While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?”
- What has God done in my life that is utterly astounding?
- What has God done in your life that is utterly astounding?
- What has God done through our church that is utterly astounding?
What’s one of the mistakes of the Church when it comes to the supernatural? Unfortunately, many churches have responded to the topic of the supernatural in one extreme or the other.
- Some churches over emphasize the Holy Spirit.
- Some churches under emphasize the Holy Spirit.
Peter says, “Why do you wonder at this?” “Why do you stare at us?”
- We did not do this by our own power.
- We did not do this by our own piety.
Peter and John didn’t make this man walk; God did His work through them.
What is God’s design for His great commission to be fulfilled?
- He designed the disciple model.
- He modeled the disciple model.
- He equips us as disciples.
- He empowers us as disciples.
- He commissioned us, returned to the Father, and gave us the Holy Spirit.
- He created the gifts.
- He gives us the gifts.
All of that was true and was needed back then… How much more is this true and needed today?
As we move forward in this passage, notice how God has always prioritized and worked through people.
Look at how God identifies Himself in Acts 3:13.
“The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.”
- God wants to be known by His relationship to His people.
- God wants to be known by His faithfulness to His people.
“But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you…”
Peter shoots them straight.
“… and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.”
Notice the strong and intentional play on words: “You killed the Author of Life.” They did it, but ultimately, it isn’t possible to kill the Author of Life. What did God do? He raised the Author of Life from the dead!
We are witnesses of the resurrection. Try to comprehend the magnitude of that statement. This resurrection is the defining moment in history. It is literally the difference between BC and AD!
“And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”
How did this miracle happen?
- By faith (confident trust) in Jesus’ name.
- By faith (confident trust) in the One who is:
- the holy and righteous One;
- the Author of Life.
“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.”
It’s an understatement to say they acted in ignorance when they killed the Author of Life!
What does it say about us as sinners that we killed our Savior?
- So blinded by lies.
- So blinded by our pride.
- So blinded by our desire to be in control.
“But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.”
- Suffering was God’s way.
- Suffering was foretold by the prophets.
- Suffering is not man’s way.
It was difficult to understand that our Savior (Christ) would suffer. The Hero isn’t supposed to die. Jesus told them about His resurrection… but it was so hard to comprehend His predicted death, they didn’t spend any time trying to comprehend His resurrection.
Again, who writes the story where the Hero shows up, dies, is resurrected, ascends to Heaven, gives us another Hero in the Holy Spirit, and promises to come back a second time to fully establish His Kingdom, His rule and reign?!
By the way, all of this was foretold and fulfilled.
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus…”
Repent means a change of mind that leads to a change of heart that leads to a change of direction.
Confession is vital, but repentance is more than confession.
- Confession is the first step of repentance.
- Repentance completes the process.
Remember: Repentance isn’t perfect, but it is progressive. It doesn’t mean you’ll never fail in this way again, but it does mean repentance is a transformative process in your life. You’re taking off the old and putting on the new.
This is also very important: Repentance is toward God first and away from your sin second. When you turn toward God, you automatically turn away from your sin. It’s much easier to turn toward God than it is to turn from your sin. Turning toward gives you the power to turn away. In other words, focus on what you’re gaining, not on what you’re losing.
What are the results of repentance?
- “Your sins may be blotted out.”
- “Times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
- “He may send the Christ appointed for you.”
“… whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”
Here’s the bottom line: Repenting leads to refreshing and restoring.
“Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.’”
Luke, the writer of Acts, reaches back prophetically.
- Moses was a
- Jesus is your
What should we do?
- Listen, trust, and obey.
“Listen to Him in whatever He tells you.” He’ll tell you some crazy stuff compared to human logic and reasoning. The supernatural is radically different than the natural.
“‘And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’”
There are consequences to not listening to God’s prophet, to God’s Son, to God’s Savior, to Jesus.
- He is The Way.
- He is The Truth.
- He is The Life.
“And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.”
All the prophets spoke about this Prophet, Jesus.
“You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’”
The Blessed One has arrived; therefore, the time of blessing has arrived.
“God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
How does Jesus bless us?
- By turning us from our wickedness.
- By giving us Someone and Something better to turn toward.
- By giving us the gift of repentance.