But such a miracle demanded an explanation. You don't just heal somebody who's been lame from birth, always at the church door, and not say what's going on. And here we have the manifold glory of God.
Several things are happening. Well, God is using his apostles. That's one thing. He's healed this lame beggar. That's two things. And the third thing is, God has drawn the people. Not by gimmicks, but by giving. But by his work.
This Solomon's porch where they are, as I commented before, I don't know why I need to tell you that. We'll be looking at the Bible to learn how to be better Christians, to better serve the Lord Jesus Christ. The world is going to do what it's going to do.
We're supposed to do what we're supposed to do. What we're supposed to do is know the word and know how to lead people to Christ and know how to strengthen each other. As believers. And I just don't think every current event merits a prophetic comment anyway. I like prophecy. Don't get me wrong.
I believe in it. But I think that sometimes a congregation can hide behind prophecy and miss the rebukes that we need and the encouragements that we need from verse by verse exploration of what God has told us. It'll be about three minutes.
It probably takes you longer to pump gas. And so we'll be fine. Acts chapter 3 beginning at verse 11.
We'll be fine. Acts chapter 3 beginning at verse 11. 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 which 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 His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, Yahweh, your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things whatever He says to you, and it shall be that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.
Yes, and all the prophets from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days, You are sons of the prophets, and the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. To you first God, having raised up His servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities. Some seem to suppose that if you are not coddling them, you don't care, and that is a high maintenance road that leads to useless places. The title of this message is Care Without Caring, and I want to repeat that.
Some people suppose, it seems, that if you are not coddling them, that you do not care. Peter cared for lost souls. He cared for the lost souls of his brethren he's preaching to that we just considered a moment ago. He cared for lost souls, but he did so without caring if they turned on him for telling them the truth about their guilt. Given the opportunity, he was going to tell the truth about their sin, and he did just that.
We understand this. We understand that a doctor cares, but he doesn't care without caring when he's inflicting pain on us to try to make us better. Peter and all of the preachers of the gospel, and the New Testament especially, were never careless about preaching to sinners.
Peter let them have the truth about themselves that they would not have looked at without such a man as he, filled with the Holy Spirit, but he also offered the antidote to the poison, the poison of sin, and that, of course, is Christ. Knowing God's love is neither natural, nor is it always easy to enter into, nor is it always easy to retain, to continue to love. Knowing these things, we find ourselves dependent on God, and that's where he wants us. Would you rather be dependent upon yourself? Would you rather be dependent on someone else, or would you rather be dependent on God?
All of them are difficult because the world is cursed. We accept that. We also accept our mission in the cursed world. Paul, writing to the Ephesians, says, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. The love of Christ, it passes knowledge. It is something that is beyond us, but he has not abandoned us. He helps us through his Spirit. Well, now we're going to look at the verses that I think what stands out again, as the title says, that Peter did care, but he did not care that they would be offended at the things that were inexcusable, and they needed to be held accountable for, and he's going to have a great victory doing it this way, because there are those that think appeasing people into the kingdom is the way to go, and that is, I think, false. Verse 11, now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to meet them in the porch, which is called Solomon's greatly amazed. Well, just a little background, of course, Peter and John entering the temple at a time of prayer, and there's a beggar, he's lame all of his life, he's in his 40s, he's asking for alms, and Peter says, I don't have money, but I have Jesus Christ, and Peter raised the man up, healed him right there on the spot, and this, of course, drew the crowds, because they were all familiar with this man. He was constant, well, that's where he was, it was his habit of posting himself at the entrance to the temple, and so here the man that is healed is hanging on to believers.
There's a lot of thought into that. He's glad to be rid of his lame past, and he doesn't mind letting people know this. Unlike Lot's wife, he, not looking back at the lame life, everything is forward for this man.
He's excited about what has happened to him. Some may say, see how caring and gentle the apostles were, and they were, but they were other things too, and when we get to chapter five, we're going to find out. The leaders of the church, it is good, if they don't abuse it, if they keep the congregation a little off balance.
How else do you bear the rod of correction? How else do you effectively minister the word, we all being sinners, and we're going to see that in latter chapters. They are loving, but they are also not to be trifled with within the church.
They're very defensive of the church, as they should be, because if they are not defensive, there is no defense, and the devil just walks right in and takes over, and the next thing you know, they call themselves a church, but they're not preaching the things of the church, and their whole denominations have been sucked into that. He says here, in verse 11, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon's, greatly amazed. Now Luke is writing this, it's long, many years after these events have taken place, but Luke was meticulous in his research, interviewing and getting to the facts, omitting what he could not establish, and putting it in clear Greek language, high Greek language, I should add, the findings that he was able to validate. But such a miracle demanded an explanation. You don't just heal somebody who's been lame from birth, always at the church door, and not say what's going on, and here we have the manifold glory of God. Several things are happening. Well, God is using his apostles.
That's one thing. He's healed this lame beggar. That's two things, and the third thing is God has drawn the people, not by gimmicks, but by his work. This Solomon's porch where they are, as I commented before, I don't know why I need to tell you that. Well, maybe in case you think I'm just being redundant, but I think it's very human that these men kept going to the place where Jesus taught from. In John's Gospel, chapter 10, Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.
Well, here they are there again, in chapter 5, we read it again, and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. This was sort of a safe place for them to preach Christ. Now, the Jews did not really understand yet that this was separate from Judaism. For a long time, even Rome thought that Christianity was a sect of Judaism.
Once Rome found out it wasn't, oh man, they turned up the persecution at that, and they used it to their advantage as best they could. Many Christians, I think, are very unclear about their identity. We're not Old Testament. Hebrews. And that's not an insult to anyone Jewish. It is a fact that we are New Testament Christians, whether you're Jewish or Gentile, it makes no difference.
It's a level playing field. But God's people, still chosen to be his emblem of what he has in store for humanity, still is the chosen people, the Jewish people. And it is really, even though it's been used as an insult, you know, the Jew, it is an honorable name. It becomes Judah, God's tribe, that God chose to produce the first God-chosen King. David was God's choice. And Judah was the tribe. And it is very much connected to the prophecies and the will of God. Even until the Millennial Kingdom, it is still a factor. Because again, there will be people born in the Millennial age that have no knowledge of these things. They're going to be born in a blank canvas. And the only way they're going to learn about Jesus Christ is if they're taught about Jesus Christ.
And the Jews, as a people, and the believers, the righteous, will be a part of that education. Well, coming back to this, verse 12. So when Peter saw, 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? Well, this is a preachable moment that God created for Peter, and he sees it. I mean, Peter could have just burst it out with this sermon at any time he wanted to.
That would have been foolish. He's prompted by the Spirit of God and the circumstances around him. That's why we don't just walk around Walmart just shouting out the gospel. We want the Lord to say, go, stop, go, stop.
That's what means, well, one of the things it means that he is Lord. Takes so much guilt away. You know, when I first became a Christian, it was just, I didn't, I was so relieved. I didn't have to celebrate holidays if I wanted, didn't want to. I could if I wanted to. I really don't want to. But most people bully me into trying to get me to want to. But that's okay.
I just don't love you as much as the guns that leave me alone, and you should know that. Anyway, just the freedom that comes with Christ. In reading the New Testament, I realized I don't have to jam the gospel down anybody's throat. I don't have to sneak it out to them. I just need to wait, be ready, and wait for the Lord to say, get him.
And that has, to me, that's what I find going on here in the New Testament. What a relief. I have a co-worker, and I'm working with him, and I don't have to say, hey, did you know I was a Christian? And you're not? I don't have to do anything like that.
I just have to be me. God will bring it up one way or another, he'll give me the shot if he's working on that person's heart. Anyway, the beggar, he left the preaching to Peter. He was not asked to give his testimony.
Peter was the one, the man of the word, that was going to take complete control over this moment. It wasn't, you know, you must be an expert on everything now, because God, you experienced something, so therefore you're an expert. I think that's a terrible way to think.
If you've experienced a surgery, I don't think you're an expert on surgeries. I don't think I'm going to let you operate on me, but we do this, some of us. We do this with Christianity.
Somebody's experienced something, so now they become the great wizard, the one that has all the wisdom to give out. It's a dangerous place to be. Christians, if you think that you have some advice for somebody, you better be very careful. The saying is summed up in this, fools go where angels fear to tread. It's a serious business, a spiritual war, and just to dole out the wisdom like you're some sort of sage is dangerous. I would rather be led by the Spirit and have God say, go ahead and tell them that.
Or you just button your lips there and we'll have a good day together. So learning to be led. Christians should embrace this.
This is a wonderful thing. What makes us different from the world? Well, one of them is we are led by the Spirit, as Paul writes to the Romans. As many that are led by the Spirit of God, these are the children of God. I want to be led by the Spirit of God and I am a child of God. Here Peter and the man healed and John are all in accord.
It's flowing at this point. Today some Christian publishers would have recognized a bestseller in this event. Over the years I've seen so many come and go. They've had their experience, they've published their book. It's all received for a while, then in a few years you don't even know that the book even exists. I don't know if that's just always the right thing, the right way to go. And part of the role of a pastor and a pulpit is to tell you things to spark in your thinking something that needs to be addressed that otherwise would not have been addressed.
You might say, you know, that's a good point. Of course if you're here this morning you're all going to say that throughout the service. But if you were in another church, for example, listening to somebody else, I don't know why, but it is if you were and if you're visiting, I'm kidding about you being in another church.
Seriously, I don't want to be serious, I want to have fun right now. Seriously, if you are, when you listen to a sermon, God is putting things out there for you to consider. You know, if it hurts, it does hurt sometimes. You think when the pastor is preparing his message, he's not getting hit? You think he's above everybody? That would mean you're missing a lot of important features about how ministry works. Well, anyway, coming back to this, Jesus warned about spotlight Christianity. He warned about celebrity Christians in Matthew 23, and when you go to the marketplace, don't be looking for everybody to recognize you, oh, there he is, I've had a sighting.
This is not good for us. I'll get to a Tozer quote about that, and just warning you, because Tozer of course just had a way of being very concise and dealing with our flesh in a way that we otherwise might not have allowed it. Men of Israel, he says, still a pronounced Jewish emphasis at this stage in Christianity. Look, we owe the Jews so much as Gentiles go. The structure of the church is set up by the synagogues.
That's our pattern, not entirely, but much of it. Paul did that, and it's a good thing. Well, in verse 12 here, the Jewish men are addressed. In verse 13, the Jewish fathers are referred to, then in verses 21 through 25, Peter will bring up Moses and Samuel and the prophets, and at verse 25, he will call them children of the prophets and the covenant, and this is exciting. These endorsements of the Old Testament scripture, appropriately, the message goes first to the Jew, then from the Jew, and here Peter is becoming all things to all men, taking advantage, not in an exploitive way, not exploiting them, but taking advantage of his knowledge of the Jewish culture, being a Jew, and then using that to preach Christ. Paul will come along and do it with the Gentiles. He learns the Gentile life. He lived amongst the Gentiles, Saul of Tarsus, and he used that, and he even boasted, I become all things to all men, and that doesn't mean he became a sinner for sinners. It means that he identified with them in their culture, in their lives, as he ministered the truth and did not live above them or apart from them, as far as preaching about life in the fallen world. Here in verse 12 still, why do you marvel, Peter asked them, because to Peter, what's the big deal about God doing a miracle, and you say, well, Peter, you know, are you true to that?
I think he's very true to that. I think when Peter said, Lord, if it's you, you beckon me to come out and walk on the water, I think he was saying, I have no problem with Jesus doing a miracle, and when he got on the water is another story, but I could just see Peter making excuses. What? I had lead in my pocket. What?
What? Anyway, continuing in verse 12, or why look so intently at us as though by our own power or godliness we made this man walk? Well, at best, we're tools of the Lord. You know, if you were drowning and someone threw you a life preserver, you'd be very grateful for the life preserver, but you wouldn't walk up to it and thank it after, it would be the one who tossed it to you, and Peter is simply saying, God is the one that deserves the praise. It's an easy thing to understand, at least it seems to me very easy to understand, but those days of trusting individuals to work miracles, they ended in the days of the apostles, not the miracles, miracles still take place from time to time, but trusting an individual when, you know, Naaman was, had the leprosy, it was the little Jewish girl that said if she only knew my master, Elijah, he could go and be healed and cleansed of his leprosy.
Paul, the apostle, of course, you know, he and Peter were doing extraordinary miracles in the fledgling days of the church, but there came a time when Paul wrote, Trophimus, I have left in Miletus sick. That's a pretty big statement, and so this is, of course, the days of faith and trusting in the Lord, but to think that there's somebody that is spiritually better than the rest of us that has this, you know, connection to God, that is a mistake, that is not biblical, and Peter is saying, I'm just the vessel, I'm just the instrument. Don't pick up the tool and thank it, it's the one who uses the tool, and so he turns attention away from the lame man and himself and he exalts the Lord. Now here's what Tozier said about the flesh, nothing that comes from God will minister to my pride or self-congratulation.
See, these are the things we say and write for others to think about and work through it, and I think that's where the growth and edification largely takes place. Verse 13, 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. Well, Christ had to die for us, but you cannot read the gospel story, I don't think, as a believer and have this wish that he would escape the cross.
Thank God he didn't escape the cross, but you know, he was that close, is kind of what Peter is saying, and you messed it up, but really, of course, he died for our sins. Had Peter only said the God of Abraham, the Ishmaelites would have had a claim without the law of Moses. Had he said the God of Abraham and Isaac, the Edomites would have had a claim without the law of Moses. This is very important. Here's an unbroken witness connection here to Abraham and the law of Moses and the prophets and the fulfilling of prophecy in Christ.
This is critical information. Peter narrows it down to the chosen people in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the fathers, those of the scripture, those of the covenant. In that covenant is the promise of a new covenant, or to say it another way, is the promise of a New Testament. That's why we call it the New Testament. It comes right out of Jeremiah. So may children of godly parents not trade truth for sensation or the gods of Satan. Now Satan won't tell you as a rule that he is killing your soul, and you know, to be young, there's so many things going on with your life. You don't yet know really who you are. You've not yet been tested by so many things. That's understandable.
What is not understandable is to be born in a godly home and dismiss that. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of 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 crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd 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 at crossreferenceradio.com or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Acts, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-30 18:31:02 / 2023-03-30 18:40:42 / 10