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The First Miracle

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
August 4, 2020 8:00 am

The First Miracle

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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August 4, 2020 8:00 am

A man who cant walk sits outside the temple begging for money. Most people look away. A few give him a coin. But today, two men stop and talk. Theyre flat broke themselves, but they do give him something. And the man who cant walk stands up, walks around, starts jumping, and runs into the temple praising God.

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A man who can't walk, sits outside the temple begging for money. Most people look away. If you give them a coin, but today two men stop and talk their flat broke themselves, but they do give him something and the man who can walk stands up walks around starts jumping and runs into the temple, praising God welcome to the Bible study hours for radio and Internet program with Dr. James Morris preparing you to think and act first miracle and Max turns out to be pretty important not only for the man who was healed but for Peter, John, and the other believers. It led to Peter's second sermon and from there to jail and persecution.

Let's listen together now to Dr. Boyce when we first began to study the book of acts together some weeks ago I pointed out that one of the characteristics of this book is that it's a transition book someone like Joshua in the Old Testament.

Joshua is a transition between the days of Moses days wondering days of operation, and then those days of settling in the land when people at homes and houses and reestablish forms of government, and so on the backs or something like that even its position in the New Testament would indicate that it comes between the Gospels and the epistles. When we begin to read the book, the Lord Jesus Christ is still here at all of the characters that we come across in these early pages of the books are people to know him and were those who traveled about with him during the days of his ministry and witnessed his resurrection they speak about these things but as we go on for the book we begin to come to people who did not have that experience.

Paul himself, though he was an apostle figure so strongly later on in the book didn't live with Christ during the days of his earthly ministry. In addition to that, we come to people like Timothy and Titus well and Priscilla Paulison and many others who were gathered eventually out of the Gentile mission of the church but didn't have their roots in Palestine.

All so the flow of the book is from those early days in Jerusalem to Rome, the capital of the Empire, which is where the book ends the book as a transition in other ways. Also, it's a transition from an age in which the miraculous was very prominent to the names which although we would want to say the miraculous was excluded last an age much more like our own. When we come to the end where dealing with a man.

Paul, with whom we can easily identify establishing churches with whom we can easily identify the kind of problems I have are our problem.

So this is book is very important for that beginning as I said, we have some miracles we have less of them as we get to the end. I say that because here in this third chapter as we study it together we find the first of these miracles, there's really a bridge here to what we were told about in the previous chapter, because as Luke was describing that early fellowship of believers. He said in verse 43.

Everyone was filled with all on many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles as was there. In the church when the apostles were present and when they were doing. By the power of God. Many miraculous signs now become the very next chapter, chapter 3, and here we have Luke beginning to show as a least one of these are not going to be a pull off the roof you got. Later on, but easily showing us what other that what is important, because it was the occasion for second sermon of Peter's second one we have here in the book and also because it led to the first outbreak of persecution which were going to find in chapter 4 so this is selected with great progress on Luke's part as he writes this and it's very significant for its own sake, and also for its place in the structure of the book. Another miracle in itself is interesting where all that Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer there again.

We have a tie-in with what we found in the previous chapter because we were told there. The one of the things that the early church did was to gather together in the temple courts and the private take part in the prayers, Tybalt, when God would produce a break without formal Judaism, but that hadn't come yet they were still Jews, as well as Christians and they were there taking part of the worship that their people engaged in for so many hundreds of years.

There were Peter and John going up to the temple and as I went up to the temple to pray at the third hour at 3 o'clock in the afternoon they met this man who had been placed there at the gate of the temple gate beautiful debate because he was lame was unable to walk was in a bad way, but his friends at least, if not himself and put them in a good position.

Here he was at the very entrance to the courts where people would go to pray once in the morning regularly.

Once in the afternoon at 3 o'clock and I suppose he thought thought wisely that it would be difficult for them to go up and pray to God and to offer heartfelt worship to God. Just a moment before they had walked by a poor man who needed help there at the entrance to the temple courts all eat was in the right place. And as Peter and John went by they stopped and they looked at him or told here that Peter fixed his attention on them and then demanded that the man fix his attention on them. He said, look at us that man wanted. I can imagine that if his experience was that of most people who are begging for that most people in spite of the fact that they were going up the private simply walk by somebody that is needy and you don't want to help them and their needs and try not to notice them and that's what would've happened when Peter and John stopped and looked at it and said now you look at secure attention on this man must've looked up very hopefully. I don't know what they begged within those days, but if you had a tin cup.

I imagine he held the cup out to them because he imagine that if they stopped to look at him and were trying to get his attention. Why must be because they had something to give him so he thought. This is a good day. These people are going to give me something good and then Peter at this great say verse six silver or gold I do not happen. I have to stop there. You say, and see what's happening. Silver and gold I do not have man wanted silver and gold and then as his eyes are downcast of his cup is lowered. Peter goes off and Peter says, but what I have I give you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk is really worth thinking about that a little bit.

It was certainly the Peter's credit that he could say both parts of that sentence was to his credit. First of all that he could say silver and gold I do not have. There's a story from the period of the Renaissance. That is, I have come across in different places has different characters of all which always makes a story like the suspect version I like best involves St. Thomas Aquinas. He was in Rome and was with the car door Pope, and they were walking along the street and they Cardinal saw a bigger and reaching in his pocket he pulled out a silver coin and gave it to him and then he turned Aquinas the great doctor of the church and said to them, well, so we could no longer say, as Peter did silver and gold have I none Aquinas replied to him, yes that is true, but neither can we say in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk about it was the Peter's great credit that he could say both things. It is always been true in the church that some have used religion but just in Christianity and other forms of religion as well, as a means of acquiring wealth and we see much of it today. Peter was not one of those. I guess in the early church was somebody who got the money later on we find that there was a treasury distributed from those who had need. But Peter had not dipped into the treasury.

Perhaps he had learned something from the case of Judas, who were told in the Gospels didn't do that. He Personally didn't do it, used it whenever he had a knee. Peter wasn't doing that itself until after the temple to pray, can honestly say I don't have a silver gold on them any money, and perhaps it's because of that, that he was particularly close to God and would say as he did in the second part of the sentence but I am going to give you what I have and that is the name of Jesus of Nazareth, walk, and then he reached down and took that man by the hand of Maluku records this with particularly vivid language and perhaps was interested in at the point of view of a physician records how strength flowed in that manner and perceiving it once, but he been changed and they could respond in the name of Jesus rose up, he was restored to health, and he was so exuberant in his newfound health that the language literally leaps as it flows along just as he leapt were told that he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping and praising God. It was really a great great day on the people who knew the man because they had gone in and out of that gate many many times they had seen that man sitting there paralyzed many many times was no question about who he was on the case of the man who had been born blind was some question whether he was the same man, perhaps because when his sight was restored, he changed his appearance about people said now is really the matter was, why was any doubt in this case.

This case of the battle been paralyzed and they understood once what it happened.

The great miracle had happened.

By the same power that had been displayed at Pentecost in the name of Jesus of Nazareth is all the people gathered around and said they were filled with wonder and were astonished and came running to Peter and John and Peter began to preach this great second sermon is worth thinking about that sermon a bit when we were studying the second chapter. I did the same thing with the sermon Peter that we find there, and as we come to this when we find a quite different sermon quite a different circumstance.

What you would expect against the same elements are present because Peter, regardless of the circumstances trying to do the same thing he was trying to point them to Jesus of Nazareth was the Savior of the world and so that's what we find. As we begin the study about. Look at these features.

First of all, just as in the sermon Pentecost is focused on Jesus. I guess it would've been possible for Peter to focus on something else focused on the miracle itself could have said now this really something very interesting. I want you to make sure that you understand this really is a miracle look at this man, I'll examine it. Let's all get around here. I suppose he could've done that it could have turned a new testimony service said now brother you have been healed. Here's your chance to give a testimony stand up, give a testimony could've done that focuses some preachers do on himself to set up me tell you about my experiences in the name of Jesus, but let that go for a minute. Let me tell you how I first came to be part of this things going on here today could've done that is what Peter does. Peter says men of Israel, why does this surprise you when you steer.

It says if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. And that's where the emphasis of the entire sermon lies something else about it. And speaking of Jesus, Peter, and inevitably is biblical. I say that because this sermon is not so obviously biblical as the previous one we were studying sermon at Pentecost but I pointed out that there are three great text, Peter focuses on the text in Joel second chapter that has to do with the coming of the Spirit in the last days of men Psalm 16, as do the resurrection. Finally, Psalm 110 verse one the speaks of God's exultation of the Christ the Lord to his right hand, those checks are very prominent in the way. Peter preached that sermon was acquitted. Text at length and then explain it isn't quite so obvious in the second sermon, though, as we'll see when Peter gets to the end does quote from the 18th chapter of Deuteronomy and from the 22nd chapter of Genesis is biblical. All right, but here at the beginning at least is biblical in a more indirect way reason I say that is because when Peter refers as he does in verse 13 to Jesus as God's servant uses the word occurs here in the text parties which in the Septuagint as the translation for the word servant says that occurs in the 52nd chapter of Isaiah verse 12 where it begins to introduce that section of that great prophecy which tells about the suffering servant of the Lord. Some of our versions of the King James, for example, says his son Jesus word is actually servant and is a reference to Isaiah 53. I think Peter had that in mind, the servant of the Lord was a concept known in Israel because of Isaiah 53 the other chapters that deal with it when he goes on to say his righteous one is holy one as he does later on titles for the Christ also appear in Isaiah 50 Dragon is pretty clear that is what he has in mind he's talking about here, though he does in this case, quote a verse explicitly is this great fulfillment of Isaiah 53 by Jesus as he died for our sin in our place for our transgressions, and so on. When he talks about them.

He has a certain summation of the important things about Jesus that he mentions. One is that it is Jesus.

Earlier, when he spoke to the man was paralyzed and referred to him as the Christ of Nazareth that is the earthly Jesus is not some mystical imaginary philosophical Jesus that is proclaiming this is the Jesus they all know the Jesus who lived in Nazareth and traveled about the country in whom he had known in the formula witness that Jesus but that is the same Jesus who died and rose from the dead by the power of God. You see is not retreating in the mysticism or some kind of abstract theology at the same time is not naturalizing or be supernatural. Isaac the gospel that Jesus all right but that Jesus is the son of God was raised from the dead. This is the one we proclaim to you so sermon focuses as we would expect to focus on Jesus. When you think about Christianity is that what you think you realize Jesus Christ is the center of all this a lot more on the things we talk about in addition to that, but properly understood all those other things related to him in some measure Jesus Christ.

You don't have Christianity.

That's what it is be a Christian is to have a personal relationship with him and that's what Peter was preaching here in these very early days of the history of the Christian church and secondly I want you to say that the emphasizes here even more so than he did in the previous sermon the sins of his hearers doesn't have a very personal way. I notice that in this section, where he begins to talk about their sin.

He uses the word you second person plural. He does it four times only used it in the previous sermon in that way. Once you look at the previous sermon in chapter 2.

You find the word you occurs, a number of times when talking about sin is only one city speaks that way. That's in verse 23 you with the help of wicked men put him to death by nailing him to the cross that pretty blonde. All right, but I guess as Peter reflected on that got a little better. You know anybody will improve with practice. When he got around to preaching at the second time he figured, well, that's a point that really deserves emphasis. So in the sermon when he began to speak about their culpability says you handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, but we decided to let them go.

You disowned the holy and righteous one and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead is pretty powerful. You have to remember that Peter was doing this in the very city where these very people had called out against Jesus saying. I am crucified at the instigation of their leaders. Here is Peter speaking to those same people with those very leaders looking because they were very concerned about what was going on in the city and he says over and over again.

You did it you did it you did it.

Verbs are powerful tool you say you handed him over to be killed. You disowned him. You asked that a murderer be released to you.

You killed the author of life… When I'm preaching, usually without these thoughts in mind at all I'll say something about the death of Jesus and how the Jewish leaders conspired to hand them over the pilot and copilot had in crucified, and whenever a study like that that I do is recorded that appears on the radio. Later, many of my messages do I always had letters from people that object to the reference of the Jews having anything to do with the death of Jesus Christ. And that's understandable.

Of course, because that's a very sensitive point in Judaism I noticed that sensitive is it, maybe it certainly had never been any more sensitive than it was in this day and Peter when he stood up to preach, didn't allow sensitivity to stand in the way he did not say notice you choose is the delusion of everybody else and mean that all certainly piloted on.

We talk about wicked man was in the Jews who were the wicked man. It was the Romans wicked men would actually put into the efficacy is where Peter is happy for saying what group of people I talk to you are all the blame for it in one way or another and you and I are to blame for the death of Jesus Christ to even though we were not there at the time he was arrested and tried to crucified because it's our sins in their Jesus was here today, we would spurting today apart from the grace of God.

Just as surely as they spurned them in the days of his flesh in Jerusalem so long ago, when Peter speaks of human guilt as he does speaks of handing them over and disowning them and killing them.

This is something that embraces the attitude of every human heart, but thirdly not only does the going to Jesus focus on humans speak of their guilt, making it very clear that they have something to repent of. He begins then to appeal to them because you say he's not interested in the final analysis, and condemning advantage to that he wants them to turn from sin and faith in Jesus and so he begins to make his appeal. He says in verse 17 as he starts this section of his address. Now, brothers, centrist things he doesn't treat them as aliens and, indeed, how could he, because when you said earlier, you disowned him. You disowned him.

He repeated that twice. That's a very thing that Peter himself.though he denied Christ when he was arrested and he knew that so he doesn't stand aloof now and see begins to appeal to these people explaining what happened.

He calls them brothers brothers he says now listen, I know you acted in ignorance as did your leaders doesn't make them any less guilty they were guilty. All right.

The leaders hated him especially the mongooses carried along as blobs are, but nevertheless he says he tried to make it as easy as he possibly can.

He said he did it in ignorance. But this is what God had said would happen so it did when I have been reading the commentaries as they talk about this number of them call attention to something that existed in Israel not referred to here, but it's an illustration what's going on in Israel. There were certain city set aside were called cities of refuge somebody in Israel accidentally killed someone else, he was able to flee to one of the cities were intended to protect real murder somebody intentionally went out and killed somebody when he was to be judged and tried for that just as anybody else.

What but if it was accidental.

If there was a what we would call manslaughter instead of murder by he could flee to the city of refuge and then he was protected there as long as he would stay there. None of the avenging relatives could come and get it and he was safe they had to stay there to the high priest died in the high priest died that he was free to go home and let some of the commentators said by way of illustration is that the something like that going on here.

Just said that they're all guilty of murder but it's almost as if Peter is saying God is willing to treat it nearly as manslaughter taken on that level. If you'll flee to the refuge that he provides for you because as Peter I know you did it in ignorance were guilty when we spurned love of God.

We are certainly the blame when we reject Jesus Christ as we all do. Apart from his grace, but it is true is that the same time delete to do it in ignorance. But we really don't know God. We really don't understand the gospel is one of the things it means to be sinful man or woman. We just don't think spiritually and here is Peter saying well yes I understand that God is willing to treat it as manslaughter rather than murder. If you'll flee to the place of refuge and come to have faith in Jesus Christ. The course is what he now calls upon them to do. Verse 19 repent, then, he says, in turn to God to always go together. You know some people say well I feel sorry for my sins.

Is that enough moments not enough sin is by its very nature, something that quite often makes us feel sorry redundant, but is not enough to feel sorry for that is not repentance. Repentance is feeling sorry enough to quit without child. Once defined repentance quitting means turning from sin to Jesus Christ and so that's what Peter says repent and turn to God for some inducements as he does that and you know that's the thing I like to look at here. Just as we close, says repent and turn to God that he begins to explain why they are to do that. First of all, he says, so that your sins may be wiped out, that is, so you might have forgiveness.

That's the only place you ever find forgiveness really.

Forgiveness is what people need director of a large mental institution in England said some years ago in the company of John Stott I could send half of my patients home tomorrow. If only they could feel forgiven people, even though they don't acknowledge it carrying around with them a great load of guilt may be the case if that's what you're carrying around at night. Not talking about it you're not telling other people what it is you've done life.

You told them that you be afraid of what might happen, but that's on your mind, you remember it you know what you've done carried out around with you day by day, week by week and year by year and keeps you from being what you might otherwise be find forgiveness in the world. The world is incapable of giving you forgiveness role is capable of judging sin, but it's not capable of forgiving sin.

They said in the days of Christ's ministry when he spoke on one occasion and said to Mama, son, your sins be forgiven. Who can forgive sins but God only were absolutely right.

They did recognize the was God and therefore had the right to forgive sin in their theology they write. Only God can forgive. And here is Peter say look this is a great inducement to turn from sin and believe in Jesus Christ because in him, you really do find forgiveness, why, how do you know you find forgiveness where is the satisfaction there that you do not find in the world if I dissatisfaction there and knowing the Jesus Christ bore punishment and penalty of your city, died in your place.

It's on the basis of true real vital vigorous satisfaction that you find release from the burden so if you are burdened by this exhibit weighs you down so much. And sometimes you feel he almost had a headache because of the remembrance of what you've done and come to Jesus because that's where you find forgiveness that you never find anywhere else in Peter speaks something else. He speaks of times of refreshing. I guess that is understood in different ways. As I read it here. I think he's speaking of a final day of blessing. I think he is thinking in Old Testament terms as a final. Verse history when Israel particularly will be blasting links it to the return of Jesus Christ. Well that's very true.

I think he saying that when Israel repents and tartans, then the final age of blessing will, but even apart from that, you know Christianity there really is such a thing as refreshing.

We go through awful lot of life.

Much of the time.

Feeling pretty stale and what we do. We are like the horse that eats the same thing every day. Hay and oats and oats on Monday owns an a on Tuesday I announce on Wednesday oats a day on Thursday and so forth, and you find as you go on in life, specially if you're in an unrewarding kind of job. But it's all all stay, sometimes even your Christianity seems stale say well I been coming to church every week, again and again. Somehow just isn't what it used to be. I feel so flat when I come.

Well, that's true. That happens we go through dry spells. Sometimes in the Middle Ages.

The mystics used to speak about the dark night of the soul wasn't because they were far from God that is still far from God. We know those things. Sometimes it's physical you know you just aren't bad health and it affects the way you have outlooks on what's around you and sometimes it's the weather. Weather affects me. Sometimes I come in on Monday or Tuesday and I feel like I going to the dark night of the soul is only because the sun is shining. I'm depressed because of the weather's all kinds of reasons you say what we are told is that in Christ really are.

Some of refreshing and you know that times when it seems that Jesus is so real and the gospel is so vivid that your soul is revived well. Peter says if you want that if you want times of refreshing those times that make life really worth living.

When you say good to be a Christian.

I'm so glad God created me in the main report this hour.

This time it would be in this place alone is that you find that as you turn from seven follow after Jesus was another inducement here also, and I find that at the very end.

In verse 26. It's something that apply particularly to them after Peter gets through saying that all of this is some God's way of fulfilling prophecy. And they ought to know that because these of their books after the close of Deuteronomy 18/22 chapter of Genesis, when he gets right to the end. He says God raised up his servant to send him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways that word first is the word I find interesting first to you was that well to the Jews. Yes, first of the Jews and Gentiles. That's a principle we find elsewhere. But more than that because usually it's not just all Jews that Peter is preaching to others.

Occasion is preaching to the Jews were instrumental in the death of Jesus Christ is what he's referring to. That's what he said earlier, these are the ones who handed him over to be killed disowned him ask of the murder Barabbas be released to them in Jesus we crucified and as he said killed the author like it's these people these very ones who had been instrumental in the greatest crime in human history but God now comes with the gospel of salvation. First say it's God's way of saying I know what you done, but I don't hold that over you I love you anyway. Precisely for people like you that I sent Jesus Christ my son to die and so I come offered to the gospel to you.

First of all, now you and I can say that we've done those things in a literal sense and we can say that God has since his servant to us.

First of all, many people of God in Christ first before us down through the long ages of human history, but the principal is the same regardless of what you may have done regardless of the low self image you had regardless of the guilt. You may carry. God sends his son to you reason the gospel is proclaimed to you is because God wants to say it is for someone just like you that Jesus died is no greater message all the world and that that's why we don't stand in the pulpit and read poetry and talk about that after discuss novels, serve to have some insights about current events and maybe very interesting in its place is a that's not the right message. The message is that the God of the universe. God created everything we know the who made you and against whom you every belt and you killed or 1 kg you have the opportunity to do it that God loves you in spite of what you are sent Jesus Christ to rescue you from left and make you into something splendid replica of Jesus that will live with him throughout all eternity. All that's the glorious, glorious message my friend RC scroll was in the prisons once with Chuck Colson in one of the prisoners was speaking and he was trying to talk about that gospel to the prisoners and he said as he got to the end of his testimony now and that doesn't turn you on, you ain't got no switches and I say the same thing to you now that message that Peter preached here and that I have tried to share with you in contemporary terms that doesn't turn you on. It's because you lack the switch. What we pray is that God will do that God will ignite a fire in your heart so you really will turn from sin and come to Jesus's prayer our father. We don't need to preach novelties because that always calm and go and they don't produce any lasting change.

What we preach what we tried to preach five tried to teach tinnitus. Same message that your servants have been preaching for all these thousands of years in which you been blessing down through all the centuries.

So our father blessed blessed because it's your message blessed because it's about Jesus Christ your son blessed because it comes to us through your word which you promise to bless us and perhaps above all because you love those who hear it or not willing that any should perish but that all might come to repentance. Father blessed left message to hearts right now the power of the Holy Spirit for the sake of Jesus.

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