Summary of passages: Acts 3: Peter and John were heading to the temple to pray when they ran into a crippled beggar. He asked them for money and Peter exclaimed, “Look at us!” The beggar did and Peter said he would give the man what he had and told him to walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He pulled him to his feet and the beggar began to jump around and praise God. The people who saw the beggar were filled with awe at what had happened to him.
All the people were astonished and came running to Peter and John. Peter asks them why they stare at them as if they were the ones to heal the man. It was through Jesus, the one you disowned and killed and God raised again, by faith in Jesus that this man walks.
God fulfilled his prophecies. Repent, turn to God so your sins can be wiped clean. Jesus will remain in heaven until the time of restoration. Peter quotes Moses and Abraham who spoke of Jesus, telling the people to listen and turn from your wicked ways.
Acts 4: The priests and the Sadducees arrest Peter and John because they were teaching people Jesus rose from the dead. But many heard and more were converted.
The next day the pair was brought before the Sanhedrin (a group resembling the group Jesus was brought before) and asked by what power they healed. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks the truth, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ whom you killed that this man is healed. Salvation is found only in Jesus.
The learned men were astonished these so-called unschooled, ordinary men could heal. They could do nothing since everyone had seen the man healed. The Sanhedrin want to stop them from speaking in Jesus’ name but when they asked Peter and John to stop, they refused. Reluctantly, the two were let go since they could not deny a miracle had taken place.
Peter and John returned and prayed, saying “God, you made it all; you proclaimed through David how the rulers gather against you but they did what you had decided beforehand. So enable us to speak your word with boldness and to heal through Jesus. God filled them with the Holy Spirit.
All the believers shared their possessions. The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of Jesus. No one went without.
3) 1) You must have faith to give faith. Peter says, “What I have I give you.” (Acts 3:6) Peter takes the man by the hand and he walks. Peter had faith in Jesus and gave it to the man.
2) Once you have faith you must use it and proclaim it. “He jumped to his feet and began to walk. He walked, jumped, and praised God.” (Acts 3:8) Once Jesus is in your heart you must use it to follow God’s plan for you. John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
3) “Faith comes from hearing the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 Peter heals the man in the name of Jesus. When you hear or read the word of God you are healed in many ways just like this man was when he heard the name of Jesus.
4) From Ephesians 2:8, God’s grace saves us and the Holy Spirit prompts us to do good works. The crippled beggar was healed because God chose to heal him through his grace. The beggar believed and Peter believed and God chose to reward them because He loved them and loves us.
4a) The name of Jesus is powerful. It heals (3:6).
Jesus is referred to as God’s servant (3:13); the Holy and Righteous One (3:14); the author of life (3:15); Peter explains “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given complete healing” (3:16); God’s holy servant (4:27, 30)
b) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (4:12)
5) The were astonished and confounded how unschooled, ordinary men could perform such miracles. They had been with Jesus and performed an indisputable miracle. All the rulers could do was threaten them. They could not harm them for they were now loved by the people.
6a) They praised God and listed his accomplishments (“you made the heaven and the earth and the sea”). They quoted God’s words (Psalm 2:1,2). They told God what was happening through telling him the travesties that were occurring against him and Jesus (conspiring against him). They recognized it was God’s will and said so (verse 28). Finally, they asked for what they wanted (consider the threats and stretch out your hand and perform miracles in Jesus’ name).
b) Personal Question. My answer: I’m trying to say “your will, not mine” more. I praise God for His goodness and His goodness in my life. Then ask for what I want in a humble way if it is God’s will and in His timing.
7) They shared what they had with others and each had a good heart (one for God). They testified to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and much grace was showered on them. No one was in need for those that had gave when needed or gave to those who could give to those needy.
Conclusions: Challenging lesson that’s for sure. Question 3 I think will get a lot of you thinking. I also liked the prayer model. It’s something we all know but it’s hard to remember in the rush we have in our lives to take the time and pray properly when we do pray.
That being said, I think ultimately God doesn’t care how you pray. Even if it’s just, “God, help me” it’s something, which is better than nothing. For God knows your heart and what you mean even when you don’t or can’t say it.
I enjoyed the various names Jesus is called. It’s helpful for me to remember exactly what he has done for us. Sometimes the word Jesus is not enough. He’s talked about so often we can become immune almost to his power. The phrases “God’s holy servant” and “author of life” emphasizes just exactly who Jesus is and the power he has in our lives.