Princeton Christian Church
Acts 3:11-26 October 22, 2023
The book of Acts begins as we see the Apostles returning to Jerusalem. They are all together in the Upper Room. And Peter begins to preach. This is the first sermon to be preached after the death, burial, and resurrection of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter preached about all that Jesus had done, including reminding his audience that Jesus did rise from death and that He is seated at the right hand of His Father.
All he said to them caused them to question what they should do. And, of course, as we know, he told them precisely what they must do to be saved.
Repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We read in verse 41, “those who had received his word were baptized, and on that day there we about 3000 souls added to the church.
And, day by day, as we read in verse 46 – they continued – with one mind – in the temple, breaking bread from house to house, taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people.
And, as a result of their devotion to their Lord, He was adding daily to their number of those who were being saved.
Later, Peter and John encountered a man, lame from birth who was carried to the gate of the temple daily to beg for handouts from the people coming a going there.
So, he also begged for something from Peter and John. They let him know that they had no silver or gold, but they had something even better than silver or gold.
Peter told the man: “I do not possess silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you. Can’t you just see the man perked up, ready to receive something even greater than what he asked for?
Peter continued, “Here is what I have for you --- in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene ---- Walk!”
As Peter reached out his hand. The man held onto it. Peter raised his up. Immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. He entered the temple walking, leaping, and praising God. All the people watching all this happen and they were amazed and in wonder of what had just happened.
Now, if you were watching all this happening, and you had some kind of disability like this man did – wouldn’t you be saying “I want some of that too!”?
And that brings us to Peter’s second sermon as we have recorded in Acts 3:11-26. READ
Peter’s Second Sermon
11 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. 12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. 16 “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. 17 “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 “But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. 22 “Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. 23 ‘And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 25 “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
The healing of the lame man at the gate of the temple prompted Peter to preach a sermon to the people assembled on Solomon’s porch.
The people were amazed at what had taken place with this man. Peter very carefully began to explain it to them.
In doing so, he shared a threefold testimony concerning Christ. This Christ is who should be the center and point of all teaching and preaching.
These are the facts about Christ to which Peter testified:
1. Jesus is the power by which all miracles are worked,
2. Jesus is the redeemer of all souls (vss, 18-21) READ
3. He is the fulfillment of all the prophecies (vss. 22-26) READ
So, let’s look at each of the testimonies of Peter.
1. Jesus is the power by which all miracles are worked. (vss. 12-17) READ
Peter addresses them as Men of Israel. This is a respectful way to address those he was speaking to. They were Jews. They were men of Israel.
2. Then he asked them why they were astonished at what they had witnessed.
Notice that Peter did not claim any credit for himself or John for what they did.
But he cleared the way to give God all the glory and honor for the miracle that had just happened.
3. Notice a sharp contrast here: Jews killed the Prince of Life – Jesus – the Son of God. They denied Him; they crucified Him.
But God raised Him from the dead; God owned Him; God raised Him to Life.
4. Peter and John were witnesses to these events, as we those around the temple at the time.
5. How did all this happen – this miracle? It could only happen by faith in His name of Jesus.
The man was healed by faith in Jesus’ power. The apostles had faith in Jesus’ power. And, by the power that is in Jesus, the lame man had faith in Him also.
6. All this didn’t happen without proof. The people standing around watching – probably with great doubt that anything would happen – but they were watching. And they knew this man. After all, he had sat at the temple door for years begging for a handout. They knew this man. And Peter was quick to point that out to them (vs. 16).
The cure wasn’t just a partial healing. It wasn’t that the man could now stand, but he walked with a limp and needed help. This man was walking and leaping and praising God.
This was a complete and total healing. The man was in perfect condition.
Peter very clearly let the naysayers know that the faith of the man which came to him through Christ healed the man in the presence of them all.
Those who questioned or disbelieved the healing were in ignorance. And, Peter, being the bold one, told them so.
In verse 17 he told them this: “I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did too. But God has fulfilled all that He said about the suffering of Christ.
But their ignorance did not justify their crime. But, it was the ground and the basis for calling them to repent.
Now, let’s look at this second testimony concerning Jesus Christ.
He is the power behind the miracles we see in Scripture. He is also the Redeemer of our Souls – vss. 18-21.
In verse 19, Peter gives us the manner in which we can find redemption through Jesus Christ. He says, “Repent and return so that your sins may be wiped away.” And he goes on to say that we can expect times of refreshing as we enter the presence of the Lord.
Peter’s sermon here can be set alongside his sermon in Acts 2:38, where we hear him telling his audience (us): Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Repent, be baptized, receive remission (forgiveness). The Greek word for remission is aphesis, which literally means a dismissal or release. So, our sins are blotted out – wiped out, rubbed out, and erased.
The people who heard this message through Peter responded to the message. And at that time, on that day, the greatest ever stirring of the water of baptism took place as about 3000 souls were baptized, and the church of Jesus Christ began.
What we see there in Acts 2 clearly tells us that baptism is not a just ritual we go through to join the church. Rather, baptism is essential as the turning point in a life. It is the point at which we become new. We are buried, we die to sin, we become new, and we are restored to life.
You notice the phrase “times of refreshing” in verse 19. A season of refreshing is a time to cool, a time of obtaining relief. We receive a time of relief from our old way of life, now enjoying relief from the guilt of sin that was embedded in our lives before we knew Christ and were baptized into Him.
Because of our repentance, we have this refreshing because we have turned from our former way of life; our sins have been removed. We are clean – our sins are removed.
And now that we have experienced the times of refreshing, sins washed away in baptism, we are promised (verse 20) that Jesus, the Christ, has been sent to us.
He came once into the world, as we know, as a baby. He grew to manhood. He was made known to be the Son of God who came to save sinners from a life of sin into the arms of the Savior.
And, though He died a cruel death at the hands of evil man, He lives today within us who have named Him as our Savior. The greater part of that is that He will come again!
At His second coming, He will complete our redemption. That is, we will be carried away to His home for eternity.
Now, Peter speaks in this passage not only about times of refreshing but also about the period of restoration in verse 21. Restoration in the original language means to “set in order” or “back again” or setting things back again into their original state. It actually is a medical term meaning complete restoration of health.
The first coming of Christ was the beginning of that period of restoration. His second coming will be at the end of that period.
Finally, we find in verses 22-26 that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all prophecies.
Let’s take a look at Moses as Peter does here in verse 22. READ.
Moses, in his time, wore several hats. He was a lawgiver, a leader, a deliverer, as being a prophet.
Deuteronomy 18:15-19 (READ)
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 “This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’17 “The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 ‘I will raise up a prophet from among their 1countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 ‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.
Some of you may be old enough to remember back in the 60’s there was a psychic named Jeanne Dixon. She made numerous predictions about many different people and events. Seldom were her predictions true or came about. Someone calculated that her predictions, or prophecies produced the result she had predicted at about 65%. She would have been put to death for her inaccurate predictions if she had been an Old Testament prophet. She lived; she pronounced predictions. Then she died.
Now, look at the prophets who were prophets assigned by God. Those prophets had to be accurate 100% of the time. And they were. And they were because they were given the power of prophecy from God Himself.
Back to Moses, his prophecies, and those of all of God’s appointed prophets, were genuine. They commanded the respect of the people. They were prophets the people would listen to – at least most of the time.
Now Jesus comes as a Prophet. He is the Christ. He is the Promised One. We are told: “HEAR HIM”
Jesus came into the world as a baby. Moses did, too. He miraculously survived to serve God, as was God’s plan for him. God made Moses the leader of the Hebrew people. They were called to obey Moses.
Today, just as the Hebrew nation was commanded to obey and respect Moses as their leader, people alive in Jesus’ lifetime and all throughout history are commanded to obey Jesus’ teachings.
God has appointed Jesus as our Lawgiver, our Leader, our King, our Prophet, and our Deliverer from sin.
Yet, some will not listen to the Prophet. Look at verses 22-23 – the words of Moses: “The Lord God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your Brethren to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed the Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.”
What this prophecy in Acts 3:22-23 says is that if the people were to obey Moses, they had also to obey Jesus, this last prophet.
And there is a warning attached to the command to obey the Word of Jesus. That warning says, “Those who refuse to obey Jesus will be utterly destroyed.”
God brings punishment on those who do not accept His Son, Jesus Christ.
God sent Jesus into this world – as a baby who grew to be a man. His full purpose in being sent in the form of a man was to seek and to save the lost.
God is still calling to a lost world – “This is My Beloved Son – Hear Him.”
Have you heard Him today? Are your ears and heart turned always in such a way that He can be heard?