Saturday, March 05, 2022

2022.03.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Acts 3

Read Acts 3

Questions from the Scripture text: Who go where, when (Acts 3:1)? Who was carried where to do what (Acts 3:2)? Whom did he ask (Acts 3:3)? What does Peter command him to do (Acts 3:4)? What does the man do, why (Acts 3:5)? What doesn’t Peter have (Acts 3:6)? What name does he have? What does he do with it? What does Peter do (Acts 3:7)? And what happens to the man? What does the man now do (Acts 3:8)? Who saw this (Acts 3:9)? What did they know (Acts 3:10)? With what were they filled? What does the lame man do in Acts 3:11? What do all the people do? With what two questions does Peter respond in Acts 3:12? Who has done what to Jesus (Acts 3:13a)? Who else had done what to Jesus (Acts 3:13Acts 3:15)? But what has now made the lame man strong (Acts 3:16)? What contributed to their wickedness (Acts 3:17)? But Who has fulfilled what (Acts 3:18)? What does Peter tell them to do (Acts 3:19)? So that what may be done to their sins? And what may come? And then the Lord would send Whom (Acts 3:20)? Until when does heaven receive Him (Acts 3:21)? Who has spoken of this? How? Since when? Whom had Moses said the Lord God would raise up (Acts 3:22)? From whom? What were they to do? But what if they did not (Acts 3:23)? Who else spoke about when (Acts 3:24)? Of whom are they sons (Acts 3:25)? Of what are they sons? What did this covenant say? What was its sign? What has God done (Acts 3:26, cf. Acts 3:15)? And to whom did God send Him first? To do what to them? How?

For the next chapter and a half (and not unlike all of human history) everything rests upon the Name of Jesus. In Acts 3:6, Peter commands the lame man, “In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And in Acts 3:16 he preaches to the crowd, “And His Name, through faith in His Name, has made this man strong.” The council recognizes this in chapter four, threatening them to speak to no one in the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:17–18).

God’s redemptive plan was to use even the greatest wickedness to do the greatest good. 

Healing a lame man is a very good thing. “Alms” (Acts 3:2) is literally “mercy-deeds,” and some translations will say “charitable deeds” or even “mercy” or “pity.” If that is a good deed, then healing him is an extremely good deed. 

The people recognize that the cause of the newfound soundness of the man’s legs must be great power and/or godliness (Acts 3:12). But it was faith that comes on account of Jesus (Acts 3:16) that had actually given the man “perfect soundness.” 

God had promised this to the fathers (Acts 3:13Acts 3:18Acts 3:22-25), in order to glorify Jesus. And God had fulfilled it (Acts 3:18), even though it came through their delivering Jesus up, and denying Jesus, and preferring a murderer, and killing the Captain of life. They did wickedness, through which God has done good to the lame man.

And now through that very wickedness, by which God had done this good, He offers them the greatest good: that they may repent and be converted (Acts 3:19a, Acts 3:25), that they may have their sins blotted out (Acts 3:19b), that times of refreshing may come from the Lord’s presence (verse 19c). The family that killed Jesus is the first family that is offered blessing in Jesus (Acts 3:25-26)!

This is what God had been saying through all His holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:21b). And His Word still aims forward to the restoration of all things at which point “He Whom heaven has received” will return (Acts 3:20-21). From end to end, history is about the fulfillment of what God has purposed in Christ and promised in Christ.

Our response must be to do whatever Jesus says. Of course, the first thing to do is to call upon His Name and be saved (cf. Acts 2:21)—to repent and put all our hope in the promise which He signals to us in baptism upon His Name (cf. Acts 2:38–39). But the prophecy to which Acts 3:22-23 refers tells us to hear Him in all things, whatever He says to you. It is self-refuting to claim to have faith in Christ without submission to all His Word (cf. Deuteronomy 18:15–19). 

What good are you looking for in your life? What ultimate good must you have for this to be any good at all to you? What must you do to come into this ultimate good? What does the life look like of someone who has come into this ultimate good?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise You for sending Christ to us to bless us and all the families of the earth. Grant that we would be turned from our iniquities and do whatever He says, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP34B “I Will At All Times Bless the Lord” or TPH397 “Breathe on Me, Breath of God”

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