Summary Acts 3 (quotations in the ESV)
Peter and John, the Lord’s disciples, were instrumental of God in the healing of a man who was lame from birth. The people were amazed at this, so Peter let them know that this man was not healed by their power. It was by faith in the name of Jesus Christ that the man was healed. All glory to God!
Then they took this opportunity to talk with the people about Jesus Christ and to share the gospel of our salvation with them, too. Peter told them,
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Vv. 19-20a
He let them know, too, that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies of Scripture regarding the Christ who was to come. And he reminded them of the words of Moses:
“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. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.” Vv. 22-23
And, then he said to the people, who were the Jews (Vv. 25-26):
“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.’ God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
He was talking about Jesus Christ here. No one else fits this description. So, I want us to look at what all this means up to this point (Read Acts 3).
He let them know that Jesus was the servant of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that they had handed him over to be crucified, that they had denied “the Holy and Righteous One,” i.e. the Christ, and that they had killed “the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.”
He then told them that he knew they had acted in ignorance, but it was here that he told them that they needed to repent and to turn back to God that their sins may be blotted out. So, faith in Jesus involves repentance.
He also told them that they must listen to Jesus in whatever he tells them and that everyone who does not listen will be destroyed. So, obedience is also part of faith, for if we obey we have eternal life, but if we don’t obey, we don’t, and we will face judgment (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
And he let them know that Jesus, the Christ, is the promised seed of Abraham through whom all nations will be blessed. And the way the nations are blessed is by Jesus turning them from their wickedness. So, again, repentance is part of faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus blesses us by turning us from our wickedness, not just by forgiving us so we can keep on sinning.
Acts 4 (quotations in the ESV)
“And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.” Vv. 1-4
The next day Peter and John were brought before the rulers and they questioned them regarding by what power or by what name they had healed the man born lame. Then Peter told them it was by the name of Jesus whom they had crucified, but whom God had raised from the dead. And he told them that there is salvation in no one else other than in Jesus Christ.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.” Vv. 13-14
When the rulers conferred among themselves regarding what to do with Peter and John, they acknowledged that a notable sign had been performed through Peter and John which was evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and which they could not deny.
But they did not want the name of Jesus to spread any further, so they commanded them not to speak or to teach at all in the name of Jesus.
“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.’” Vv. 19-20
So, when we are calling people to repent of their sins, to turn away from their wickedness, and to turn back to God/Jesus in faith and in obedience to his commands, there are going to be people, including rulers and pastors and other “Christians,” who are going to be annoyed with us, too.
And they, too, will want to silence us. And they may begin to question us, too, regarding our faith and our testimonies for Jesus Christ, and for his gospel. And they may ask or command us to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, or to stop telling people that they must repent, submit, and obey Jesus Christ with their lives.
And they may be annoyed with us, too, because they can see the evidence of Jesus in our lives, and of his anointing on our lives in sharing the good news. But they don’t want to hear the truth, for they want to remain in their sins while holding on to a belief that they will still go to heaven.
And so, they may verbally attack us or twist our words or try to set us up for a fall or try to trip us up with our words, so they have cause to accuse us. For they will want to discredit us so that people won’t listen to us so that they can go on in their sin unchallenged and without guilt.
But we need to answer in the same manner in which Peter and John did. We must obey God rather than men when men are telling us that we need to disobey God and that we need to compromise our faith so as not to offend people with the truth of the gospel.
Thus, we must remain committed to the gospel that Jesus taught which sets the captive free from their prisons, i.e. their slavery (addiction) to sin. For only the truth will set people free, and only by being set free from our slavery to sin, so we can be slaves of righteousness, do we have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Eph 4:17-24).
The Lord’s Anointed
An Original Work / December 16, 2011
Based off Isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Sov’reign Lord on me;
Anointed to preach the Good News;
Sent me to bind up the brokenhearted;
Proclaim freedom for the captives.
He sent me to preach release for pris’ners
Who are walking in sin’s darkness;
Proclaim God’s grace to all men who’ll listen;
And tell them about God’s judgments;
Comfort all who mourn;
Give crowns of beauty;
Oil of gladness and thanksgiving.
They will be called oaks of God’s righteousness,
A planting of our Savior, God,
For the display of our Lord’s splendor, and
They will rebuild God’s holy church.
God will renew them, and will restore them,
And you’ll be called priests of the Lord.
You will be ministers of our God, and
You will rejoice in salvation.
The Lord loves justice;
He is faithful to
Reward those who are seeking Him.
I delight greatly in the Lord;
My soul rejoices in my Savior, God.
He has clothed me with His salvation,
And in a robe of His righteousness.
He has given me priestly garments to wear,
As the bride of Jesus Christ.
As the garden of our Lord and Savior,
He causes us to grow in Him.
He makes righteousness,
Praise, and thanksgiving
Spring up before all the nations.