The Christian Phenomenon
A Sermon on Acts 3:12-18
12But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why are you staring at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Jesus, the one whom you handed over and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15but put to death the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. 16And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.
17“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers also did. 18But the things which God previously announced by the mouths of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has fulfilled in this way.
12¶ And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? 13The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 16And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 17And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
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 a soul dead in sin that miraculously comes 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 titled “The Christian Phenomenon” 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 Jacob from whom this miracle has come. The listener is reminded that the God who spoke to Moses in the burning bush and healed the beggar at Gate Beautiful is the same God that still speaks and acts 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.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.