January 29, 2012

Healing and the Power of the Name of Jesus

Whenever the name of Jesus is preached, and whenever people turn to Jesus, God blots out our sins and times of healing and refreshing come.

Scripture: Acts 3:1-4:31

Sermon Notes:

  1. The Old Testament provides background which is necessary to rightly understand the New Testament. For example, in Luke 24, Jesus expounds the OT teaching about Himself.
  2. Isaiah's prophecies in chapters 2, 6, 35, and 53 are brought to fulfillment in Acts 1-4.
  3. Isaiah 2 is a future look at Israel's realization of its calling to be a light, blessing the nations with God's Law Word.
  4. Isaiah's lips are purified in Isaiah 6 and he's commissioned to preach to a hard-hearted, spiritually-blinded people.
  5. We reflect what we worship. Idolatry leads to "spiritual disability" as is clearly stated in Psalm 115.
  6. Isaiah 35 gives us a vision of the restoration and healing of Israel from its idolatry.
  7. This is precisely what happens in the gospels, where Jesus' healing of the deaf, lame, and blind signifies spiritual healing for idolatrous Israel.
  8. In Isaiah 53, God's servant will heal Israel. This is a title Peter applies to Jesus in Acts 3. By faith in Jesus' name, times of refreshing will come, leading to the full restoration of all things (cf. Isaiah 55, 66).
  9. Peter's instruction is that we too can be healed, we too can stand up and leap, casting off bonds of spiritual disablement.
  10. Whenever the name of Jesus is preached, and whenever people turn to Jesus, God blots out our sins and times of healing and refreshing come.
  11. In Acts 4:1-31, the ministry of the church is grounded and sustained in prayer, i.e., the spiritual exercise of our eyes, hands, mouth, and feet.
  12. Our prayer is moving in the way of God, with our feet. It is the way we are rehabilitated from the debilitating effects of idolatry.
  13. The church acts and speaks in Jesus' name, that is, under the authority and by the commission of Jesus.
  14. Therefore we are the ambassadors of Jesus in the world.
  15. The lame man looked intently on Peter, and grasped his hand.  By faith he saw Jesus, grasped His hand, and was healed.
  16. As we are Christ's ambassadors in prayer, we are sustained to minister.
  17. Acts 2:38. Peter's sermon is that they must repent and be baptized and the Holy Spirit will come; in Acts 3, he says repent, be baptized and times of refreshing will come, i.e, the filling of the Spirit.
  18. As we pray for the filling of the Spirit, look for these signs which Jonathan Edwards listed as evidences of the filling of the Holy Spirit: elevated esteem for Christ; increasing repulsion of sin and desire for righteousness; higher regard for the Bible and its truth; awareness of false doctrine and conviction of the truth; love for God and our neighbour (cf. 1 John 4-5).
  19. As the Spirit flows into dry places, He brings life and healing (cf. Ezekiel 37).

Application Questions:

  1. Can the gospel be understood apart from the Old Testament?
  2. What is idolatry? How is Israel's idolatry similar to ours?
  3. How is it that idolatrous Israel is healed and saved?
  4. How does Peter's sermon relate to us today?
  5. How is the matter of being convinced of true doctrine a corporate exercise?
  6. What are the proper outworkings of a true comprehension of God's love toward us?
  7. Do our lives increasingly demonstrate the signs of filling of the Holy Spirit?
  8. What is the function of prayer in the ministry of the church?
  9. How does Acts 2-4 portray gospel ministry in terms of both proclamation, and justice and compassion?
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