Invitation to Look Again
Acts 3:12-26 click here for audio
Peter’s second sermon addresses the most important issue in life. The Apostle does not waste time with frivolous matters. He gets right to the point confronting his listeners with the truth. The truth about God; the truth about Christ; the truth about sin, and the matter of repentance, the future, judgment, and also of God’s purpose to bless those whom He turns from their wicked ways.
This sermon by Peter was prompted by a miracle. If you recall last time, a man who had been born lame was healed by Christ through the Apostle Peter. A man who was over 40 years old never seen able to walk. A man acquainted by all the people because he was regularly seen asking for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple.
Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer. This lame man asked Peter and John for a donation. Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” He was expecting to receive something from them. Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. The man gets up, he enters the temple walking, leaping and praising God.
The people were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to this man and it set the stage for what came next. The miracle was the introduction to Peter’s message that followed. The main point in Peter’s message is this - The same power that miraculously changed this man’s life is here to change your life. Jesus Christ of Nazareth gave to this man the ability to walk and He can give you a new walk. You can walk in newness of life which comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter is saying, “you need to look again at this God you think you know.”
1. Look again at the God of your fathers
12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?
You think by our own power this man was made to walk? You better look again. We have no secret powers or personal piety to pull this off. You’re looking at the wrong person. No need to stare in our direction. There’s no magic in our hands. We’re no faith healers. Peter begins his message by saying, “Men of Israel”. I think Peter includes himself when he says, ‘Men’ and then look at v.17 “and now, brothers…” We’re just men…we’re brothers. That’s all we are---mere men.
Then comes v.13 “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers….” Let’s stop right there. WE ARE MEN OF ISRAEL, BUT LET’S LOOK AGAIN AT THE GOD OF ISRAEL. By the way, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel (Gen. 35:10).
Look again at the God of Israel who is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers….
This God whom you’ve heard about, read about, and grew up learning about. The God of our fathers. Peter is saying, “we have a wonderful history, a rich history of the works of God reaching all the way back to Abraham. You know Abraham, the one who by faith “…. looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10). This God of our fathers has glorified his servant Jesus.
2. Look again at God’s Servant
His Servant Jesus - (also v.26) Most translations say “Servant”; the KJV says “Son”. Jesus is God’s Son, but He came fulfilling the role of SERVANT.
The picture of “servant” for the Jews would take them to the book of Isaiah. In Isaiah there are 4 songs called “Servant Songs”. The Jews would know these songs very well. They are found in Isaiah 42:1-9; 49:1-13; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12. At the start Isaiah, the prophet, called Israel God’s servant. Listen to Isaiah 41:8-9
8 But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
But there’s a problem. Israel did not fulfill the role of God’s Servant. Israel forgot God. Israel failed and forsook the Rock of their salvation. Where they failed, Jesus, the Messiah fulfilled. Jesus is God’s Servant. He is the Suffering Servant as described in Isaiah 52 and 53.
One of the Servant Songs – Isaiah 42:1-9 is given in Matthew 12:18-20
18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
20 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
21 and in his name the Gentiles will hope.
Peter is saying “Look again” at Jesus. He is the Servant described by the prophet Isaiah.
The One you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate. Pilate was getting ready to release him. Pilate’s wife wanted him release because she had a bad dream. She told Pilate, “don’t have anything to do with this just man.” (Matt. 27:19). Pilate spoke to the Jews, “it’s your custom that I release a prisoner to you. Who do you want? Jesus or Barabbas? They said “release Barabbas.”
What about Jesus? Have him crucified!
“Yes, that’s what you did,” said Peter. You asked for a murderer to be granted to you. You would rather have Barabbas, a notorious murderer, released. You killed the Author of Life, the Prince of Life.
LOOK AGAIN at this One you denied because God raised Him from the dead. To this we are witnesses. Just as sure as you are witnesses to the miracle performed on the one who was lame, we are witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus.
The HOLY and RIGHTEOUS One – God raised from the dead. He is HOLY. HE is RIGHTEOUS. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 1Peter 2:22
Yes, YOU NEED TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT THIS JESUS. You thought he was permanently done away with. LOOK AGAIN! God raised Him from the dead. Jesus has shown up right here in the healing of this lame man. (v.16)
And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
Just as Jesus gave perfect health to the lame man. Just as He made him strong, Christ will make you whole again. He is mighty to save, and He will save all who will call upon His name.
vv.17-18 “ And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance……….”
3. Look again at the Scriptures
I know that you acted in ignorance, but your ignorance can be cleared up by taking a fresh look again at the Scriptures. Let’s look at what was foretold by the prophets. What did the prophets say? From their own mouth came the prophetic message ---Christ would suffer! Isaiah 52:13 and on into Isaiah 53. It speaks of his crucifixion. His suffering, His crucifixion and death was not because He did anything wrong. Jesus is the Holy and Righteous One. Why did He suffer and die?
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all
Isaiah 53:11 by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
What was foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, Christ fulfilled!
Peter is preaching and simply saying, “you need to take another look at this Jesus. The One you killed. The One God raised from the dead. The One foretold by the mouth of the prophets that He would suffer. LOOK AGAIN IN THE SCRIPTURES.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, (John 5:39)
4. Look again at God’s Redemption and Restoration.
v.19 “repent therefore,..” You acted in ignorance, but that does not mean there’s no culpability. You can’t say there’s no blame or guilt. Your sins must be dealt with. What can you do?
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,….
“REPENT” means to have a “change of mind.” It means to look again and see sin for what it really is. It means to look again and see Jesus Christ as the only HOPE for sinners.
He is our Redeemer purchasing our redemption in his own blood.
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
LOOK at ACTS 4:12
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
TO HAVE OUR SINS BLOTTED OUT - Requires the Blood of Christ. What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, (Ephesians 1:7)
What about the Restoration? (vv.20-21) Peter speaks of the “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
(a) Time of refreshing
(b) Time of restoring
First of all, this time of refreshing, and time of restoring must occur with the bodily presence of Christ. When Christ Jesus comes personally it will be a time of refreshing for the saints of God. Christ is in Heaven for now until the time for restoring all the things that God spoke about through the holy prophets.
Look in Acts 1:6-7 “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
We pray for that great event. We pray “Our Father, who art in heaven, Thy kingdom come..”
One day Christ will return and the Earth will be the place for Christ to rule and reign for 1000 years. And even beyond that into the Eternal realm, will be an eternal restoration of all that was lost because of sin. A time of refreshing and renewal and “ according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells”. 2Peter 3:13
The future for the Believers is not bleak, it’s not depressing. It’s very promising. It’s hopeful. It’s a blessed hope.
while we wait for the blessed hope-the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
King Jesus will come and there will be no more heartaches, no more sickness, no more diseases, no more pain, no more suffering, no more catatrophes, no more killing, and no more dying.
Look again at our Glorious Redeemer, Our Redemption and the Restoration and Refreshing from our Lord.
5. Look again at God’s Promise (vv.22-26)
Peter preaches and reminds his listeners of what Moses had said. In v.22 Peter quotes Moses from Deuteronomy 18:15 “the Lord will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.” This is speaking of the coming of Christ who is the prophet of all prophets. He is the Son of God, and He is the One Moses spoke of.
LOOK AGAIN at this Promise..
a. For all who will not listen (v.23)
There is a promise given for the people who will NOT listen to God’s prophet. V.23 “ shall be destroyed from the people.”
Matthew 7:22-23; 26-27
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Many people simply will NOT LISTEN. They think such words from our Lord is foolishness. I hope you are not like that. If so, I would urge you to LOOK AGAIN at the warnings from God. LOOK AGAIN at the promise that God will send judgment on this world.
v.24 all the prophets who have spoken……. also proclaimed these days…
That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
There are many who scoff at the thought of FACING GOD in JUDGMENT…. This past week one of the greatest physicist of our time died……Stephen Hawking…highly intelligent man…
He did NOT believe in God, in heaven, or judgment.
“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” (Stephen Hawking, greatest physicist of our time, died Wednesday (03/14/18)
b. For all who will listen
What about the Jews who will listen? What about those who will heed God’s message?
Peter says, (v.25) “You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
YOU ARE THE PRIVILEDGE…. You are in good company being the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers..
The promise given to the Jewish Believers is NOT by inheritance. It is by the PROMISE MADE TO ABRAHAM AND TO HIS OFFSPRING. (SEED) NOT OFFSPRINGS (SEEDS)
16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.
GOD, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.
Not everyone will listen. SEE Acts 4 - priests, captain of the temple and the Sadducees greatly annoyed because Peter was teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
But there were some who HEARD and Believed. (see Acts 4:4) about five thousand.
Those who heard and believed, and repented….God gave them blessings, the blessing of Abraham, and that incudes us…
Salvation came to the Jew first, but the promise is this -- all the families of the earth be blessed.
Maybe you have not seriously considered How Christ Can Change Your Life…. I urge you LOOK AGAIN at God’s promise…. Look again at Christ, the Holy and Righteous One. Look again at the Prince of Life whom God raised from the dead…..
LOOK AGAIN at the Scriptures which says…..
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:9-10,13)
THIS is a WORK of GRACE - v.26 “God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
YOU Can’t turn “on your own”. You can’t make yourself a new person. You can’t be saved by “turning over a new leaf.” It’s not you turning around, it’s God who does the turning.
It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)
Ezekiel 36:26-27 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
And the promise for all who will hear…..give heed….is this….God will BLESS YOU…
Bless you with eternal life; sins blotted out; sins forgiven; a new life;