Pastor Mike will be speaking on Our Hope in Christ Part 2. He will be reading out of Acts 3:12-18.
It’s not just faith that we believe in Christ, but it is faith that we trust Christ, that He can transform our lives. He can strengthen us for the journey. He can still save souls. [♪ upbeat music playing memorandum plays lively and full-time voice and music playing。
Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders. We are broadcasting from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and this is Hope Worth Having. We are so happy that you are with us today. Thank you for being a part of this program.
If you have your Bibles, I want you to join us in Acts chapter 3, and we’re going to be studying verses 12 through 18 as we continue our study on our hope in Christ. Let’s get ready right into the Bible.
[♪ upbeat music playing in the background, full-time voice and music playing.] 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, that 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 Savior. 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 head. 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.
But 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 as 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 has been foreshadowed in the books of Leviticus and the different types of the 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 fail in our obedience, Christ has fulfilled and made it possible for us to stand righteous before the Lord Jesus Christ.
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 the society at the time that if somehow you were sick or somehow you were born with a disability that 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, 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 3 and verses 5 and 6 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, that 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’ve 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 three 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 12, and He said, are you leaving too? Well, the response that He got from the disciples is this in John chapter six, 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 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, come down to 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 life. 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 and 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 it has 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 that 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 gotta give you church, and that 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.
That’s number one. Number two is you denied the presence of pilots when he was determined to let him go. There it is, the Jewish people had denied in the presence of the pilot. They had delivered Christ up to be a sacrifice rather than releasing him as the Prince of life, as the servant of God.
They had denied Jesus and they went even farther than what pilot ever, pilot was willing. The pilot was willing to release him, but the Jewish people said, no, he will not be released. For they not only delivered him to pilot, to be crucified, but they denied when they were offered the choice between a murderer and the sinless Son of God.
I want you to see the third indictment that takes place in verse 14. He says, you denied the Holy One and just and asked for a murderer to be granted to you. Would you consider this morning that the people traded righteousness for a murderer?
That they chose someone who kills life. They chose someone who kills life over someone who gives life. And the author of life was crucified by the ones whom he gave life to. And that’s why Peter says to them in verse 15, you killed the Prince for the originator of life whom God raised from the dead.
Of which we are witnesses. The religious leaders, the religious people, and the Bible teach us in 1 Thessalonians 2:15 that both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets and persecuted us. And they please not God.
And they are contrary to all men. I want you to note that these indictments as the people are examined before the truth of God remind us of how insane it is to reject Jesus. How is it that we would be willing to take those who destroy life over the one who gives life?
How is it that we could reject the one who gives peace and joy and forgiveness and grace and healing and mercy and need I go on over a world that abuses, a world that abandons, a world that is stubborn in its ways.
As we come before the presence of God, what we see here is a people who not only rejected the miracle of this man who was lame and now was leaping and rejoicing, but we see them rejecting Christ, the one who performed this miracle.
So what should be our response this morning? There are several things out of this text that should be our response. It’s so sad because these religious leaders failed to see the great purpose of God.
And this morning I want you to see the great purpose of God and that your hope will be strengthened. And that as you launch into this new year, your hope will be riveted upon this wonderful savior.
Our response should first be humility. In 2022, let us all have humility. Peter and John displayed the right attitude in the healing of the lame man. They did not take the glory for themselves, they gave glory to God.
If there’s anything good that happens in your life, if God uses your life to be a blessing to someone else, if he uses you to help a ministry or to help someone in our community or even your own family, make sure that you give all the glory to God for everything that he has done in you and through you.
The scripture says, whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, do all to the glory of God. Instead of boasting about self, instead of bringing attention to self, the apostles said, we wanna give praise to God Almighty.
There’s so much more I could say, but I want to encourage you to be humble. I also wanna encourage us to be repentant in church, because thought that we could stand here and say these foolish people, these foolish people rejecting Jesus, these people would choose a murderer over the prince of life.
Would you remember? Would you be mindful that it was my sins and your sins that put Christ on the cross? It was our sins that put Him there. And may it bring us to the point of mourning. May we recognize that our sins put Him there.
But may we be comforted in the gospel that even though our sins put Him there, our God had a plan, that in the scope of the grand plan of God’s redemptive story, He would bring us the comfort and the hope of forgiveness in that Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
Let us praise Him. Let that be our response as we read this text. The beggar had placed his hope in the promise of God that the apostles had proclaimed to him. He placed his faith in Jesus. And Peter describes it in this verse 16.
His name through faith in his name has made this man strong whom you see now. Yes, the faith that comes through him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Faith, it’s not just faith that we believe in Christ, but it is faith that we trust Christ, and that He can transform our lives.
He can strengthen us for the journey. He can do many great things in our lives. He can still save souls in 2022. Can God’s people say amen? Yes, amen. Finally, let us proclaim, let us proclaim Jesus.
The world is crippled. It needs our help, church. As the church and as God’s people, it’s our duty to help. It’s our responsibility. We cannot neglect this. We need God’s power working in us and through us.
The power comes only through prayer and the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit produces supernatural power when we call on Him to fill us, to strengthen us. And He goes beyond what we could do humanly speaking and does something that is supernatural, that changes hearts and it changes lives.
This morning, may all of us dedicate our life to Him. May our hope be in Christ and Christ alone. Would you pray with me, church? It’s amazing to study this passage of Scripture and just to learn so much of the Apostle Peter’s teaching and preaching and how much he reveals to us of what it was like not only in that day, but also what it must have been like to walk side by side with Jesus Christ, to witness his ministry, and to see his miracles, and to hear his great teaching.
And so we understand that the Apostle Peter has a great allegiance to Jesus Christ as he is exalting his name. And it reminds us that our hope is not found in anything in this world, but only in Jesus Christ.
And I hope that is where your hope is, and that you have fully trusted Christ and you have received him as your Lord and Savior. We want to continue to remind you that we are a ministry that not only teaches the Bible, but we believe in prayer.
And if you have a prayer request, feel free to go to HopeworthHaving .com and go to our contact button, to send us your prayer requests. We value every request and we want to take the opportunity to lift them up to the Lord.
And so if you have a need or a situation or a decision maybe that you would like to make known for prayer, then feel free to share that with us. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.