Acts (Part 3)

Last week we talked about the Holy Spirit being poured out on the Day of Pentecost. All 120 believers that were in the upper room were baptized with the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to empower them to be witnesses for Him. The disciples did what Jesus told them to do a waited until they received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Peter preaches a powerful message and three thousand people come o know the Lord and the early church is started!

Last week we shared four things that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit does for us.

  • Power to serve and witness (Acts 1:8)

  • Pursuit for and in the word of God (John 16:14, Ephesians 1:17-18)

  • Revelation of God’s truth - deeper understanding and love for the Word

  • Potency in prayer (Ephesians 6:18, Romans 8:26)

  • Passion for Worship (1 Corinthians 14:1, Philippians 3:3, Acts 2:11)

  • A greater desire to be in the presence of God

Today we will are going to look further into how the Baptism with the Holy Spirit impacted the Apostles lives and ministries!

I. Seeing things more clearly

Acts 3:1-11: Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them. All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.

What do we know about this lame man that was healed?

  • He was lame from birth.

  • He was carried down to the gate near the temple every day so that he could beg for money in order to survive. He couldn’t work and they didn’t have disability back then.

  • He was lame for over forty years (Acts 4:22: For everyone was praising God 22 for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.)

How many times do you think the Apostles walked by him until the healed them on this day?

Shortly after they had be baptized with the Holy Spirit they did something that they had never done before. They looked at him with a different perspective. They saw him the way Jesus saw him - with love and compassion. It’s interesting to see Peter’s response to this man. “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” What did he have to give him? Jesus!

Matthew 10:5-8: Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!

Salvation is more than the forgiveness of sin. It is also healing and deliverance. This man was healed through the name of Jesus.

Why didn’t Jesus heal him? He had plenty of opportunities to do so when He went to the temple. Jesus only did what the Father told Him to do. The Father had a plan to heal this man later through the Apostles. These next verses tells us why.

Acts 3:12-13: Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him.

He points to Jesus as the one who healed the lame man and proclaims His message of salvation.

Acts 3:19-20: Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.

I am thankful for my salvation, but I am also thankful for God’s presence. There are times that we are run down and burned out and God refreshes us when we are in His presence.

God used the Apostles to heal this man instead of Jesus, because this created an opportunity for 2,000+ more people to come to know the Lord.

We should never question when, how, or who God heals, He always has a reason and a plan behind everything.

II. God wants us to operate in His power to validate who He is!

Acts 4:10: Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.

Now the priest, temple guards, and religious leaders are getting involved. They didn’t like the idea of the apostles preaching about Jesus rising from the dead so they put them in jail for the night.

Peter makes it clear to those who threw them in jail that Jesus Christ of Nazarene, the one they crucified, is the one who healed the lame man.

Acts 4:12-14: There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say.

The members of the council were amazed by these two things:

  1. The boldness of Peter and John

  2. These were ordinary men with no special training the scripture, yet the spoke with authority

They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

Why healing the sick is important in ministry:

The members of the council couldn’t say anything because the healed lame man was standing right before them. People may try to say that God is not real, but when they experience healing or a miracle they can’t get around that. They cannot simply explain away what they see before their own eyes.

III. We need to be refilled with the Holy Spirit daily.

These leaders wanted the Apostles to stop preaching about Jesus. The apostles knew that they would face opposition and asked God to help them.

Acts 4:29-31: And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

  • They prayed for boldness to preach God’s Word.

  • They prayed that God’s power would heal as they stretch our their hands to pray for the sick.

  • They prayed for signs and wonders to be done through the name of Jesus.

After this prayer meeting the place shook and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They had already been baptized with the Holy Spirit, but we constantly need to be refilled by His Spirit. What happened after they were filled with the Holy Spirit? They preached the Word of God with boldness!

If we are going to be effective in the Kingdom of God as believers and as the church, we need the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. He will help us to see more clearly where God is at work. He will give us the boldness to preach His word and to stretch out our hands to heal the sick. God wants us to operate this way in our lives so that people will know that He is real and that He loves them. The only way that this is going to happen is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. We need to be filled over and over again. God wants to use us and will use us, but we have to stretch out our hands in faith and let God do His work through us.