Carpe Diem

How did this message impact you? Share your testimony

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Introduction:

Thank you again for being here today. If you are worshiping with us online, thank you for joining us in that way. We would love to know that you are with us so I would invite you to type a short message in the chat box or let us know how we can be praying for you by submitting a prayer request.

We are in our third week of our series Resonate with the Songs of the Resurrection. This is the season of Easter – Easter is not over! We celebrate the risen Christ and follow what took place in the days and weeks after his resurrection.

Our passage this morning comes from Acts 3:12-19 and you can turn there now in your bibles or in your Bible app now if you would like. It will also be on the screens in just a few moments.

Context of passage: Jesus has risen from the grave and he appears to his disciples over a period of 40 days. He commissions them to go into all the world, preaching this Good news of Christ and he ascends to heaven. He sends the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and the first community of believers was formed after Pentecost. This community of believers gathered at the temple each day and shared meals in homes. One day, Peter and John were on the way to the 3 pm prayer service and an opportunity presents itself that Peter and John do not let pass by.

Video: Dead Poet’s Society

On the way to the temple, Peter saw an opportunity and he embraced it. Peter seized the day, seized the moment. A crippled beggar was positioned next to the gate called “Beautiful” and was asking for money.

4 Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

7 Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. 8 He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.

9 All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.

This is where we pick up our passage today – Peter had just healed the cripple beggar who was known to be outside of the temple gate. The man now followed Peter and John into the temple and people were staring in amazement. This is the opportunity that Peter sees and addresses the crowd.

Here the Word of the Lord from Acts 3:12-19 (NLT)

Peter Preaches in the Temple
12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? 13 For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors— who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. 14 You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!

16 “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.
17 “Friends,[a] I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. 18 But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things. 19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.

Pray

Application:

Peter has seized the moment before him to preach this message to those gathering in amazement at the healing of the man formerly known as the crippled beggar. He tells these hearers the gospel of Christ by pointing their attention away from himself to Jesus as the healer and calls them to receive this same healing of their souls.

Peter is calling all who hear to confess their sins, repent, and seek forgiveness from God and others. This is the message to us today. We are being called to be…

A. Confessional People

Psalm 32:3 – When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.

1 John 1:9 – But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Hosea 14:2 – Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord. Say to him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praises.

Why We Avoid Confession
  1. What will they think?
  2. Whom do we fear?
  3. What is confession anyway?

We are to deflect glory.

  • People often associate power with the instrument of miraculous occurrences. Peter was quick to give glory to God for the healing.
  • This is a change from when the disciples were disputing who is the greatest in Luke 9:46, 22:24. They have embraced the call of Christ to humble oneself.
  • John 3:30 – “He (Jesus) must become greater; I must become less.”
  • It is difficult to take glory for ourselves when we realize that none of us deserve the ministry we have been given and we have only been given it in His mercy. (2 Cor. 4:1)
  • Humility
    • Colossians 3:12 (NLT) 12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

B. Confessional community

Confessing In Community

  1. Our faith is communal.
    1. James 5:16 (NLT) 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
  2. Celebrate with others. 161.Colossians 3:16-17 (NLT)
    1. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.
    2. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
  3. Provides accountability.
    1. Matthew 18:15-17 15 “If another believer[d] sins against you,[e] go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church.
  4. Team ministry.
    1. Jesus sent out the 12 apostles and the 70 disciples two by two (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1).
    2. ‘WE are witnesses of this” (Acts. 3:15)
    3. Peter was not a lone voice – he was backed by his ministry team
    4. This emphasizes unity of the community and that we need each other.
    5. Only rare cases in the NT do we see ministry performed alone (Philip the evangelist with the Ethiopian Eunuch)
    6. We can safely say that in the Bible, working in teams is the normal style of ministry
    7. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
      Benefits of the team
      1. Greater fruitfulness
      2. Help in times of failure
      3. Warmth of affirmation in times of need
      4. Strength to face attacks

Why Practice Confession?

  1. Application of the gospel.
    1. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:1-5)
    2. Acknowledges our need for his grace.
      1. In a chapter on confession and communion in Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes that “he who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. . . . But it is the grace of the gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come as the sinner you are, to the God who loves you.”
    3. Jesus teaches it should be a vital part of our fellowship with God.
      1. Luke 11:4 (NLT) and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
    4. A complete message.
      1. People often come within the sound of the gospel in order to avail themselves of the power of God for personal needs. But they stay because they know Christianity is the truth.
      2. The message must be holistic and rooted in the power of the Holy Spirit.
      3. Faith in Christ is not just about the relief of personal problems. In the face of immense joy or tragic sorrow we trust in God, fully knowing He is with us.
    5. Holistic ministry.
      1. We are so focused on being efficient that we forget about being effective. Efficiency is doing the thing right, effectiveness is doing the right thing.
      2. The beggar was asking for money but Peter didn’t give him money, he healed him. Our spiritual poverty is more crucial than our economic poverty.
      3. We often use economic wealth to mask our spiritual poverty.
      4. Economic poverty is sometimes a gift because it forces us to look to God for strength.

Conclusion:

Peter and John did not miss their opportunity. Today, we must not miss ours. We are called to be people who intentionally put ourselves in position to share Christ. “God does not ask your ability or your inability. He asks only for your availability.” (Mary Kay Ashe) We have to put ourselves in a position to see an opportunity and take it because often, we do not understand what is right in front of us until it is too late.

We are called to be confessional people who repent and seek forgiveness from God and others. God wants to use who you are and what you have, not expect you to give something you aren’t or don’t have. ‘Rise, take up your bed, and walk’ (John 5:8). ‘Come forth’ from the deadness which has taken hold upon your life (John 11:43). ‘Arise, shine’ for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you (Isaiah 60:1). Tap into the resurrection power which is yours in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:11).

We have personal responsibility in being redeemed. Peter extended his hand to the crippled beggar and he had to take his hand and stand before he was healed. It was after he, in faith, did those things that he was healed.

Seize the moment – don’t let the opportunity to pass for Jesus to change your life.

Response:

Invitation for repentance, confession, and salvation.

Resonate With The Sound Of Resurrection
Resonate With The Sound Of Resurrection
Resonate With The Sound Of Resurrection