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Acts 3





Acts 2 details the birth of the church.  Acts 3 shows us the church in action.  As the chapter opens Peter and John were going to the Temple complex to pray.  This tells us that those early Christians in Jerusalem still had deep Jewish roots and other than meeting in each other’s homes, they had no place to gather other than the Temple.

On their way in they meet a man that had been handicapped since birth.  In the next chapter we will discover that he was 40 years old when this happened.  So, he had undoubtedly spent decades begging at one of the gates to the Temple.  By the way, since he was handicapped, he would have never been allowed into the Temple.  Sitting outside one of the gates would have been as close as he ever came to being in the Temple.

Other than 3,000 people being saved which is a huge miracle, the healing of this man is the first recorded miracle after Jesus ascended to heaven.  Don’t miss the fact that it was done in the name of Jesus. 

The miracle may have had a couple of purposes.  One, it was undoubtedly intended to help this man in ways that he had never been helped before. Two, it created another opportunity to draw a crowd so that the Gospel could be preached again much like what happened in Acts 2.

As you read through what Peter said, you will discover that he had not lost his boldness.  He went right at them.  He correctly called them out on delivering Jesus to Pilate, demanding Barabbas be released instead of Jesus, and then being responsible for killing Jesus.

The crucifixion of Jesus may have been man’s last word on the subject of Jesus.  But the empty tomb was God’s last word.  And Peter was not shy in telling the crowd that God, indeed, raised Jesus from the grave.

But Peter didn’t leave the crowd without hope.  It is one thing to come face to face with the wrong you have done and the good God has done.  But if that good that God has done is unavailable to you, it is nothing but a taunting. 

So, in verse 19 Peter challenges the crowd to repent.  He gives us two results of true repentance. One, sin is forgiven.  Two, times of refreshing will come.  Peter went on in verse 21 to assure the crowd that Jesus will return.

What a great miracle!  What a great message!  What a great gospel!  What a great Savior!

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Acts 2





If you have spent much time reading the Bible, you have probably developed an affinity for certain books over other books.  You probably have certain chapters that you like more than others.  And there are undoubtedly some verses that you keep closer than others.  That doesn’t mean the rest of the Bible is unimportant or bad.  It just means there are parts that, for whatever reason, seem to resonate more deeply with us than other parts.

For me, I love to read the book of Joshua.  Luke is my favorite gospel.  Ephesians is probably my favorite letter.  John 3 is a favorite chapter.  Romans 8 is incredible.  And then there is Acts 2.

I may have preached more out of Acts 2 than any other chapter in the Bible.  I am amazed at this chapter and its story of the birth of the New Testament church.  I am amazed that Peter who was once such a coward is now the chief speaker and boldly proclaims the Gospel to people who were probably in the crowd clamoring for Barabbas to be released instead of Jesus.  I am amazed at the incredible response to the Gospel.  I am amazed at the story of the New Testament Church being born in a place that was very much antagonistic towards the Gospel.  And I amazed at the difference the church made.

As the chapter opens, we find the 120 in the upper room.  They are suddenly invaded by the Holy Spirit.  The promise of Jesus is fulfilled as those 120 were filled by the Spirit of the one, true God.  This by the way is the first time in all eternity that people would be filled by the Holy Spirit and He would continue to dwell in them.

Once they were filled by the Holy Spirit, the upper room was no longer big enough to contain them.  They spilled onto the streets of Jerusalem under the power of the Spirit and with the Gospel on their lips.  People from every nation on earth had been sovereignly gathered in Jerusalem for this very moment.

Peter preached the Gospel.  Thousands of people were saved and baptized.  And suddenly the New Testament Church is real and present.  People are being discipled.  They are praying and praising.  They are ministering.  They were sacrificially helping others.  They were hanging out with one another.  They were doing life in a brand new, crazy, Spirit filled way that had never been done before.

And people who saw that couldn’t wait to be a part of that.  So, people were being saved every day and the Lord was adding them to His church.

That is the church that Jesus created.  That is the church the way the church is supposed to be.  That is the church that was making an incredible difference, an amazing impact, an indelible mark.  That is the church that was turning the world upside down. 

I sure want to be a part of a church like that.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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