope which is in Jesus Christ, our hope in Christ.
So I want you to join me, maybe grab a cup of coffee, some paper, a pencil, and the Bible, and let’s start learning together. As we come to the book of Acts, we see that the disciples of Christ are leaving their imprint upon the people right there in Jerusalem.
Many individuals have come to Christ, literally thousands as we have already studied together and these individuals have not only become believers and followers of Christ, they are praising Jesus Christ wherever they go.
And the Lord, as we come to chapter 3, the Lord has used Peter and John and God has used them so that they might be able to help this beggar in chapter 3. He was a disabled beggar who you know was at the beautiful gate of the temple and there Peter and John said silver and gold I have none but what I do have I give to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ rise up and walk and that’s exactly what the beggar did.
But the Bible tells us not only was he walking, he was leaping. He was rejoicing. He was praising God for this great miracle. The Bible tells us that the people who were in the temple and who had witnessed this beggar who was disabled were now finally walking and leaping.
The Bible says they were amazed. Peter used their amazement over the miracle as an opportunity to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. So I want you to follow along with me in Acts chapter 3 and pick up with me with that understanding and note that the Bible says so when Peter saw it, that is he saw their amazement, he saw their wonder, so when Peter saw it he responded to the people, men of Israel, why do you marvel at this?
Or why look so intently at us as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers glorified his servant, Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate when he was determined to let him go.
But you denied the Holy One and the just and asked for a murderer to be granted to you and killed the Prince of Life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses, and his name through faith in his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know.
Yes, the faith that comes through him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all his prophets, that the Christ would suffer, he has thus fulfilled.
What I wanna talk to you this morning about is our hope in Christ. Whether it’s thinking about all that we’ve been through in this past year and all that we need to get done in the year to come, I want you to remember, church, that our hope is in Jesus Christ.
Our hope is not in our circumstances. Our hope is not in other people. And we know that definitely, our hope is not in politicians. Can God’s people say amen? Thank you, I’m glad you’re with me on that.
Some people are still looking to the politicians to solve the world’s problems. But our hope is in Jesus Christ. And that’s the main thing I want you to walk away with today as we analyze this text, is that our hope is in Christ.
Now, as we look at this text this morning, I want you to first see the explanation for the miracle, the explanation for the miracle. for the miracle. Peter is explaining the meaning of the miracle to the crowd.
He asked them the question you’ll note again in verse 12, says, why do you marvel at this? Or why are you looking so intently at us? Remember back in verse 11, look right there at the last two words of the text.
It says they were greatly amazed. Jump back to verse 9, it says they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him, meaning the beggar who had been healed, who could not walk, but now is walking and now is leaping and giving praise to God.
Peter says, why are you wondering? Because this is God’s power at work. It was Christ who did this supernatural work. And Peter wants them to note that they are simply instruments. Peter acknowledges that he is an instrument of God in the hands of his master.
And He is pointing everybody to take their eyes off of Him as a human and to look to the Lord Jesus Christ. Any miracle that God does in our life, any miracle that happens in our homes, our communities, or even in our churches, is the direct result of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every miracle has a message and every miracle has a meaning. The Apostle Peter wants the people of God to understand that this had nothing to do with Him, this had nothing to do with His skill sets, or even whether He had a lot of faith or a little faith.
This was the work of God who had chosen to verify His messengers, to verify His message delivered by His messengers, that this was truly how God was working as the church, remember, had been launched in Acts chapter 2.
Now it was time to say that this great message of salvation that comes through the Gospel, which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, that this message is a true message from God. How do we know?
Well, one of the ways we know is that God is performing these unique miracles, not the miracles of charlatans, not the miracles of the world, not the miracles of Satan, but the miracles of God that are instantaneously and the miracles of God that He gets all the attention, He gets all the glory, and He receives all the praise.
Now the second thing I want you to see in this text is the exaltation of Jesus. The exaltation, as Peter breaks out in this sermon, the second sermon recorded by Luke in the book of Acts, there are some things that He brings to our attention, things that maybe you have never considered in describing who Jesus is.
Things that as you launch into this new year, as you contemplate and reflect upon the very character and nature of who Jesus is, you can give glory and praise to Him. Now there are five ways that Peter exalts Jesus in verses 13 through 15.
First, we see that Christ is the long-awaited servant of the Lord. Again, come back to the text in verse 13. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers glorified His servant Jesus.
We have heard about Jesus being the King. We have heard that He is the King of kings and that He is the Lord of lords. But have you ever considered that Christ is a servant, that He is the servant of God, and that He was prophesied?
to be the servant of God. We see in Isaiah 52 and verse 13, the Bible says, behold my servant, referring to the Messiah shall deal prudently. He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. We often see Christ as our King, and rightly so.
We see Him as the King that is soon to come and that He will establish His physical kingdom on this earth, uniting the spiritual kingdom and the physical kingdom together and we will live and rule and reign with Him forever.
But in this time, as we are called to occupy, as we are called to be faithful and obedient to God, have you ever considered praising Jesus for being a servant? Yes, throughout His ministry, as He walked on this earth, He was a true servant of God.
Jesus never, never looked down upon people, never thought that somehow people were unworthy of His attention and availability. But Jesus Christ, many times, when He should have been glorified when He should have been exalted, we find that He is humbling Himself to be a servant.
Do you remember when Jesus walked into the home and you remember that rather than the disciples washing His feet, He grabbed a towel and washed the feet of the disciples and that He even washed the feet of one who would betray Him, one who would turn against Him, one who would deny Him as He was going through the prosecution of being someone who was trying to overthrow the Roman government?
So Jesus Christ looked beyond the people in relation to maybe how they responded to Him or how they would treat Him, but He fulfilled the servanthood of the saints. He was the suffering servant Isaiah would call him later in Isaiah chapter 53.
He is our example that as he is a servant, how much more should you and I if our master will be a servant, how much more should you and I be servants of God? Now servanthood begins with a mindset that we understand who we are in Christ, that we’re not to think too highly of ourselves, we’re not to think too lowly of ourselves.
God hasn’t called us to put our heads down. The Bible tells us he’s the lifter of our heads. We walk in confidence and victory in Christ, but we’re never arrogant. We’re never prideful. We never think that any skills that we have are the direct result of our own abilities, but rather that all that we have comes from Christ.
He is the one who has supplied everything, and thus we are blessed to be a blessing. God has called us to serve others. And so as we finish out this year, let’s make sure that as we launch into the new year, we haven’t forgotten that we have a Savior who was a servant, who is a servant and will be the one who stands as our example.
May all of us strive this new year to find ways that we can serve God, that we can serve the church, that we can serve in the community, that we can serve and exemplify this great attribute of our Savior, that He is the long-awaited servant of the Lord.
The thing I want you to see second of all, is that He is glorified by God. As we come back to our text in chapter 13, right there is what we already read, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the God of our fathers glorified His servant Jesus.
Please understand that Peter helps the Jewish audience to understand the connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Just as the prophets had proclaimed that there would be a servant who would come and that He would be glorified, Christ is the fulfillment of that prophecy.
Remember that Christianity is firmly rooted in the Old Testament. You can’t separate it. I had heard about a church and a preacher who said they were no longer going to preach the Old Testament to their congregation.
And I thought, what a pity. What a sad circumstance because Christianity is rooted in the promises and the prophecies of the Old Testament. And when we think of all the prototypes and all that have been foreshadowed in the books of Leviticus and the different types of great men and women who have served God in the Old Testament, how can we just banish it?
How can we just put it aside? Remember my friends, it all comes together beautifully as Christ is the fulfillment of the law. Jesus said I didn’t come to do away with the law but I came to fulfill the law.
The law points us to Jesus Christ. The law reminds us that we are insufficient of ourselves to save ourselves. The law reminds us that where we failed in our obedience Christ has fulfilled and made it possible for us to stand righteous before the Lord Jesus Christ and as a result of his obedience to God and as a result of his willingness to give his life for us.
The Father has glorified the Son and we should give praise to God for the glorification of Jesus Christ. Now I want you to understand in this glorification that sometimes on a practical level, we may not fully understand but I want to remind you in the Gospel of John in chapter 11 verse 4 that the disciples had wondered.
because there was this belief that had permeated society at the time, that if somehow you were sick or somehow you were born with a disability, this was a judgment of God upon you. And they asked Jesus, who sinned?
Who sinned? Was it the parents? Was it the man? Who was it that sinned? And the Bible says that when Jesus heard that, he said, this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
So I want you to remember that God is always bringing glory even in our sicknesses, even in our trials, God is bringing glory. And that even when we see that our loved ones have been promoted out of here, as Lazarus was, God knows that he has a purpose that he has a plan, and that he is fulfilling that plan within our lives.
And I want you to be encouraged that as you walk through trying times, as you think about all that you’ve experienced this past year and all that might be ahead of you in the future, every trial and every trouble that you face in your life, that you would pray that the Son would be glorified in your life, that you would strive and say, Lord, I don’t understand and I don’t necessarily like this trial, but I do want you to be glorified in my life.
One might ask, how could we see God’s glory in our trials and our troubles? I would say that it really depends on our response. It depends on our response. When we panic, when we operate in fear, when we have meltdowns, when we lose sight of the big picture, it sends the wrong message to our family.
It sends the wrong message to our friends. It sends the wrong message to our community that somehow our God is not big enough to handle this and that somehow he is limited. by the circumstances of the world.
But when you and I, when we walk through the trials of life and we give Him praise and we continue to rely upon Him and we have the peace of Christ that resides in our heart, then we know that God will be glorified in our life.
For in us, people will see the confidence that we have in the Lord. Have you forgotten that great passage of scripture in Proverbs that teaches us in chapter three in verses five and six, that we are to trust in the Lord with all of our heart?
We are to acknowledge Him in all of our ways. And the Bible teaches us that as we trust the Lord and acknowledge Him, He will direct our paths. We are called to be a trusting people. It doesn’t mean we have all the answers.
It doesn’t mean that we figured everything out. It doesn’t mean that we have a solution to every problem because the truth is we don’t, but we trust. We trust that God is at work, even in our hearts, and in that we can see the Son glorified.
The third thing in the exaltation of Christ, we see that He is the Holy One, or the Righteous One. We come back to our text in chapter 3 of the book of Acts, and we see that the Bible tells us in verse 14 that you denied the Holy One and the just.
Jesus Christ is the Holy One. He is the Righteous One. When Jesus asked His disciples if they were going to leave because some had already left because they had heard the words of Christ and said, this is too hard.
His expectations of us as disciples are too much. And Jesus looked to His core disciples, the twelve, and He said, are you leaving too? Well, the response that He got from the disciples is this. In John chapter 6, we have already believed, and we have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.
How beautiful it is to know that our Savior is without sin, that He is the Righteous One, that He is the Holy One. Any holiness and righteousness that I have emanates from Him. Any goodness in me is not because somehow I want to be this good person or this righteous person.
It is because of God’s good work in me and through me. It is that I have surrendered my life to the Holy One, and He is working through me, and He is transforming my life, and His truth is shaping my mind and shaping my heart.
Do not get up on that pedestal and pound your chest and say, look at me, look how wonderful I was, and look how great I’ll be. Know my friends, let us humble ourselves and say, Lord, thank You for Your mercy.
your righteousness that saves me and your righteousness that sanctifies me. Your righteousness, your holiness that works in me and through me, your holiness that makes me to be the person you have called me to be.
The fourth thing that I want you to see in the nature and character of Christ is that he is the prince of life or some translations put it the author of life. The Greek says that he is the originator of life again. In verse 15 the Bible says that they killed the prince of life.
Jesus Christ is the prince of life he is the author of life all life emanates from him whether it is physical life or spiritual life all life comes from Jesus Christ Jesus told us that if we would walk in the light we would no longer walk in darkness.
If we believed in Him that we would have everlasting life, that we would not perish, but that we would have everlasting life, can God’s people say amen? The apostle Paul said to the young pastor Timothy, I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things.
And before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, please understand that as the apostle is appealing to Timothy, that he is pointing him back to the source of all life, the very nature of Jesus Christ, the very character of Jesus Christ.
And he is also defining his integrity and letting Timothy know that this savior is the source of all life. As he stood before Pontius Pilate, Pontius Pilate said, I find no fault in this man.
Even the world could not find anything to blame Jesus for. Even the world recognized that he was the sinless one, that he was perfect in his obedience to the Father. May all of us recognize that this great savior is the prince of life.
May we give praise to him these coming days, recognizing that the prince of life entered into the jaws of death and willingly gave his own life for you and for me? He is the originator of life. All life comes from him.
Any spiritual life that you have is because Christ awakened you from spiritual deadness. Often when I pray, I’ll pray to the Lord, thank you for awakening my heart to see that you are the true prince of life.
Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life. And no man comes to the Father but by me. May all of us put our hearts and our attentions and our focus upon this great savior who is the prince of life.
And because he is the prince of life, he is worthy. He is worthy of our dedication and our allegiance. We recall in the book of Acts that the scripture says, in him, referring to Christ, we have life.
In Him, we move and have our very being. Do you understand that in Christ, you not only have life, but you have meaning, you have significance? In him is your identity. In him is your purpose. In him, is your mission, in him is your assignment.
Church, focus your heart on this great savior who is the author and the finisher of our faith, the one who brings true meaning to our lives. Yeah, we’re not done exalting Jesus because we see that Peter and his sermon not only exalted him as the one who was the Prince of Life and the Holy and Righteous One, but we recognize that he honors Christ as the one who is raised from the dead.
Again, we’re back in verse 15, and the Bible says that God raised us from the dead of which we are witnesses. I want you to understand something about the resurrection of Christ. It is the one doctrine that dominates the theme of the preaching of the apostles.
It in the entire book of Acts, as we go through it, it is gonna continue to emerge as we recognize that these apostles understood that Christ arose from the grave. I want you to just back up with me as we look in Acts chapter two, and we see in verse 24, just hopefully one page for you.
If you look back, at Acts chapter two, I love to show you patterns in the Bible, and these are beautiful because they help us to see what God is emphasizing to us. Verse 24, chapter two, the book of Acts, whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death because it was not possible that he should be held by it.
Look at verse 32 of chapter two. Again, Peter is declaring the resurrection. He says this Jesus God has raised up of which we are all witnesses. We jump over to chapter three, Verse 15, again in his sermon that we’ve already read, but whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.
When Peter makes the decorative truth before those who are listening that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, he’s saying not only is it a truth, but he’s saying we saw it, and we witnessed him as the resurrected one.
It wasn’t that God wants you and I to believe in something that is a fairy tale, or something that has been made up, or some kind of a future that we would like to imagine, but rather it was based upon the witnesses of not only the apostles but the witnesses of over 500 people.
It is through the resurrection that God has reminded us that he will always have the final word. Now when I was a young child, I had this terrible problem, I must admit to you. And I feel bad that my mother had to endure it.
But that is why I always wanted to be the one who had the last word. And that got me in a lot of trouble. Because my mother only had so much patience, as we all do. And she could only handle so much of it before she had to put the hammer down on Mike.
I know it’s hard for you to imagine me being a bad kid. I’m just being sarcastic. But anyway, it’s okay to laugh in church, by the way, all right? But we will never have the last word. Politicians will never have the last word.
Satan will never have the last word. But Jesus Christ will always have the last word. Can God’s people praise Him, amen? Now the final truth I have to give you, church, is that in Peter’s sermon, I want you to see the examination of the people.
The first two indictments that Peter brings upon the people are in verse 13. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the God of our fathers glorified His servant, Jesus. And here it is, whom you delivered up.
As we come to the book of Acts, we see that the disciples of Christ are really leaving an impact upon Jerusalem, and it’s shaken things up. It’s really affecting even the religious crowd and people are responding.
Some are in anger and frustration. Others are receptive and certainly filled with joy as they receive Christ. We have to remember that our hope is not. in this world or even how people respond, but it’s always in Jesus Christ.
So we encourage you to continue to keep your hope your focus and your thoughts on the things that are above. We want to encourage you to check out our website, hopeworthhaving .com. We’d like for you to sign up for our newsletter.
We put out a newsletter on a regular basis and we’d like you to receive a copy of that. And if you go to hopeworthhaving .com and simply sign up for the newsletter, then you’ll have the opportunity for us.
We can put that in your email or we can send it directly to your address, whatever works best for you. Again, we want to thank you for being a part of our program today and we want to remind you that in Christ there is hope worth having.