The power of the name of Jesus Christ
Acts 3:1-16 (Pastor Heo)
3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11 While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
The Jews had 3 times to pray (set times).
Daniel prayed 3 times per day – even in Babylon, opening his windows toward Jerusalem.
Do you also have your own fixed time(s) to pray during the day?
Our lives should be one long and running conversation with Christ through prayer. Eph 6:8-10 “Pray in the HS in all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Be alert and pray for all the saints.”
1 Thess “Pray unceasingly.”
The secret to success for endless prayer = to set times during the day to practice it.
Today’s story is a miracle: the healing of a lame man (crippled man).
There was a crippled man lying down by the temple gate and he asked Peter and John for some money. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” He looked straight at him with John. Usually when we help a beggar, we just give a coin and he doesn’t look at us.
Peter said, “Look at us!” – so maybe he expected big money. But Peter said, “Sorry, no money.” He was probably disappointed / angry. “BUT what I have, I’ll give you.” Peter said, “Rise up and walk” and immediately, his feet and ankles became strong. He stood – walking, jumping, leaping, praising God and he entered the temple with Peter and John and worshiped God. He praised God.
What is important is that he didn’t praise Peter, but he praised God. He knew that the source of the healing power was from God. Even in this exciting and emotional moment, he praised God who’d given him a new lease on life.
Yes, we should also thank our neighbors. “Thank you very much.” But we must praise and worship only God – because he is behind every “good and perfect gift” (James 1:17).
Yes, this miracle is our story today as well. Don’t you know that we have already experienced such a miracle as this? Stand up please. Wow! You can stand! You can walk! You can jump!
Please know that if you can stand, walk, jump, then you have reason enough to praise God.
Yes, today, our standing, walking, jumping is a miracle. We should praise God MORE than this guy – because he began all these things at age 40. But we began all these things at the age of 1 or 2.
If I say, “Stand up please” and you are the only one who is able – you will feel this is a miracle – a special grace from God. But you don’t think this because all of us can do it.
Please remember, miracles are ABSOLUTE experiences, not RELATIVE experiences.
If my salvation is a miracle, it is a miracle regardless of other people’s salvation. If you can stand and walk and jump, it is a miracle regardless of other people’s ability to do so.
- The wrong question: Why is this a miracle?
- No, we must know what a miracle is.
Yes, a doctor or surgeon today can do the things that were understood as miracles long ago. It means that God has revealed new truths about medicine. One doctor has said, “I bandaged the wound, but God healed it.” Even today, miracles are available in the hands of many people – because God is alive and unchangeable in his power and attributes – and he is the one who performs miracles through our hands.
The question is “What can we give to this world?” We can give only what we have, not what we do not have. We cannot give what we pretend to have. We can only give what we HAVE.
This man’s crippled condition is a picture of the powerless, hopeless condition of the sinner. Romans “While we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.”
What God can do for this man is an illustration of what God can do in our lives today.
Are you saved?
Yes, salvation is very basic. The first step in the Christian life. So my first prayer request for all AICF members is that all members have Assurance of Salvation. This is the miracle of miracles. If we have this, we have all we need.
Let me share 8 points (similarities) between this man’s story of healing and our own salvation.
8 similarities between the Beggar and Ourselves
#1 Born Lame
- This man was born like this.
- We also were born unable – even unable to walk – but unable to please God.
Adam passed on his lameness (inability to please God) to all his descendants (including us).
- This man was a beggar.
- We also were beggars before God – unable to pay the tremendous debt we owed God.
#3 Separated from God
- He was also outside the temple gate (he was put there every day).
At that time, there were 9 gates that led from the Court of Gentiles to the temple itself.
This gate, Gate Beautiful, was probably the western gate.
- Like this, all sinners are separated (outside) from God – no matter how good they look, nor how near to the gate they may be.
#4 Wholly Healed by the Grace of God through the Power of the Name of Christ
Next time, we also will study MORE about how powerful the name of Christ is. Is this name in you? Are you using it practically in your daily lives?
He was saved by the grace of God through the name of Christ.
We also are saved like this.
Eph “You are saved by grace, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
#5 Instant Healing
“Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.”
How long do YOU need to be saved? One month, year, day?
No, our salvation is also IMMEDIATE.
This is instant healing because HE did nothing to be healed. It is only by the grace of God that he was healed.
Also, we can do nothing to be saved. If we try, we need almost an infinite number of years to do so. But, our salvation happened immediately – because Christ did all things necessary for our salvation, justification, glorification. How amazing!
Are you saved? Let me see the evidence.
This man showed the evidence of what God had done for him – by standing, jumping, walking, praising God. He showed the evidence of what God had done in public, in the sight of many eyes.
If we are really saved, we can show the evidence of what Jesus has done by saying, “Jesus is my Lord” and witnessing before others in public. This is our witness (evidence) before others. Are you showing this evidence every day in public? That is why there is always persecution found in the Christian life – because our witness should be done in public.
In the book of Acts (Mission), all witnessing and preaching is done in public.
#7 People could see the change
The change in this man’s life was amazing and gave people wonder and amazement. Actually, it is natural that the Christian life is wonderful – full of wonder.
Even today, Jesus is the same – he has changed our lives totally. He can, has, is, changing us physically, mentally, relationally, spiritually. Remember – the internal changes are just as miraculous as external healings.
Important question: The people who knew you before you became Christian must be able to see amazing changes in your life. They must be able to recognize the difference between your “how I was” and “how I am.” They must also see that we are continually growing and changing.
Tim “Let the see / know your progress.”
In what ways has God changed your life? Can others see changes in your life? Can outsiders see changes in my life? “yes”
We can worship God, praise God for all he has done in our lives.
#8 He didn’t get what he asked for, but what he needed
- He asked for money, but God gave him something MUCH better – the use of his legs.
- In our own lives, we often ask God to solve our small problems – but God wants to give us a NEW life and help ALL the problems.
Yes, you may ask God for what you WANT.
But do not be surprised when God gives you what you really NEED.
We do not know what we really need – we do not know what to pray – we do not know what is best for our future. Our wisdom and knowledge is not perfect, but God’s is. That’s why the HS helps us in our weakness. We do not know what to pray – but the HS intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
- Eph “Our God is able to do immeasurably more than we think or imagine.”
- Romans 8:28 “In all these things, God works all things together for good, for those who love him.”
The outside world is looking and waiting earnestly for a solution to their problems. Our task is to give – only what you HAVE – not what you pretend to have.