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
- 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.
- Isaiah's prophecies in chapters 2, 6, 35, and 53 are brought to fulfillment in Acts 1-4.
- 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.
- Isaiah's lips are purified in Isaiah 6 and he's commissioned to preach to a hard-hearted, spiritually-blinded people.
- We reflect what we worship. Idolatry leads to "spiritual disability" as is clearly stated in Psalm 115.
- Isaiah 35 gives us a vision of the restoration and healing of Israel from its idolatry.
- This is precisely what happens in the gospels, where Jesus' healing of the deaf, lame, and blind signifies spiritual healing for idolatrous Israel.
- 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).
- Peter's instruction is that we too can be healed, we too can stand up and leap, casting off bonds of spiritual disablement.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The church acts and speaks in Jesus' name, that is, under the authority and by the commission of Jesus.
- Therefore we are the ambassadors of Jesus in the world.
- The lame man looked intently on Peter, and grasped his hand. By faith he saw Jesus, grasped His hand, and was healed.
- As we are Christ's ambassadors in prayer, we are sustained to minister.
- 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.
- 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).
- As the Spirit flows into dry places, He brings life and healing (cf. Ezekiel 37).
- Can the gospel be understood apart from the Old Testament?
- What is idolatry? How is Israel's idolatry similar to ours?
- How is it that idolatrous Israel is healed and saved?
- How does Peter's sermon relate to us today?
- How is the matter of being convinced of true doctrine a corporate exercise?
- What are the proper outworkings of a true comprehension of God's love toward us?
- Do our lives increasingly demonstrate the signs of filling of the Holy Spirit?
- What is the function of prayer in the ministry of the church?
- How does Acts 2-4 portray gospel ministry in terms of both proclamation, and justice and compassion?