The healing of a crippled beggar at the gate called “The Beautiful Gate” leading to the Temple is the first healing miracle recorded in the book of Acts. The disciples had performed miracles before, but this was also the first miracle they performed after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. There are five important principles we can draw from this chapter. If you have your bibles, please turn with me to Acts 3:1-26. [A sermon preached by Dr. Arnold Lastinger. Used with permission.]
1. Religion is blind to people’s Needs
Read Acts 3:1-2
A. The disciples were used to going to the temple very often. The stated times for prayer in Judaism: Early in the morning. At the ninth hour of the day (Probably 3’ O clock). Again, at Sunset.
B. They were used to seeing the crippled beggar, (Familiarity breeds contempt?) The beggar was crippled from birth. 40 years!
C. People had to carry him to beg! Without the Holy Spirit, we are often blind to the needs of others around us.
2. The Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes
Read Acts 3:3-4
A. We learn that the Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes. (This beggar was in this same spot for years)
B. Peter and John had passed him daily. Neither had paid him any mind before now. He was just another beggar and there were many like him in Jerusalem.
C. Now, they “looked straight at him!” – they were not the same old themselves anymore. They saw something beyond the ordinary.
3. Spirit-filled Christians see the Needs
Read Acts 3:5-6
A. The disciples acknowledged they did not have personal funds to give to the beggar, but they also acknowledged what they have and its power.
B. Peter said, “…What I have (that is the power of God to heal) I give to you…” Such powerful words.
C. With the Holy Spirit of God, what you have is enough! Don’t wait until God blesses you with resources you don’t have.
4. The boldness to take a step of Faith
Read Acts 3:7
A. Peter daringly took the beggar by his hand and helped him to his feet. He never tried that before.
B. God did nothing until Peter reached out. This is a pattern throughout the New Testament as well as the Old Testament.
C. In the book of Joshua chapter 3, God didn’t divide the Jordan until the priests stepped into the waters of the flooded Jordan, water from the upstream stopped flowing.
5. Only the Holy Spirit revives the Church
Read Acts 3:8-10; Acts 4:4
A. The beggar was immediately blessed! Jumping on his feet he ran inside the temple and disturbed an entire time of prayer.
B. People filled with wonder and amazement. They knew this was the cripple they used to see every day.
C. The first two sermons of Peter which were truth encounters drew 5,000 new converts. With the sermon, he preached this time, backed with a power encounter thousands of more believers joined the Church!
This event gave Peter a preaching opportunity, (Acts 3:12-26). It indicates that power evangelism opens doors for ministry. Don’t be afraid to ask God for the supernatural! God desires to refill believers with His Spirit, (Matthew 7:9-11). Pay attention to Acts 4:31 “…After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Like F. F. Bruce said, “There is only one baptism in the Spirit, but many fillings!” God is still in the business of baptizing his church with the Holy Spirit. Just ask him to fill you with His Spirit!
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