The Acts of the Apostles – Acts 4:23-37 – Week 6 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles Acts 4:23-37

Week 6

Rob Covell

Introduction –
In this Session we will complete Acts 4 and look at the power of undefiled unity, love, fellowship, powerful corporate prayer, and the continued filling of the Holy Spirit on the church in Jerusalem. The last part of Acts 4 becomes the contrast to the affair with Ananias and Sapphira.

We will also look at the theology concerning the Person of Jesus Christ in the Church of Jerusalem at this time in Church History. This is an exciting section of Scripture because it highlights the power of prayer, the attitude of the Church, and power of undefiled fellowship with God and each other. Jesus prayed that His Church would have unity with Him and the Father so that the world would believe our message.

John 17:25-26 – “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Acts 4:1-23-24

a) Peter and John report to the believers their boldness by the Spirit and their faithful witness to the Sanhedrin. Peter and John set the example of Apostolic Resistance to the spirit of religion and how it is overcome by the authority of truth.

b) The “people”, the church, responds in prayer and worship. This displays the tremendous unity that was present in this community. It is important to keep in mind that verses 23-37 is the backdrop for the situation with Ananias and Sapphira.

c) The focus of their prayer was the Person of God first, then came their petition. It is interesting that in the original language the title “Lord” is not the common word for Lord in verse 24. The Greek word for Lord used here is DESPOTES. The implication here is that they are recognizing the sovereignty of God in relation to His creation. They are praying from the foundation that God can be completely trusted and counted on in any situation.

Acts 4:25-26

a) The church prays Psalm 2. Psalm 2 is one of the most powerful Messianic Psalms in Scripture. It is important to note that a detailed theology of Jesus Christ has already emerged in the church. That because Jesus taught them to see in Him the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies. See Acts 1:3 and Luke 24:25-27.

b) There is recognition of the Holy Spirit being the agent by which Scripture was
inspired. The Early Church in Jerusalem already had Trinitarian theology as displayed in this prayer. See 2 Peter 1:20-21

c) The theology of the church at this time attributed the rebellion of the leadership in rejecting Jesus as Messiah as a direct rebellion against God. They continue to unpack this truth as we look farther into the text.

Acts 4:27-28

a) Verse 27 shows that the Psalm 2 prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus Christ at His death and resurrection.

b) The phrase “what your power and will decided” is not a word for word translation. The word in the Greek that is used here is – PROORIZŌ – to predetermine and ordain. We are learning some theological concepts here in these verses.

c) 1 – The death and resurrection of Jesus was no accident and that Jesus was no victim of His circumstances. We can trust the prophetic salvation narrative from Genesis to Malachi. Revelation 5:9 – And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

d) 2 – Providence of God – God will work behind what is seen, through all the circumstances of life to accomplish His purposes. See Ephesians 1:11, Psalm 148:6-12, Romans 8:28 and Psalm 22:28 and many other Scriptures support this.

e) 3 – Sovereignty of God – God as the True King and Potentate can accomplish His will. It is God’s exercise of power over His creation. See Romans 8:28

f) Praying God’s word is powerful. Not only does the church pray with a recognition of God’s ability and power to answer, they pray the Word of God, which possesses power when married to faith.

Acts 4:29

a) As the church continues in the unity of prayer, they appeal to God in the knowledge that the Lord is present in their circumstances. They ask for boldness in His Word. This is not the Scriptures, but the message of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Gospel.

b) They are asking for God to empower them with fearless, free and courageous speech. Greek – Great Boldness – MEGAS PARRĒSIA – freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech, free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance.

c) There was the cost of persecution to present the truth of Jesus in Jerusalem. They describe themselves as God’s servants. Greek – Bond-servants – DOULOS – a slave, bondman, man of servile condition, metaph., one who gives himself up to another’s will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men, devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests. We can see that this church prioritized their life around the purposes of God.

Acts 4:30

a) The church asks for healings, sign and wonders. Part of their enablement to speak the word with boldness, included the clear testimony of the Person of Christ, and the ability to be enabled by the Lord to prove their message with spiritual power. They are asking for the miracle at the Gate Beautiful to be repeated with regularity. They did not ask for a theology of their message, or an apologetic, but spiritual power.

b) The church references the Name of Jesus. There is cultural context to consider in this prayer. They are alluding to the divinity of Jesus Christ, in relationship to the Covenant Name of God. See Philippians 2:6-11.

Acts 4:31

a) The Lord confirmed their prayer by shaking the place where they were praying. The word in the Greek for shaking means a motion produced by wind, storms or waves. God is showcasing His power and encouraging His church by the physical shaking. It is also important to note that Holy Spirit came like a mighty wind at Pentecost, and wind and water are symbols that communicate truth about Holy Spirit.

b) They were all filled with Holy Spirit – We can only be empowered to be bold by the filling of Holy Spirit. The Lord filled them at Pentecost and fills them again here. We can conclude that Holy Spirit can repeatedly fill us as we ask.

c) The Lord immediately answered their prayers. Corporate agreement is powerful and as is unity in prayer. We can learn from this example in Scripture that unity in prayer and corporate agreement bring powerful manifestations and encounters with God to a community.

Acts 4:32

a) Again we see a glimpse into a community empowered by love and unity. In Acts 2:42-47. They held the spiritual as the higher order than the natural order of things. Famous theologian, G. Campbell Morgan said. “The material fellowship was merely the outward and visible sign of a spiritual fellowship, necessarily existing between regenerate men and women”. “All material property was subservient to spiritual purpose”.

b) We again see this church in the context of their culture. Their culture reflected the generosity of God in the care of the widow, orphan, the Levite, and the alien as modeled in the Law. Now that the freedom of Holy Spirit had filled them, their generosity became Spirit-filled liberal giving.

c) Common Property – The root of the word here in KOINONIA – This kind of church culture can only exist in soil of fellowship with God, fellowship with each other, held by the bond of love. This was not a program, or an administration, but a community based organic and authentic trust, purity and love.

d) One heart and one mind communicate the incredible, supernatural unity of this church. It is my opinion that one of the hallmarks and indicators of a church that mobilized and filled by Holy Spirit, is unity through love.

Acts 4:33

a) The fruit of their unity and love was proved by the increase of power (MEGAS DYNAMIS), and great grace (MEGAS CHARIS). The power confirmed the truth of the Gospel and the grace was the benefit of believing. Greek – CHARIS – that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech, good will, loving-kindness, favor, of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues, benefit and favor.

Acts 4:34-37

a) There were no needy among them. The word in the Greek means destitute, without sustenance. They cared for each other from the foundation of fellowship and relationship.

b) It would take tremendous trust to place this kind of resource in the hands of church leaders. This highlights the great integrity, and trustworthiness of the apostles. Note that finances were not placed at a single person’s feet, but given to a collective of apostles to be distributed.

c) These verses highlight Joseph (Barnabas) to us because his generosity and purity in generosity and unity will be contrasted to the deception and false generosity of Ananias and Sapphira. Barnabas plays a significant role in the spread of the gospel throughout the Apostolic generation.

d) Barnabas – Son of Prophecy/Exhortation. (Hebrew root NABIY) – Barnabas was the cousin of John Mark who wrote the Gospel of Mark. He was from Cyprus, which had a large contingency of Jews living there in the First Century. Barnabas came alongside Paul/Saul early in his walk with Christ and advocated for him. Paul and Barnabas also had a sharp disagreement which separated them from fellowship, that was eventually mended. Barnabas related to people through the eyes of destiny and we see him interacting on the behalf of another to bring about God’s highest purpose for that person. Barnabas was a Levite, which adds to the proof that many priests became obedient to the Gospel. See Acts 6:7

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The Acts of the Apostles -Acts 4:1-22 -Week 5 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 4:1-22

Week 5

Rob Covell

Introduction –

In this Session we will begin Acts 4. Acts 4 introduces us the early struggle of Christianity as the Church begins to establish the New Covenant by the bold preaching of the Gospel. We see intense cultural battles taking shape in Acts 4 as well as the strategy of the spirit of religion to persecute and intimidate those who speak the truth about the Person of Jesus Christ.

In the last chapter Peter and John have displayed the amazing compassionate power of Jesus Christ in the healing of the man at the Beautiful Gate. Now as Peter and John testify about the goodness of God, the Sadducees bring an attack on Peter and John. Acts 4 recounts the history of this show down and victory that Peter and John have standing up to the persecution.

Acts 4:1-2

a) The Priests, the Captain of the Temple Guard and the Sadducees were disturbed by the Peter and John teaching the resurrection of the dead in Jesus Name. There is an unspoken cultural context here in plain view in the text. If we take time understand the cultural context of the Scriptures, we will do well and not error in our interpretation of them.

b) Sadducees – This was group that arose during the Maccabean revolt in the InterCovenant period of history, between Malachi and Matthew. Their name derived from the Priest Zadok who was held up as the example of fidelity to the Lord. The Sadducees were made up of the prosperous merchant class and upper classes of Judean culture. Josephus mentions them along with the Pharisees and Essenes. Their movement was destroyed in AD70 when the Temple was destroyed. Because of their social status and wealth, they were charged with the financial care of the Temple, and they were associated with the political class. The Sadducees were very influential in regards to the operation of the Temple. They were charged with being International Ambassadors, Army Leaders, Collected the Temple Tax from all Jews scattered throughout the Roman Empire, Administered Domestic Political Policies, Mediated Grievances of the Law and were widely represented in the Sanhedrin.

c) Their main theology revolved around fidelity to the Lord in this life and the mortality of the soul. That is why they denied the resurrection of the dead.

d) Peter and John were teaching a theology that was contrary to the very theology that defined the Sadducees. The religious spirit divides the people of God with pet doctrines and unscriptural interpretations of the Scriptures. The Sadducees confronted Jesus about the resurrection of the dead and Jesus corrected them in Matthew 22:23-33. Paul addressed this group and caused a religious uproar that delivered Paul from death. See Acts 23:6-11.

e) The religious spirit is the worst of demonic strongholds because it violently seeks to keep people from the true knowledge of God found in Jesus Christ, and uses lies about the Lord to deceive people unto eternal death in the worst of its manifestations. In its weakest manifestation it keeps people from the fullness of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 4:3-4

a) The Sadducees had the authority over the Temple Guard so they used that authority to enforce their will on Peter and John to detain them.

b) The people believed Peter and John despite their arrest. The courage that Holy Spirit imparts to believers transcends fear because perfect love casts out fear. One thing that I am praying for is the restoration of boldness in love to the Church of Jesus Christ. Too many of are not convinced our message is truth and we doubt the ability of Jesus in displaying His glory in signs and wonders.

Acts 4:5-6

a) Verse five gives the religious and political makeup of the Sanhedrin. This was the high court of that ruled on all things in Jerusalem. They met in a place called the Hall of Hewn Stones located on the North wall of the Temple. Their origins are found Exodus 18:21-26.

b) Annas the High Priest was politically appointed High Priest. Annas was the same High Priest that presided over Jesus’ trial and condemnation to death.

c) A politically appointed High Priest was an abomination to the Law, as the High Priest was always to be a direct paternal descendent of Aaron. (See Exodus 29:29-30) Annas was appointed High Priest by the Roman Governor Quirinius in AD 6. Quirinius is mentioned in Luke 2:2.

Acts 4:7

a) The Sanhedrin begins to question Peter and John. Their question is best understood in the context of their culture. To use a power to heal someone was considered witchcraft. To heal by a name meant that one healed by relationship with the “name” thereby inferring they may be practicing idolatry. This was beginning of a legal charge against them.

Acts 4:8-10

a) Peter being filled with Holy Spirit is the flash point for boldness in proclaiming Jesus. It appears from the context of the text that Peter was filled with Holy Spirit in the moment. It is important for us to know that Holy Spirit is our Helper, Counselor and Comforter in the moment. He is the One we can rely on in the moment.

b) The kindness shown to the lame man flowed from the Love of Jesus Christ. All healings, signs and wonders are expressions of His love and compassion for people. They are on-ramps for the proclamation of the Gospel, but the foundation of our Gospel is rooted in Love.

c) Peter boldly presents Jesus as the Name by which the healing came. Peter boldly attacks their false religious position and presents the truth in fullness to the
Sanhedrin. Peter also by the filling of Holy Spirit brings conviction of their sin in denying Jesus and crucifying Israel’s Messiah. We are witnessing the struggle of two Covenants, as the New Covenant is being established.

Acts 4:12

a) Peter clearly presents Jesus in as God in the flesh by telling the Sanhedrin that there is no other Name by which men must be saved. Paul echoes this and expands this in Philippians 2:6-11.

b) The references to “under heaven” and Name speak of two significant cultural concepts. 1 – The Authority of Jesus; 2 – Name – This is a direct reference to the Covenant Name of God.

c) This is dangerous territory for Peter and John as this was the same claim that Jesus made about Himself that caused this same group of men to condemn Him to death. Truth always emboldens those who know the truth.

d) Peter directs their attention to Psalm 118:22 as a prophetic reference. Jesus used this same Scripture as a witness to Himself to the exact same people. See Luke 20:17.

Acts 4:13

a) The Sanhedrin recognizes Peter and John’s courage. Courage – Greek – PARRĒSIA – freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech, free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance. It is not theological training that gives us courage in speaking about God, it is relationship with God that makes us confident in our speech about Him.

b) Unschooled – Greek – AGRAMMATOS – illiterate, unlearned – Faith is the great equalizer, and education does not give us anointing and power in the Lord. These men were with Jesus. When we make choices in our personal lives to spend our time on Christ, we are rewarded by the knowledge of God.

c) 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 – Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,

d) Cultural Context of Peter and John – In their culture children were assessed by the Rabbi on their ability to learn. Peter and John were passed up and consigned to the lower classes. The fact that Peter and John were bold in their speech, moved in miracles and taught the people was unbelievable to the Sanhedrin.

Acts 4:14

a) Miracles, signs and wonders always take people to the place of decision. The Sanhedrin, the highest ruling body in the Apostle’s culture was confronted with the choice to believe Jesus’ testimony again. First by Jesus Himself, second by His Apostles doing the works of Jesus.

b) The Sanhedrin was speechless. The choice not to say something is a choice too.

Acts 4:15-17

a) As the Sanhedrin meets in private session, they completely recognize the validity of the miracle and discuss what to do with Peter and John.

b) The decision of the Sanhedrin to reject Jesus as Messiah forced them into the place of moving in their own way, without the leading of the Lord that they claimed to represent. Their continued denial of Jesus eventually culminated in the destruction of their Temple in AD 70.

c) Their strategy was to intimidate Peter and John by the social and political power they possessed. This is another strategy of the spirit of religion, as it seeks to silence the true testimony about Jesus by using intimidation by a religious body.

Acts 4:18-20

a) Peter and John respond to the intimidation tactic with more boldness. They gave their testimony of the things they have seen and heard. Firsthand experience with the Lord defines our faith and builds our confidence in God. b) God is always the greater authority in our lives. It does not matter what the perceived authorities over us say, but what God says.

Acts 4:21-22

a) Truth in this interaction silences the Sanhedrin and the people’s praise of God delivered Peter and John from punishment.

Ash Wednesday – Rob Covell

Ash Wednesday

Isaiah 58:1-14

Rob Covell

Introduction –

Beloved, tonight we are inviting Refuge into a season of Intimacy with the Godhead, Personal Revival and Renewal, Social Justice to the oppressed, and the Reformation in the Expression of Christianity.

Many of us from evangelical backgrounds have never given ourselves to a season of reflection and renewal. At Refuge we are seeking to recover the ancient pathways of the Early Church and recover an Apostolic Gospel and expression of Christianity. Ash Wednesday and a 40-day season of personal renewal (Lent – Spring) is part of that journey at Refuge. (47 days total – Sunday is celebration – not fasting)

Ash Wednesday was an established expression of Christianity by the end of the First Century and has been with the Church for over 2000 years. Early Church Father, Irenaeus of Lyons (AD 130-AD 200) commented on Ash Wednesday in his writings and the Council of Nicea in 325AD discussed Ash Wednesday and the Lent Season to prepare Christians for the Resurrection Sunday celebrations and baptisms.

Our approach for this season will not be focused on the concept of the negative, self-depreciating expression taught in some traditions. Refuge will focus on intimacy with the Lord, personal renewal, restoration and generosity.

Our text tonight will be Isaiah 58, as it is the traditional text used by the Church to focus our hearts towards God’s heart for His people and the people around them. My prayer is that you will all receive the promises found in Isaiah 58, because all the promises of God Are Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 58:1-2

a) Isaiah – His name means “Yahweh Saves”. He was the son pf Amoz and ministered during the reigns of the Kings of Judah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Jewish tradition says that Isaiah was sawn in two by Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah. It is mentioned in passing in Hebrews 11:37. Isaiah lived about 100 years and was actively ministering until his death. Isaiah may have been a priest or of royal lineage because of his influence at the highest levels of society in Jerusalem. Isaiah is considered the Messianic prophet because of the depth of revelation that God gave him concerning the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. The spiritual condition of Judah during his ministry was one of outward cultural religious practice with little intimacy with God, and material prosperity.Isaiah ministered approximately 740BC to 689BC.

b) Isaiah uses the reference to the trumpet/shofar to get the attention of Judah. The shofar was used to alarm the people for war, to call the people to worship, and to sound the call to the feasts in the Law.

c) The Lord was using Isaiah as His voice to turn Judah from religious works to intimacy with God. The Lord has always desired intimacy and relationship with His people instead of religious ritual and sacrifice.

d) The spirit of religion blinds us from the true inner life we have available to us with God. See Ephesians 2:4-7

Isaiah 58:3-5

a) It is interesting to note that the Lord did not command Israel to regularly fast. God gave them 3 feasts in the Law. Exodus 23:14-19 tells Israel to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, and the Feast of Ingathering. There is only 1 Fast day. That is Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement. The Lord prefers the celebration of His goodness and faithfulness than the self-humbling religious works of Isaiah’s day.

b) Judah had been using fasts to gain favor with God instead of partnering with God and doing relationship with Him. Jesus criticized this same practice in His day. See Matthew 6:16-18.

c) Fasting in the OT scriptures was used for repentance (Jonah 3:7-9), intercession (2 Samuel 12:22), national healing (Nehemiah 9), breakthrough in prayer and revelation from God (Daniel 9:1-3) and mourning the loss of loved ones (1 Samuel 31:13).

d) The New Testament models 2 types of fasting for believers. 1 – Bridegroom Fasting – Matthew 9:15 – This is fasting to be close to Jesus and flows from a desire in us to be close to Him. 2 – Corporate fasting for the direction of the Church – Acts 13:2-3 – This is fasting for direction in ministry and to be corporately led by Holy Spirit. Notice that this fasting is connected to worship.

e) The people of Judah were fasting in the spirit of religion and expecting the benefits of intimacy with God. The spirit of religion blinded them from their sin because God did not have a place in their hearts for God to Father them. As Isaiah continues, He indicts their religious striving, but offers some amazing promises. The correction of God always brings an exchange of goodness for sin, and benefit instead of loss.

Isaiah 58:6-7

a) The Lord is encouraging Judah to fast, but in the midst of fasting do justice and righteousness. If fasting was a vehicle of connecting with the Lord, then those who are connected to His heart would reflect His value system. God’s children will reflect and represent Him to the world around them.

b) Loose the chains of Injustice – The Hebrew word for Injustice is RESHA` – wrong, wickedness, guilt – wickedness (as violence and crime against civil law) – wickedness (of enemies) – moral wickedness.

c) Set the oppressed free – Hebrew – RATSATS – to crush or oppress grievously

d) Break every yoke – The Hebrew reads – to tear apart every yoke, figuratively oppression. We can see that the Lord is communicating that a people who know Him will be empowered to bring deliverance to the people around them.

e) Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and loving family flow from intimacy with God.

Isaiah 58:8-12 8 Promises

a) The Lord highlights the benefits of fasting for intimacy and reflecting His heart to the people around them.

b) Revelation

c) Healing – ‘ARUWKAH – healing, restoration – in the body, or wholeness/soundness in the body

d) The glory of God will be on you or around you – wrap around glory

e) Answered prayer

f) Light of life or wisdom or illumination – knowing what God thinks and feels. g) You will be guided by God h) Your body will be strong

i) You will be full of life

j) God will use you to rebuild culture and heal society around you

Isaiah 58:13-14

a) God had commanded Israel to observe the Sabbath as a day of rest so that the community would recognize God’s love, faithfulness and provision for the people.

b) Today, Jesus is our Sabbath. See Hebrews 4:8-11. We are invited to live a life of resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and resurrection from the grave.

c) Resting in Christ for the forgiveness of sin and the empowerment of resurrection life, gives us the invitation to feast daily at the table of the Lord.

We invite the Refuge to embrace a season of renewal. We will be posting on Facebook 5 movements of personal revival and renewal every day, so that our Community can reflect and grow in God. Reflection (Prayer), Repentance (Agreeing with God), Restoration (generosity), Re-position (Atonement/identity), and Refreshing (Intimacy). We ask that you would invite Holy Spirit to bring you revelation about our lives where we can fast for intimacy with Him and allow God to Father us.

Communion –

Imposition of Ashes –

The Acts of the Apostles – Acts 3:1-26 – Week 4 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 3:1-26

Week 4

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session we will look at Acts 3 and see the purpose for signs, wonders, and miracles in the presentation of the Gospel. The power ministry of the Church is the very thing that proves our message to be true.

Tonight we will take an in-depth look at power, faith, repentance, the refreshing of the Holy Spirit and the goodness of God. All of these concepts are the foundation of the Apostolic Gospel that the First Century Church proclaimed to the people around them.

Acts 3:1-5

a) The afternoon hour of prayer at the Temple would be at 3PM (Minchah- the hour of confession). As we learned last week that observant Jews prayed 2 times a day at the Temple. 9:00AM and 3:00PM. The prayer at sundown (Ma’ariv) was not added until after the destruction of the Temple in AD70. The Church at Jerusalem had not yet separated from Judaism because the Jewish persecution of the Church had not started yet. See Acts 6.

b) John and Peter are going to Solomon’s Colonnade to pray in the Temple courts and meet with the believers. Note – this probably about a year after Pentecost.

c) Beautiful Gate – This was probably the large double gate on the south side of the Temple. This was a main gate leading into the outer court of the Temple and was an effective place to be positioned to beg alms. Alms giving was ingrained into Hebrew culture, because Hebrew culture was rooted into the generosity in the Law. See Leviticus 25:35, Deuteronomy 15:7, Psalm 41:1, Isaiah 58:6-7 and Proverbs 24:31. Generosity reflects the heart of the Father. Note – alms is not commanded in the Law, but became a cultural norm at the time.

d) This man was begging at the gate of the Temple of the King of the earth. God never desires people to beg at His gates but to come into His courts and commune with Him.

e) The man asked for alms and Peter made eye contact with the man. I am sure that Peter, being full of the Holy Spirit saw this man through the compassionate eyes of the Lord. Jesus had modeled to Peter and John the gaze of compassion that leads to faith action.

Acts 3:6-9

a) Peter had something to give away. It was the demonstration of the power of the Kingdom that was born from relationship and intimacy with God. We can only give away what we have obtained by experience with God.

b) The Name of Jesus – Peter heard Jesus say “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”. He also heard Jesus speaking to him in Mark 16:15-18, John 16:23 and John 17:2-3. In this culture to know someone’s name meant that you knew this person intimately and that you knew their character and nature.

c) The crippled man partnered with Peter’s declaration of faith. Faith requires partnership and faith is proved by movement. We see the power of faith filled declarations in this healing miracle.

d) The lame and broken were not allowed into the Temple by the Law. Now the man is restored and has access to the Temple. This is an allegorical symbol of Jesus making people whole, so that they may enter into the courts of God and have access to the Father. No this man enters His courts with praise! Psalm 100:4

e) Miracles, signs and wonders always bring attention to the goodness of God. They are the onramp to faith and relationship with Jesus. Peter will use this opportunity to present forgiveness and restoration to the onlookers.

Acts 3:11-12

a) Peter demystifies this healing encounter. Peter clearly presents to us the truth that signs and wonders are born in faith and not religious striving.

Acts 3:13-15

a) The intention of the Father in healing miracles is to glorify Jesus. This demonstrates the truth of the reality of the Kingdom of God, the identity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the authority of His Name, the power of His resurrection and truth of His message.

b) Israel was presented the opportunity to repent for their part in rejecting Jesus, their Messiah. They needed forgiveness for partnering with their leadership and demanding that Jesus be crucified. They disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer, Barabbas. See Mark 15:9-11, Matthew 27:20, and Luke 23:19.

c) They killed the Author of Life – Peter is highlighting the divinity of Jesus, and appeals to the resurrection of Jesus as proof. Peter mentions that he and John were witnesses of the resurrection. There were many more witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. It would be impossible to dispute this truth given the fact that so many knew and saw Jesus after He was resurrected. See 1 Corinthians 15:6.

d) The kindness, mercy, love and grace of God are on full display here. Even in the rebellion of Israel’s sin in rejecting Jesus as Messiah, the Lord continues to reach out and pursue their hearts with an invitation of relationship.

Acts 3:16

a) By faith – Greek – PISTIS – conviction of the truth of anything, to believe to be true, to rely on the character of one. b) Peter and John were so established in the reality of believing Jesus and all He said to be true that they were able to operate at high levels signs, wonders and miracles.

c) The faith that comes through Him – Jesus is the Source by which faith pulls from. Hebrews 11:1- Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Substance – Greek – HYPOSTASIS – that which has actual existence, a substance, real being. It is foundational to us to know that the faith realm is a realm of actual spiritual substance that can be brought into this reality
by the power of faith in Jesus Name.

Acts 3:17-18

a) Peter extends grace to them and calls to their attention the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53:1-12. Every person present listening to Peter would have made this connection.

b) The Old Testament is a prophetic salvation narrative that reveals the scarlet thread of Jesus woven throughout it.

Acts 3:19-21

a) Repent – Greek – METANOEŌ – to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent, to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.

b) “Turn to God” is not in the Greek text. Greek – EPISTREPHŌ – to cause to return, to bring back – The NASB is more accurate here in its translation. Peter is inviting them to the benefit of reconciliation with God.

c) The benefit of repentance is the wiping away of our sins and refreshing from the Lord. The Greek word for the wiping away of sins actually means being washed all over and anointed all over. The Greek word for refreshing means to be cooled and refreshed.

d) Peter points that the return of Jesus Christ from heaven will be the restoration of all things. Namely the restoration of the Edenic state.

Acts 3:22-23

a) Peter quotes Deuteronomy 18:15-19 and applies it to Jesus. Every observant Jew present would have to consider the weight of what was being said. To be cut off, is to be without a Covenant with God. The Hebrew word for “cut off” is KARATH, and implies being cut off by blood covenant or to be beheaded. Peter is using very serious language.

b) It is important for us to consider the weight of the New Covenant, and its position as being the Covenant that God is relating to humanity with. Our appeal for the world to repent is through the New Covenant. A Covenant full of grace, forgiveness, mercy and love.

Acts 3:24-26

a) Peter reminds his audience of their identity and destiny. They are the heirs of the prophets and children of God’s Covenants. God always relates to us based on our identity and destiny and not our rebellion. Peter is presenting this fact to his hearers and inviting them back to the Father’s House.

b) Those who believe in Jesus are the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. See Galatians 3:6-9.

c) It is the blessing of God in our lives to intervene and turn us from our own pathways that have no life in them. The Greek word for blessing – EULOGEŌ – to praise, celebrate with praises, to invoke blessings, to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on, to be favored by God – The Lord always has the highest purpose us in regards to our lives.