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Priorities (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
June 17, 2022 6:00 am

Priorities (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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June 17, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Pastor Rick Gaston

He had to try to get the Jewish Christians don't understand. You are now servants of a new covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ. And if this is greater, and he goes on to say we have a better covenant better than Eric better than Moses and he just hits that point time and time again to the Hebrews.

Once we are clear about this. We can we get strengthen our witnessing. We understand our identity and who we are where we belong. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of acts. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching today.

Pastor Rick will begin a brand-new study called priorities in acts chapter 3 of acts chapter 3, Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour in a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried home. 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 in the temple, asked for alms. 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. Then Peter said silver and gold I do not have what I do have I give you the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk and he took him by the right hand and lifted him off and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God and all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the beautiful gate of the temple and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him brief review considering chapter 2. The title was foundations because that verse in acts 242 is a foundational verse for Christianity continuing continuing continuing steadfastly in the apostles doctrine fellowship and communion and prayer.

This is our foundation in verse 42 of chapter 2 we read that the church was unified that they were together in fellowship and then in verse 44 we read that the church was magnified wasn't made larger is certainly increased, but it was beginning to be seen by everyone and because of this, then it multiplied and the alliteration that the church was unified magnified and multiplied. That's just a sweet fact that belongs to the beginning of Christianity as we know it and it challenges us as individual believers and as a local assembly of what are we doing along those lines. Are we adhering to the foundation and as a result of this are unified is the church magnified and does it multiplied and for a church or Christian to stop being what they are, in order to make room for those who are not what they are is to help the devil. We are Christians we believe in Jesus Christ that was prophesied by the prophets who came and died for us is God the son, who rose again, who ascended into heaven, who immersed believers in the Holy Spirit.

We believe in this Jesus Christ who died for our sins, that each one of us is a center we need a Savior and he is the only one.

Now if someone does not agree with were not going to make room for that thinking and in our theology because that would be assisting the devil and therefore the apostles doctrine continuing in their doctrine and not to be an advocate for the world.

We have seen this happen in some of these Ivy League schools. Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth is even the YMCA they were 11 they made room for the world instead of letting the light shine out so brightly, that there was nothing nowhere for the world to hide in churches to guard against these things and it is that, again, that foundation that does here in this third chapter, we come across a lame beggar and then not this session.

Next session will get into Peter's sermon so meaningful how the apostles handled the people that came in touch with them on spiritual matters and Peter when he preaches he's not going to preach on miracles is going to preach on Jesus Christ.

Miracles were used by God for sure signs and wonders in the New Testament. In those early ages to deliver his people from bondage. God used miracles when they were slaves in Egypt always the people that belong to God, hoping miracles when in need, but we don't trust in the miracles we trust in God. A lot of believers get tripped up with this some 78 speaks about these things about the people of God who came in touch with his miracles, but did not continue to trust him wanting to live by miracles. Writer says in verse seven of Psalm 78, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God would keep his commandments visited the ancient Jews understood this. The righteous ones, and may not be like their fathers is stubborn and rebellious generation to generation. They did not set its heart arrived in whose spirit was not faithful to God.

God wants faith right at the Hebrews likely Paul wrote that without faith it is impossible to please God. Psalm 78 because you same. Some of this time. Verse 22, because they did not believe in God and did not trust in his salvation. That's the rebuke baked into that song for that present generation to read it and say okay it's our turn. It's our turn to trust God and it is our turn to trust him without demanding that God to do miraculous things so that we can trust. Trust is not contrary to truth, trust is contrary to doubt in those areas God has established himself already. Deuteronomy chapter 1 Moses now reviewing 40 years in the wilderness in that first chapter we read just this one verses so much. Verse 32 of Deuteronomy one. Yet for all that you did not believe Yahweh your God yet for all that had enough evidence had enough proof you know who I am and yet for all that you still did not believe you could say that about Judas Iscariot you can say that about any apostate who once believed, but fell away.

That's with the Greek word apostate means to fall away from which presupposes you once were joined to we are to live as though we have met God. That's part of being born again, born from above.

Hosea chapter 14 verse nine who is wise that them understand these things who is prudent that him know them for the ways of Yahweh are right, righteous, walk in them. What I'm trying to join together here is that foundation of our faith. The apostles doctrine fellowship.

The communion in the prayer that those things are our priority, not the miracles because belief, faith in Jesus Christ is a miracle unto itself, and I fear that you know the part of you come in touch with the Scripture and we we expect miracles, but they don't happen at the rate that we want to see them happens priority is said by Jesus in Matthew six seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all things shall be added to you. Not owed to you with no sense of entitlement. No claim on God and it matters this Jesus is saying it matters what we do with what matters to God and that is truth. According to the revelation of God's word from his Scripture.

This is our priority as believers we are in the age of faith we are living in a time when we are to speak the truth in love, and firmness and be assured of what we believe in us. The Scripture says, doubting nothing. Now we look at verse one because hopefully what I have introduced the section with has everything to do with what's coming forward. We're going to see a miracle take place and that's all great but I don't need to see miracles at this stage in Christianity because I have the completed canon of Scripture the rule of Scripture. I have the New Testament along with the old verse one now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour is Peter and John found together yet again.

And often in Scripture. Two very different personalities.

These two men were yet in fellowship together and you could say in harmony when it came to the things of Christ partners in a fishing business before Jesus came into their lives. They were sent those two Jesus said to Peter and John together to prepare for the Passover, they ran to the empty tomb together, they will be arrested together will get that letter chapters, not very far from now, but still to come. They minister to the Samaritans together. This unity that they enjoyed it very important to us here. They are going together in prayer to the temple no longer competing for greatness no longer disagreeing with each other on spiritual things, but now they are serving together Mark chapter 1 then Jesus said to them, follow me and I will make you become fishers of men not on the Sea of Galilee that on the temple ground. They are fishing for men and I don't know. I hope this is not lost on anybody the value of these things for the church after the Gospels.

I don't know how many Christians that seemed to avoid the book of acts what it is that should be the other way around.

We should be eager to explore it. This is old school. This is old school Christianity and it is as reveler today as it was in the day that it was taking place and so they went together to the temple now acts chapter 1 through 10 describes this gradual transition from the Israelites of the Jews under the influence of rabbinical Judaism to the Gentile influence in the church. Paul will have his hands filled dealing with the Gentiles and their idols. At one point he says you you left dumb idols from what ever doesn't matter their falls and they are dumb they don't speak and they don't help, they hurt so this will be watching because I fear a lot of Christians don't their identity is confused. They don't know if they're supposed to be Old Testament Jewish type Gentile believers.

They get trapped mixed up in the law or do they understand that we as servants of Christ of service under the new covenant, and how important that is.

Romans 12 verse five so we, being many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another Judaism without allow that blessing upon the Gentiles with the church does bring it forward will come back to some of this at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour three in the afternoon. According to the rabbis. The lamb was slain for this evening sacrifice at about 230 Peter and John are a half-hour later after that sacrifice was slain here. They are coming for prayer at three at about 330. The pieces of that animal will be offered on the altar and so we see Peter and John going to the temple at the hour of prayer, and still not yet developed in their Christianity and the identity of the church there. Still, you know, working through it. God is working with them and is very patient with them he was ready for this. Again, he has to raise up a man like the apostle Paul to really open it up. The Jews had three daily times of prayer. We already looked at one and chapter 2 where we see Peter going to the temple to pray.

In fact, Peter is found going to the temple to pray at each interval. The morning prayer. The noon prayer and at the evening prayer will get the noon prayer. We get to chapter 10.

My point is, he is a man of prayer as well as a man of the word as stated when we get to chapter 6 when he says we will not give ourselves to serving in this capacity, but we will give ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word which we going to see him open up and Daniel chapter 6 now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed. He went home and in his upper room with the windows open toward Jerusalem.

He knelt down on his knees three times that day prayed and gave thanks for his God, as was his custom since early days and there's that three interval we find Daniel practicing it in the face of persecution they had outlawed his religion but he couldn't stop him from practicing what he believed his faith. Psalm 55, or 17, evening and morning and at noon. I will pray and cry aloud, he shall hear my voice and so there again this implication of the intervals of prayer in the Jewish believer continued by the apostles in the early days of course expanded to the point where if you're born again walking in the spirit you find yourself praying often just often praying to God. I look forward to praying to God. Many times it. Prayer is hard work. Anyway Christianity still centered at the Jewish Temple at this time we have no indication that the going for the sacrifice is important because we getting Christians don't get on get that a transition that understanding ball get a deal with the Roman letter the Galatian letter and as I mentioned, I believe, in his letter to the Hebrews he had to try to get the Jewish Christians to understand. You are now servants of a new covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ. And if this is greater, and he goes on to say we have a better covenant better than Eric better than Moses and he just hits that point time and time again to the Hebrews. Once we are clear about this week we get strengthen our witnessing.

We understand our identity and who we are where we belong you confused about that and your strength is diminished because that's what confusion does it diminish his strength.

So at this point they are at.

Still, the Jewish Temple around the time of the evening sacrifice. The hour of prayer they're returning to the place where the multitudes were. They had this again. This brief almost 3000 people come to the Lord. So therefore I'm sure hoping to have another astounding victory.

However, this time when Peter preaches persecution is going to follow.

And it's not going to stop.

I'm in a recent periods of rest, but they will be a persecuted people and that persecution will be used by God to send the Christians out of Jerusalem, but that's not going to be enough.

This is the gradual transition.

The Jewish Christians will go out of Jerusalem, but there go to Galilee and Samaria, but they really will go much further than that, until Paul comes effect, Paul will find believers in Ephesus who did not even hear of the Holy Spirit verse two 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 almost from those who entered the temple. This man had never walked in his life is over 40 years old we know is over 40 years old, is in chapter 4 and verse 22 were told he's over 40 years old never walked in his life. This description emphasizes that his condition was either reversible men lame humanity wrote one Bible pastor is the churches opportunity the Christians opportunity there. A lot of people were lame, not physically, spiritually, there are many people who claim Christ as Lord and spiritually. They are lame. They're not able to stand for whatever reason, somehow, this man missed the touch of Christ. Clearly Christ did not heal everyone in Jerusalem and here he is following his routine, having no idea what's coming.

When he woke up that morning.

He had no knowledge of these things that God had singled him out.

Nor did the apostles Peter and John as close as they walked to Christ they had no idea this was going to take place. This was not planned.

This is evangelism. This is being ready to be used and then being used and they did not do it in their own strength, which he will be very careful to point out in the next session.

It says here in verse two he was carried on the laid daily at the gate of the temple was nothing more they could do for him to put him where he could gain some sort of income.

I believe he was loved.

I believe that they cared for him, which is called beautiful the gate likely that passageway that enters the temple ground and separates the court of the Gentiles from the court of the women still want to get through the court of the women you within reach.

The court of Israel, which was posted to the altar.

This man could not go that far, but he will before this is done to ask alms from those who entered the temple here in verse two well giving to those in need like this was considered an act of righteousness even to this day in the the Jewish world and is, it should be a part of our righteousness to Paul says let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. Why would he say that well because we do grow weary.

This life throws at us some pretty nasty things and they can wear us down and we are encouraged by those in the Scriptures to endure what should the Bible say give up quit.

Don't endure or find another God. Of course, that would be Satan, not not the Lord. So in for us. We would tend to see people like this certainly unfortunate, but sometimes maybe we would consider them a nuisance. These a little bit different times we have so many social programs in this country nowadays, but it's a big world in the ancient world. They were everywhere, the beggars, that is. Today we have got to watch scammers try to pretend to be in great need. But really they just want to take the steel but lame humanity is everywhere and I want to emphasize this point is not always visible, not always asking for help when we do about that as believers we stay ready at the back in the call of our master. That's what Christ wants from us to be ready in season and out witches leaves no room for any other season verse three, who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms is a very difficult section to preach from.

Because it's so good. What can you add to this, but I don't get rid get much of a say so in that and go preach the word as you said in season and out of season, but this was a legitimate need they needed money to survive and mentor coming in randomly as eventually were many coming out, but he makes contact with these two. This is a divine set up. God is in this salvation in Christ did not cross this man's mind this morning, or any other likely and we should be well aware that no one drifts into salvation.

God is the one is the author and finisher of our faith, and he uses us as part of the finishing in the authoring part faith has to come in contact with unbelievers. True believers are supposed to be in touch with them and we are supposed to order a lives in such a way that we don't make it impossible by blowing our witness. I mean there are a lot of Christians that are very well behaved in church, but then to go to the workplace and in some of the most moody and nasty people you want to come across and their witnesses compromise and they want to hear the pastor tell how they can be used to save people or they want to bring somebody in the church let the pastor save and they've already ruined everything. These things we should be aware of his a question and maybe this will be the question that sits with all of us today. Why should God do anything for you or anybody else for that matter, none of us are entitled. In fact, we lined up for judgment for breaking his law on his universe. Romans 323 fall of sin and fall of short of the glory of God. Why should God do anything for you. I mean we know the answer to this but it is still searching question, especially when you have needs for when you're crying out in physical pain or some other type of pain of their many brands of pain. God, however, is God of love response of those respond to him. That involves faith, not miracles because faith is a miracle. It is a spiritual event alerts the individuals the witnesses to this event that there are great spiritual forces at work and hopefully we recognize the come from heaven. Verse four and fixing his eyes on him, with John Peterson look at us. This is one of those rare details that says so much fixing his eyes and fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, look at us move you've been listening to cross reference radio daily radio ministry pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast.

Today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit cross reference that's cross reference would also like to encourage you to subscribe to the cross reference radio podcast subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick, you can subscribe to cross reference or simply search for cross reference radio your favorite podcast to the next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of acts right here on cross reference radio

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