- Sermon Notes
Rise up and Walk
September 25, 2022
We are busy with our Bible study through the book of Acts. Thus far, we have seen that this book is actually the book of the Acts of the Holy Spirit because Jesus told the disciples to go and wait for the one who was to come before they were allowed to start to act on His commands. In other words, they needed the direction, leading, and power of the Holy Spirit.
We then saw that the Holy Spirit came upon them mightily on the day of Pentecost, empowering them for their purpose. Peter then preached his very famous sermon where many were pierced to the heart and came to faith in Jesus Christ. Here we saw the birth of the church and the principles on which God built his church.
Now, as we get to Acts 3, we see a great miracle take place. Peter and John were going up to the temple for prayer and there they found a man who was, as part of his daily routine, begging for alms. The alms though were not his primary need. He had a far greater need, but he had given up hope that it could ever be addressed as it seemed impossible.
We will see that nothing is impossible with God. God can break through the surface to get to the real problem and address it. He can do the impossible.
We will see that your ‘now’ does not determine your future. Where there is no hope, God brings hope. God can do the impossible and we can have real life in the life Christ gives us.
I. Change Your Expectation
The actions of the man begging at the temple showed us his expectation. He was carried there daily to beg for alms from those entering the temple. It is interesting to note that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have passed him by in the past and were never able to address his real need.
A. Do not get comfortable in your condition
- Verse 1- It is safe to say that, if this man has been sitting at the temple for many years, he must’ve made it quite comfortable for himself by now. I’m sure that he had a comfortable cushion and a preferred sitting position at a preferred spot at the temple. He has become comfortable in his condition, not expecting anything to change.
- This man’s primary need was that he wanted to walk. His disability hindered him from living a fulfilled and effective life.
- He had given up on the thought that he would ever be able to walk. In his mind, his problem was impossible to address. So, he resorted to the next best thing to cope with this problem. Begging for alms to make his life bearable became his focus.
- When we look at this problem from a spiritual point of view, many people today are also stuck in this problem. Man’s need is to be loved and accepted unconditionally and to live a beautiful, purposeful life. To find real joy and real happiness. To live life feeling alive.
- Yet to many this seems like an unattainable goal, like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
- Those who are unsaved have become comfortable in the empty life, filling their lives with many things trying to cope and numb the real problem.
- Some who are saved, have come to believe that they will eventually make it to heaven, but have come to an uneasy cease-fire with their struggles and problems, believing there is no answer for it.
- Many also then try to medicate the problem with physical things not believing that God can really change their story.
- So, many try to get as comfortable as possible in the second-best option, stuck in the daily grind of life just trying to cope, get by, and make it to the next day. Just like the man begging for alms, they get focused on secondary things trying to address the primary problem of feeling alive.
- We should not get comfortable in our condition of struggles and brokenness. God’s plan for us is not that we should be stuck in these situations, but to have life and life in abundance.
John 10:10, I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
B. Discern the real need
- As we have read, this man was in the habit of sitting at the entrance of the temple. So, it is safe to say that Peter and John must’ve seen him at the temple before and must’ve passed him by many times.
- Something changed when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They started to see with other ‘eyes’. They were able to discern past the physical and see the real problem.
- Not only were they able to see the problem, but by the power of the Spirit, they were able to address the problem. That which looked helpless and impossible before was now an opportunity for a miracle and change.
- We need to discern the real need in our own lives. God has also given us His Spirit. The Spirit aims to lead us into that beautiful life where we are changed and renewed into the image of Christ. Christ is the source of life and light. So, growing into His image is growing into real life.
John1:4, In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
- Many people in the world have physical challenges in their bodies, yet they are brimming over with life, hope, and joy. Then you also get people who have bodies that function optimally, yet they are without hope, joy, and life.
- There are also people who outwardly look like they have perfect lives. They have enough money, no apparent stress, and no big physical challenges. Yet, they are depressed, frustrated, and without joy. Others have none of the physical securities stated above, but still, they have hope and joy in life.
Illus. – The church in Africa. They have so little, but the joy of the Lord is their strength.
- Thus, it is apparent that life and hope are not dependent on your circumstances, but something else.
II. Receive Something Better
- Verse 6 – Peter immediately said that he did not have silver and gold, and frankly, silver and gold were not the answer. Silver and gold would only keep this man trapped in the same position that he was in. There was something better he could give this man. He could address his real need. His real need was to be healed.
- In every one of our lives, this is the same primary need we have. Silver and gold are also not the answer. It, and what people can do with it, just numb the problem.
- Ironically, being healed from an ailment on the outside isn’t necessarily the primary need either.
Illus. – Many today struggle with their image on the outside. They are not happy with their bodies. Something needs to change, in other words, according to them, their bodies are defective and need to be ‘healed’. Many people go to the extremes and visit plastic surgeons to change them into the image that they think they want to be. Yet, research shows that a great percentage of these people continue going back for more surgery as they are never satisfied. Many plastic surgeons now first send their patients to psychologists to get help with how they view themselves, as they have learned that many times people are not happy with themselves internally and are trying to get an external solution for an internal problem.
- This shows us that the primary problem people have is an internal problem, not an external problem. It has to do with the soul that is hurt and crying out for help. We need to discern that this is where the real healing needs to take place.
- Many people feel battered and lame in the soul.
Matthew 12:20-21, A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory. And in His name, the Gentiles will hope.”
- This is where our real hope lies. Jesus came to restore those who feel battered and bruised in the soul and lead them to victory.
A. Take hold of the miracle
- Verse 6 – What I do have I GIVE to you. With these words, Peter was making the miracle available to this man. Healing was available in the name of Jesus. He seized his right hand and raised him up, and the man’s feet and ankles were strengthened.
- Verse 8 – Here the Bible shows us the second phase of this man’s healing. It says that he lept up and began to walk.
- This is very interesting. In that split second between being healed and leaping up, this man had a choice of what he wanted to do. He could’ve immediately sat back down again, thanking them for their help, continuing to beg for alms again.
- He did not do this though. He lept up and began to walk. There was an act of faith after the healing. This man had to take hold of the miracle.
- The first thing we need to note is that we can receive healing in the soul in the name of Jesus Christ. It is through his name that we are saved, healed, and delivered. He has already paid the price. He has already set us free.
John 8: 36, So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Psalm 107: 17-21, Fools, because of their rebellious way, and because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all kinds of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
- With Peter, I hear the Holy Spirit echoing to us, “in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene – walk!”
- The moment that you came to Christ, the old things have passed away and everything has become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
- We no longer have to ‘sit’ in our past, hurts, and insecurities. We can now apply this miracle to our lives and take hold of it.
- There are many spiritual ‘infirmities’ that paralyze people. Thank God that we don’t have to go look for many different solutions. There is only one solution: the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
- It is the answer to every question, the truth to every lie, the love that drives away all fear, and the acceptance that breaks all insecurities. In short, He is the life that needs to be injected into every problem.
- Once again, the answer isn’t necessarily having your physical reality changed.
Illus. – History shows that many people who were very poor and then won millions of dollars in the lottery do not necessarily stay wealthy. After a few years, many are poor again. Their external circumstances did not change the problem.
- One’s physical reality can still be the same, but when the truth lights up your inner man with hope, joy, peace, and life it changes everything.
- One of the primary reasons we now have eternal hope and peace is that in Christ, this physical existence is not the be-all and end-all, but only a short experience if weighed against eternity.
Col 3:1 -4, Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
- That being said, God is also able to change our physical circumstances. The difference now is that I can rest in his perfect will knowing that, even if nothing changes in the physical, I can still be at peace.
- That does not mean that we should give up hope for the temporary. God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly far above what we can think or dream, and He is also able to also change our physical circumstances. Our joy is just not dependent on it.
B. Praise God for what He has done
- Verse 8 – The response of this man was that he immediately went into the temple with them leaping and praising God. This should be our response as well when God heals us.
Psalm 107:21, Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
- A person might respond that Christ has not ‘healed’ me yet. The truth is that the person has not received the revelation of the finished work yet. When you receive Christ, you receive His promise of a new life immediately.
- Sometimes, though, the truth about all situations is not revealed or attained all at once. As we grow in our relationship with God, spending time in His word so the truth can become a mirror to our souls, we are set free as we align our beliefs with the truth.
- This is why praising and worshiping God is not a command we have to follow grudgingly, but something that flows from the heart. Gratitude flows from the revelation of the healing work that Jesus does in our lives.
- Many people have asked me before why they have to praise God. You don’t have to praise God, but you choose to praise God. The moment I get that question though, it shows me that they have not really had a revelation of what Jesus has done for them and taken hold of it by faith yet.
Illus. – Imagine you get a phone call while sitting in the office and someone tells you to meet him in the parking lot. As you walk out, you see a brand-new Dodge Viper standing in the parking lot. Then this person walks up to you, hands you the keys, and says that he wants to bless you with this car. What do you think your response will be?
- Gratitude is a natural response when something amazing is done for you. It is difficult to have gratitude though if you cannot see what was done for you.
- Sometimes this is the problem people have. We need to take hold of the truth of what Christ has done for us. We do this by starting to praise Him in faith for what He has done, declaring it over our lives as the truth that we now stand in.
Illus. – The other day I listen to a Ted talk by a psychiatrist whose specialty is doing brain scans and mapping, helping people get healthier ‘younger’ brains. He said that he had been a psychiatrist for over 30 years and had seen the effect that gratitude has on people. He said that if you write down three things to be grateful for every day, after two months it could even have a greater effect on your brain than an anti-depressant.
- When we start to be grateful for what Christ has done, thanking Him and praising Him for His promises, and standing on his word, it changes us.
- Even more so when we start to praise Him for that which we do not yet see changed in our lives. Many of the things we believe are based on subjective emotions that we have, and not based on the truth. What Jesus says about a situation is the truth. When we align with this truth it becomes the truth in our lives as well.
- It doesn’t happen automatically though. Your emotions will still want to fight against this as your ‘truth’ is challenged by THE truth.
- The truth is that Jesus has already paid it all and made provision for our healing on all levels.
Isaiah 53:5, But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.
- We are new creations in Him, the past is gone, and the new has come. He has already accepted us, and His perfect love drives away all fear.
1 John 4:18-19, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.
- We are secure in Him for eternity.
1 John 5:11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
- Not only that, but He is our source of provision in the temporary.
Philippians 4:19 -20, And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever.
- We are now called to live a life of thankfulness praising and worshiping Him and trusting Him for all that we need in this life.
Isaiah 41:10, Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely, I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Matthew 10:31, Do not fear…
- Jesus commanded us not to fear, not to be anxious, and not to worry. He’s got this.
- Rise up in faith and walk in His promises in your new life.
Acts 3:1-10 NASB 1995
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the [a]ninth hour, the hour of prayer. 2 And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg [b]alms of those who were entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. 4 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” 5 And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” 7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. 8 [c]With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.