Acts 3:1-26 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Walk
Comments for Study 5

Acts 3:1-26
Memory Verse: 6

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I. Peter Heals a Crippled Beggar (1-10)

>1. Where are John and Peter going? (1)

"One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon." -Acts 3:1

* "at the time of prayer" -there was three normal Jewish times of prayer that must have been kept by the early Apostles, at least Peter and John. (Times of prayer for a Jew: 3rd hour, 9:00am; 9th hour, 3:00pm; sunset.)

* It was not easy to pray for three reasons:
    1) It takes dedication and eagerness to set aside a time to pray every day.
    2) It was also hard to pray each day because the church was growing fast. It was about 5,000 members by then. So each apostles had a lot of new believers to teach and take care of.
    3) It was also not easy to pray because the enemies of the church, the Jewish leaders, were always in the temple courts. It was their "home court".

* The Apostles could pray like this because they followed Jesus' example who often prayed in the mist of a busy and demanding schedule.

>How are they different from the way they were in the gospel times? (Luke. 22:24; Mark. 14:39-40)

* "Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him." -Mark 14:39-40

* "Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest." -Luke 22:24

* Also see Mat. 14:14-37 and Mark 10:35-41.

* In the past each tried to be the first, the top so they were very competitive.

* In the past they slept at the time of prayer.

* In the past they depended on their own strength.

* Pray is depending on God. It takes a humble attitude.

* Peter and John were interrupted. Interruptions are sometimes God's work so we must take them well.

>2. Describe the condition of the crippled beggar. (2)

"Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts." -Acts 3:2

* He was crippled in spirit as well.

* In verse 4 he was looking down ("Look at us") not in their eyes.

* He had low self esteem and self pity.

* "from birth" -Meaningless and hopeless life especially since he was this way from birth in that time and society.

* "was being carried to the temple gate...every day" -dependent mind. Of course he needed help, but it is easy to gain a buggers mentality.

* "to beg from those going into the temple courts" -Begging was his job. The beggars took advantage of people going into the temple to worship for those going in were more likely to give.

* "every day" -even on the Sabbath.

>What does he want from Peter and John? (3)

"When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. -Acts 3:3

* "he asked them for money"

* In a way all sinners are like this man. We want something from others; money, love, pity, help, friendship, conversation, whatever.

* Many, even in rich American today have gained a "give-me" attitude. But a great American president once said, "Ask not what can the country do for me. But what can I do for the country." Even church members these days asked, "What can the church do for me?" And, "What can I get from Jesus?"

>3. What does Peter do to help him? (4)

"Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, 'Look at us!'" -Acts 3:4

* In John 9 the apostles heart towards such people was different. They were sentimental.

* "Peter looked straight at him" -he took notice of the man as Jesus had done in John 9:1.

* "as did John" -they had a joint-compassionate heart together.

* "Then Peter said" -Peter could have been fatalistic and negative for this man as he and the other disciples were in John 9.

* "'Look at us!'" -Peter talked to him and helped him be a man with self worth. He even understood the man. He helped him fundamentally.

>What does the man expect Peter to do? (5)

"So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them." -Acts 3:5

* The man did not know who they were or what they were going to do.

>4. What do Peter's words teach us about his faith? (6; Mark. 11:23-24)

* ""I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. -Mark 11:23-24

"Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." -Acts 3:6

* "Silver of gold I do not have." -The disciples were poor, especially after following Jesus on the road for over three years.

* "but what I have I give you" -the beggar had no giving mind but Peter, who had as little as the man humanly gave to the man what he had. He didn't look into his pocket and say, "I'm sorry I can't do anything to help you." By faith Peter could find something to help out the man.

* "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth" -Peter had nothing but faith in Jesus. And Jesus has all the power that created the universe. The difference between believing and fatalism is magnifying Jesus.

* "walk" -Peter had learned absolute mountain moving faith that came through prayer and the word of God.

* "Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up" -Peter help the man have faith and act by faith.

* In order to help sheep have faith, we first need to have faith.

* We need to be examples of faith.

>What happens to the person? (7-8)

"Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God." -Acts 3:7-8

* "instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong" -this man was healed instantly, but it does not always happen like this. Each step may take a long time and much practical help.

* "He jumped to his feet and began to walk" -resurrection faith had been planted in the man's heart.

* "Then he went with them" -he did not leave after God helped him through God's servant.

* "walking and jumping, and praising God" -the man had a thankful heart after God healed him. If not practical and spiritual thankful heart, then the sheep are not helped properly, or they didn't really accept.

* Teaching a person to fish is better than giving him fish.

* We can help others by turning their hearts to Jesus.

* People are not useless in God's eyes.

>What is the response of the people? (9-10)

"When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. -Acts 3:9-10

* "wonder and amazement" -positive

II. Peter's Second Sermon (11-26)

>5. To whom does Peter direct the people? (11-12)

"While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? -Acts 3:11-12

* Peter used the healing as an opportunity to preach the gospel. And teach about Jesus. remember he intended to pray.

* "Why..." -Peter tells them that he is not God. It is not his power or "godliness" (righteousness).

* "came running" -excitement in the air

>What did God do for Jesus? (13)

"The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go." -Acts 3:13

* "has glorified" -put the spotlight and honor on

* "his servant Jesus" -Jesus is a servant of God too even though he is exalted at the right hand of God. People knew Jesus this way. We should not think highly of ourself for Jesus was a servant of God.

>What did the people do to Jesus? (14-15)

"You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. -Acts 3:14-15

* "Your a sinner repent" message.

* A powerful message like this is best preached if the former grace of God is seen by the listeners.

* "You handed him over to be killed" -The same subject of Peter's first message. Among them were some who cried out, "Crucify him!"

* "You disowned" -They rejected Jesus, claiming that he was not their king.

* "You...asked a murderer be released to you" -They were so against Jesus that it defied righteousness. They associated with crimes rather than truth. This is the continual increasing state of the time I am in.

* "You killed" -They did not physically put Jesus on the cross, yet their actions lead to it. The thought was the same as the act. Jesus often taught this.

* "the Holy and Righteous One" -Jesus was pure, without sin. Jesus lived a blessed life. Often the Old Testament referred to the Messiah in this way.

* "the author of life" -Jesus is the source of all life, including life of every single person ever born and yet to be born.

>What made the man whole? (16)

"By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. -Acts 3:16

* "By faith in the name of Jesus"-both Peter and the man.

* "It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him" -Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. God's servants only help us.

>6. What does Peter say about their sin? (17)

""Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. -Acts 3:17

* "brothers" -Peter loved them and saw himself as one of them even though they killed Jesus as Peter had preached.

* "you acted in ignorance" -Sin is sin. Their rejection of the Messiah is/was a sin and very evil. Rejecting Jesus as the Messiah meant death as the prophets had said. Peter was saying that they did not know, and could yet repent and accept him. Their hearts were not hard as the religious leaders hearts had become. Later, Paul would write that unbelieving Israel had experienced a hardening of the heart (Rom. 11:25) as are the unbelieving Gentiles (Eph. 4:18). When a person hears the good news it is important to accept for rejection hardens the heart. There is a point when a heart is to hard to accept. Thus those in the crowd acted in ignorance and had not experienced a hardening of the heart.

* "as did your leaders" -The religious leaders lead the attack against Jesus, and many in the crowd Peter was addressing not only didn't stop it, but they cried out, "Crucify him."

>What does Peter teach about God in verse 18?

"But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer." -Acts 3:18

* "this is how God fulfilled" -In the past people didn't know how the Christ would suffer if he came to Israel. Then when Jesus came it was revealed. He suffered through their ignorance of the first coming of the Messiah. They did not understand how passages of Isaiah saying he would be the suffering servant. All they understood and wanted to believe in was a conquering military and political leader.

* "he had foretold through all the prophets" -Old Testament study should always point to Jesus.

* "God is good" or a phrase meaning the same, is repeated over a 100 times in the Bible. God can turn what is evil to his good purpose. We need to have faith in this especially when we don't understand what is going on.

>7. What does Peter urge them to do? (19a)

"Repent, then, and turn to God..." -Acts 3:19

* "Repent" -Turn away from sin for you are wrong. It is not to late for you. He was saying, "Get wise. Don't be ignorant anymore."

* "turn to God" -When we stop sinning we should start doing God's will.

>Why? (Luke. 13:1-5)

* "Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." -Luke 13:1-5

>What is its benefit? (19b)

"...so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord," -Acts 3:19b

* Three benefits:
    1) "your sins may be wiped out" -cleansed from the heart so that they can see Jesus and who he is clearly.
    2) "that times of refreshing may come" -spiritual refreshing.
    3) the third benefit is in the next question.

* "from the Lord" -qualifying statement

* "times" -plural not singular

>8. Who is Jesus? (20-21)

"and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets." -Acts 3:20-21

* "he may send" -God can send the Christ. Jesus will come in their hearts at that time, that day and someday, when the full amount required is saved Jesus will come again.

* "the Christ" -Messiah; anointed one, appointed.

* "who has been appointed to you" -Jesus is the one who God has established to be hour Savior and our Lord.

* "He must remain in heaven until" -Peter said because he needed to qualify the phrase "he may send the Christ" as spiritual now and physical later when the time is right.

>Who is Jesus according to Moses' prophecy? (22-23)

"For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.'" -Acts 3:22-23

* "For Moses said" -Not just accept Peter's words but the Scriptures, even from Moses backed him up.

* "The Lord your God will raise up" -In Greek, "prophetes anistemi Kyrios Theos." In Hebrew, "YHWH Elohim qum Nabi."

* "for you" -God so loved us that he sent someone to save us from sin, death, and decay.

* "a prophet like me" -The Christ like Moses was a delivering shepherd.

* "you must listen to everything he tells you" -Thus we need good Bible study, especially the four gospels. Old Testament verses back up what Jesus taught.

* "will be completely cut off from among his people" -There is no exception. When a person hears the truth it is important for them to accept. Interesting thing to understand is that our faith is dynamic and growing. Often a person needs to hear and hear again until they can truly say that they believe. Even then we grow in our understand of Jesus and his work. A relationship with Jesus is a reciprocal of the love he gives to us.

>According to all the prophets? (24)

""Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days." -Acts 3:24

* "all the prophets" -say Jesus is the Christ.

* "these days" -the days of the Christ Jesus and after, the age of preaching the gospel (aka church age).

>9. What is God's promise for all people through Jesus? (25-26; Gen. 12:2-4)

"And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.' When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways." -Acts 3:25-26

* ""I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran." -Genesis 12:2-4

* "heirs of the prophets" -refers to "these days" (24) and the words the prophets spoke about in these days.

* "the covenant" -singular

* "his servant" -Jesus

* "he sent him first to you" -life of mission

* "bless you" -giving message of repentance and helping them to repent like Jesus did; this is blessing the people.

* "turning" -repenting

* The promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:2-4 ) is for us too; so many people have accepted the promise for they came and were fulfilled as Peter says.

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