Book of Acts
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The greatest need of the world is to know the message Christians are called to proclaim. But what is that message? Here, in Acts 3:6, Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers this crucial question by walking step by step through the miraculous healing of the paralyzed beggar at Gate Beautiful. This historic miracle paints a beautiful illustration of the human condition. Like the beggar born into this world with crippling paralysis so is everyone born into the world crippled by sin. Just as this man is helpless to find lasting relief and healing from his condition so is the world unable, in all its vast resources, to find healing on its own. And just as this man first looks to Peter and John for the fleeting relief of silver and gold, so does the world eagerly seek a solution in the temporal things of this world, or the handouts from the church. But money and temporary comforts are not the message of salvation from Peter and John here in Acts 3, nor is it the message of the Christian church. Rise and walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the message to the beggar at the gate and to the world today! Dr. Lloyd-Jones urges the world to hear the gospel, to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and be saved.
Christianity is more than an academic lecture and more than a systematic teaching. It is as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims, a phenomenon. It is something that happens; a soul dead in sin becomes miraculously alive. There is life and change in the message of the Christian church, not just moral coaching. From the very beginning God has been accomplishing His plan for His creation: to reconcile humanity to Himself. Delve into this dynamic message as Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches through Peter’s sermon from Acts 3:12-18, which follows the miraculous healing of the beggar at Gate Beautiful from Acts 3:6. Peter here urges the awe-struck crowd to look not to himself and John, nor to the phenomenon of the healing of the beggar, but to the living and active God of Abraham, Isaac and of Jacob from whom this miracle has come. We are reminded that the same God that spoke to Moses in the burning bush and healed the beggar at Gate Beautiful is the same God that speaks and acts still today. These miracles, these phenomena and the many other acts of God show that God is a personal, covenanting and merciful God who takes interest and action in the condition of His creation.
Why did Jesus die on the cross? Who is He? The answer to these questions are of utmost importance. Here in Acts 3:12-18 Dr. Lloyd-Jones looks at the two ways people view Christ. One can view Him as man views Him, believing that Christ was only a man; only a moral teacher. Or, one can view Him as God views Him: As God's lamb, the Son of God, fully God and fully man, the fulfillment of the words of the prophets, the resurrected Lord. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out the importance of understanding Christ in the context of the whole Bible. Christ is the fulfillment of the words of the prophets. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also stresses the importance of the resurrection of Christ. The cross was not the end of Christ. He came back to life and appeared to many. And after His ascension He left His people with the power of the Holy Spirit. Power that enabled Peter and John to heal the man at Beautiful Gate. Power that is meant to point back to the one who gave the power, the one who truly heals and works miracles; God. That is Peter and Dr. Lloyd-Jones point here in this passage: Look to the resurrected Christ in whose name there is power and salvation.
Why is it that so many are not interested in Christ? Ignorance. Here in Acts 3:17 Peter confronts the crowd with the truth of their dire condition. They are ignorant of Christ, and of His resurrection. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in the same way calls the world to see its ignorance today. He identifies what the world is ignorant of and also the three reasons why people then and now are ignorant. The world is ignorant of their need for Christ, who Christ is, and the coming judgment. The world is ignorant because of the blindness of their hearts and minds. The crowd then in Peter’s day rejected and hated Christ and refused to believe that He was the Messiah. The world today continues to reject Christ in this same way. In ignorance of who He is and what He has done. Peter calls the crowd in Acts 3:17 to repent and be converted, that their sins may be blotted out. Dr. Lloyd-Jones does the same by calling all to repent. He calls all to see that they don’t have to live in ignorance.
Pie in the sky'; Christianity not a reform movement; why the world is the way it is; destruction of the devil; the restitution of all things.
In his sermon to the Jewish leaders, the apostle Peter, under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit proclaims Jesus as the risen Messiah and Savior of the world. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on Acts 3:19 showing that Jesus Christ has come, died, and was buried according to the words of the prophets. It is Jesus he gives his Spirit to those that repent and believe in his name as the only Son of God. This saving power that Jesus Christ brings is the only true hope for a world filled with sinful men who are destined to die and suffer the righteous judgement of God almighty. But Jesus brings redemption and restoration to all who will repent and believe in his name. He gives healing and renewal freely to all who come to him. This is the message of hope that the apostles proclaimed, and it is this message that we must proclaim. For there is no true life outside of the kingdom of God as is brought in Christ. The church today must be faithful in its proclamation to this fallen and sinful world. We have been entrusted to such a great and magnificent message is salvation! We should be bold in our proclamation, knowing that it is the power of God!
Peter addresses the crowds in Jerusalem in Acts 3 with the very same drive that all sermons should have: repent! Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses Peter’s words in this passage not from a theoretical standpoint, but as a practical step that should occur at the end of every message that is shared about the Gospel. The Doctor describes repentance as a ‘thinking again’ on what one may think they know to be true. At the heart of every man is wickedness and prejudiced thinking, yet the inerrant Word of God calls each and every listener to think again about who God is and who man is in relation to God! One’s own intellect drives one’s emotions and by extension, their actions. Because of the worldly intellect within man, repentance requires man to think again about what man is convinced in his intellect he knows. In order for a man to truly change his ways and turn away from sin, he must allow for the possibility that his intellect may be wrong and look to the Bible for his knowledge to change, to change his attitude from one of pride to one of humble submission to God, and to turn away from his own flesh and the world. This is true repentance.
Are we really born sinful? Is it truly something that contaminates us all? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains from Acts 3:6, how all men are sinners from birth and completely unable to do good in accordance with God’s Law. Their natures are fundamentally corrupt and disordered, and out of this nature comes their propensity to do evil and sin. The reason man is like this can be explained in Genesis and the Fall. When Adam fell into sin, he caused all of his descendants to do so as well. This explains man’s current plight and his need for salvation. For man is unable to save himself from sin because his nature has been wholly disposed to sin and unrighteousness. Only the Gospel can break the chains of sin and free men. And this Gospel is of God’s grace alone, for sinful man is spiritually dead and unable to do any good act pleasing to God. It is in man’s hopeless state the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings hope. For it is this same Gospel that was preached by the apostles two thousand years ago, and it is the message that transformed the world. This is the only hope for the world, for it alone can triumph over sin and evil to bring salvation to all who believe.