Friday, April 26, 2013

Acts 3

Hello Project Ezra!  This week’s suggested reading is Acts chapter 3, and it is all about giving glory to Jesus Christ.  In the beginning of the chapter Peter and John enter the temple area, and heal a lame man.  The man had been begging at the entrance to the temple for many years, and was well known to the people of Jerusalem, so when he was healed it caught the people’s attention.  Because they knew the man, they knew it must be a true miracle, not just a claimed miracle.  But Peter and John did not try to take any credit for the miracle, but used it to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ.  In doing so they said a number of things about who Jesus was, what He was like, and what He did, and it is those truths that will be the focus of this week’s outline.  I pray it is a blessing.

Just as a reminder, you don’t have to follow this outline, or any of our outlines, exactly.  I try to write them in such a way that you will be able to read them word for word, but you can also choose to take the general themes and use your own words to express them.  You can even take a totally different direction.   Just make sure you pray and carefully consider the passage, and that any applications you make are accurate and consistent with the context of the chapter.  Ultimately, this is about helping you to feel comfortable in taking God’s word, regardless of the book or chapter, and seeing how that message ties into the greater whole of God work of redemption in Jesus Christ, and how you can use that when sharing the gospel or open-air preaching.  I will see about actually highlighting, or bolding, some of the central themes in future posts, to see if that is a benefit.  If so, or if there is another way I can help you with your open-air preparations, please let me know.  I want to do all I can to encourage you in the public proclamation of God’s word. 

 All for His glory,



In this passage the Apostles Peter and John visit the temple mount, and their first act is to heal a man who was lame, and man who was well known to those from the area

After the man was healed, Peter and John did not take the credit for the healing, attempt to promote themselves, or collect money.  Instead, they told the people of the greatness of Jesus Christ.

Throughout the New Testament, the emphasis of every book is clearly on the person and work of Jesus Christ.  And we are trying to do the same today.

But this is not only true of the New Testament, but of the entire Bible

Have you ever considered what the Bible is about?  Do you know it’s central message?

It is not merely a book of rules, though it does contain God’s law

It is not just a record of God’s love, or of God’s wrath, though it records both.

It is not merely a textbook of religious history or tradition, though they are certainly included.

At its heart, it is a record of God's plan to glorify Himself through the redemption and restoration of a people for Himself, a plan accomplished through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ

In truth, the whole Bible is about Jesus Christ

The Old Testament looks forward to Him, and the New Testament looks back at His life, ministry, and teachings.  (Be prepared to give examples here if challenged)

But who is Jesus?  What do we know about Him?  And more importantly, why does it matter?
Acts 3 tells us much about who Jesus Christ is, and who God is.

It tells us He is the author of life.  All that has ever existed came into being through Him.  In this, we see that He is God, and that God is powerful.

John 1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

We see that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Jews, glorified Jesus, the Son, who is also called the servant of the Father.  So we see that there are at least two distinct persons, or wills, within the being of God.  We also see that God is personal.

We see Jesus called the Holy and Righteous One.  And He tells us to be perfect, as the heavenly Father is perfect.  We see that God is moral.

So if God is powerful, personal, and moral, what does that mean to us?

First, we must examine ourselves, to see what we are like.

We too are personal, and make personal choices.  And every one of us has chosen to rebel against God.

Ephesians 2 says that we, along with all mankind, are children of wrath.

We see that because of our rebellion, we have broken God’s law.

God is holy and righteous, and we are not. 

There is none righteous, no not one.  All have turned aside, and have together become worthless (Romans 3)

Do you know this to be true?  Look at yourself in light of God’s law.  Your sins are likely very similar to those of the Jewish leaders.

They were guilty of pride.  The Jewish leaders were far more interested in promoting themselves and holding on to their power than seeing the truth of who Jesus was the wonderful miracles He performed.

Who of us is not guilty of pride?

They were guilty of idolatry.  The God they worshiped was an idol they had created in their minds, one who honored their outward piety while ignoring their wicked hearts.

Have you too made a god in your own image, one who overlooks your sin, and who demands nothing of you?

They were guilty of disbelief, and denied who Jesus was despite seeing one miraculous sign after another.

We are all without excuse.  We can see the truth of God’s existence and power clearly in the world around us every day, and know His law through the working of our conscience.  None of us believes 

His and trusts in Him as we should.

Take a moment to look at God’s Ten Commandments, and you will see that you have broken God’s law in these and many other ways.

If you deny this, you are only choosing to suppress God’s truth.  But you can never escape God’s law, and none of us can ever live up to it.

We are told that there is a holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12)

But we are not holy, and we are not powerful.  While God is the eternal creator, we are as grass, here today and gone tomorrow. (Ps 103:15-16)

God is the creator and sustainer of all that exists, and we, as His creation, are at His mercy.

But though we are at His mercy, He is also a merciful God.

Though God is righteous and just, He has made a way for us to be justified, to be seen as righteous.

And that is the reason Jesus came to earth.  That is the central message of the Bible.

Jesus Christ came to earth 2000 years ago, God the Son in the form of a human being.

He lived the perfect, righteous life we could never live, then, as it was prophesied, He suffered and died for sin, to satisfy God’s perfect holiness by paying the penalty for our sins.

Then, as Peter preached to those at the temple, God raised Him up, and sent Him to bless us by turning us from our wicked ways.

We are told that there is healing in His name, by the power of His name, and through faith in His name.

But this is not only physical healing, but spiritual healing.  This is how we are made right, how we are given peace, with our creator.

Every soul that repents, or turns from sin, and trusts in Jesus Christ alone, will be saved.

He will change your heart, and make you a new creature!

But we are also told that every soul that does not heed that prophet (Jesus) shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.

There is one way, and only one way, to be made right with God.

Only Jesus is true God and true man, the appointed prophet sent by the Father, to save us from our sins.

Only through repentance and faith in Him can you be saved from the penalty of your rebellion against God.

So today, turn and trust in Him, while He has given you time.

1 comment:

  1. Well Done brother. May God fill us with courage and compassion. Julie


Thank you for visiting Project Ezra. Your comments are welcome. Any comments containing profanity, links to sites that I am either unfamiliar or do not approve, blasphemy in any form, or ad hominem attacks will not be posted on the blog.