Growth Through a Powerful Transformation

Dr. Steve Viars January 27, 2019 Acts 3:1-4:4
Outline

Daniel 2:13 - So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them.

Daniel 2:17-18 - Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel 2:25-28 - Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel into the king’s presence and spoke to him as follows: “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!” The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. “However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days…”

Daniel 2:47 - The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.”

Matthew 16:18 - I also say to you that you are Peterand upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Matthew 4:18-19 - Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Acts 2:41 - So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

3 principles to help us maximize our use of God’s blessings

I. Be on the Lookout for Others in Need

Acts 4:4 - But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

A. The hopeless nature of this man’s condition

Acts 3:2 - And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.

Crippled from birth, his case was hopeless; his affliction was not one the doctors of his day could cure. The imperfect tense of the verb translated was being carried along, together with the phrase set down every day indicates it was his daily routine to beg at that location (John MacArthur, Acts 1-12, p. 98).

B. The power of where you fix your gaze

Acts 3:4 - But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him…

“Football is important to me, obviously, but it’s not my life; it’s not like the biggest thing in my life, I would say my faith is. That just comes from knowing who I am outside of (football). No matter how big the situation is, it’s not going to define me. I put my identity in what Christ says and who He thinks I am and who He says I am. So really, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what people think about me or how good they think I play or whatever.”

- Just think about the privilege it is to have a Lord like ours. Imagine the mercy and grace it takes to offer us this life with Him. In all of our disgusting sin and how we’ve betrayed Him, He STILL pursues us. If He has done that, I’ll live this life for Him. There’s nothing that compares (Trevor Lawrence, Clemson University quarterback).

Luke 10:33 - But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion…

atenizo - Acts 1:10 - And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.

II. Rejoice that the Lord Often Stands Ready to Do Far More than a Person in Need Dares to Hope

A. A bold proclamation

v. 6 – Walk!

Ephesians 3:20-21 - Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

B. With a willingness to reach down and help

Acts 3:7 - And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up…

John 11:43-44 - When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

C. An amazing healing

Acts 3:7-8 - …and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

1. to authenticate the truthfulness of the message

John 10:37-38 - If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

2. as a precursor to you and me doing “greater things”

John 14:12 - Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

D. An amazing testimony

Acts 3:9-10 - And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

1 Peter 3:15 - …but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…

III. Use the Platform of Dramatic Change to Advance the Conversation to the Power of the Lord.

Acts 3:11 - While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement.

A. Quickly take the focus off yourself

Acts 3:12-13, 16 - But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus…And 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.

Acts 3:6 - …In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”

B. Be honest about the nature of the problem

Acts 3:14-15 - But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

C. Be direct about the needed action

Acts 3:19 - Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…

D. Be celebratory about the beauty of the solution

v. 14 – the Holy and Righteous One

v. 15 – the Prince of Life

v. 18 – His Christ (who) would suffer

v. 22 – A prophet

v. 26 – raised up His servant

- When I was 15 years old and a sophomore in high school, I landed my first job that came with a real paycheck…

- the previous several years I had worked as a caddy at a golf-course [The prestigious Gary Country Club , btw), but now I was hired by a place called Admiral’s Health Club in the basement of the north tower at the intersection of I65 and Route 30 up in Merrillville if you recognize those structures…

- it came at an ideal time because two weeks previously I had asked my father if I could transfer from the public high school I was attending to a small private Christian school…

- he [wisely I think], said that would be fine as long as I would get a job and help pay for the tuition…

- then out of the blue two weeks later [humanly speaking that is], one of my friends called me and asked if I wanted to join him on the staff at the health club…

- it wasn’t much of a job – they actually started you out at $1.87 an hour which was below minimum wage but they got around that by also providing you with a membership at the health club [something every 15 year old needs]…

- and if memory serves me correctly – the school tuition was $126 per month [which really shows my age] but I found if you worked enough hours at $1.87 an hour, I could cover my part…so I did…

- part of my responsibility was scrubbing the showers…they had been installed with 4 inch light blue tile squares with white grout and since the club was in the basement of the building and the shower area was so humid – it was like a mold factory…

- and the only way to stay ahead of it was sending a guy like me in with a bucket of straight muriatic acid, a scrub brush, and some rubber gloves…

- the smell was atrocious, and since we wore shorts as part of our work uniform – anywhere you splashed some of that acid on your skin as you scrubbed burned like crazy…[I’m a bit disappointed that I’m not hearing more weeping, and people blowing their noses and such…]

-  anyway – it was my first job – I needed the money to stay in school – and my parents had taught me to work hard and try to do my best – wo I did…

- until one day I was walking through a seating area and overheard one of my managers talking to some of the club members and he said – “Yea, I scrubbed the showers yesterday…”

- I had never experienced anything like that before…and I was really sure I was the one who had the burn marks on my skin, not him…and I was shocked that he was taking credit for something that another person had done…

- my guess is – we could go around the room this morning and hear all sorts of similar tales…what I just described is regrettably a rather common occurrence in some work places…and we would all say – such behavior is practically sickening…

- well, now let me ask you a hard question – is it ever possible to do that with the Lord?...

- where He’s the one who has given the strength, or the giftedness, or the blessing, or the victory – but either by commission or omission, we take the credit ourselves?...

- now, let me be sure those terms are clear…

- Scripture teaches us it’s possible to sin in two ways…by commission – doing things that are wrong…or by omission – failing to do things that are right…

- and it is possible to rob God of the glory due his name by failing to point others to Him as the ultimate source of whatever is happening in our lives that might be good…

- now, what’s the opposite of that?...not in some sort of forced way…or pious way…but looking for natural opportunities to use whatever platform you’ve been given to acknowledge the Lord as ultimate source of good, or accomplishment, or blessing…

- for example – in the book of Daniel…

- the first crisis he faces after the test in chapter 1 about the effects of he and his friends not eating the kings food is Nebuchadnezzar’s troubling dream…

- and what’s amazing is that the kind calls all his wise men together and says – your assignment is not just to tell me the interpretation, but also tell me my dream…because otherwise I can’t trust your so-called interpretation…

- and of course the wise men protest – saying that no king in history has ever demanded that…

- and so the king says – fine…then he gives orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon…

- so we read in – Daniel 2:13 - So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them.

- not surprisingly, what do we find Daniel doing next?...

- Daniel 2:17–18 - Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

- thankfully God answers the prayer…and Daniel has a marvelous time of personal worship…followed by him going and speaking to the king…

- now please tell me – does he sound like one of my managers at Admiral’s Health Club…or something else in what he says…

- Daniel 2:25–28 - Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel into the king’s presence and spoke to him as follows: “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!” The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. “However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days…

- would we all agree – that’s a whole lot better than – I’m the one who cleaned the showers?...

- and it’s amazing how that story ended…Daniel 2:47 - The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.”

- here’s my question this am – how is that tendency – or commitment to point others to the ultimate source of your abilities, and victories, and accomplishments – connected to our theme of Growing What God has Given?...

- with that in mind, please open your Bible to Acts chapter 3…[page ____ of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you]…

- in these first weeks of the new year, we working our way through the early chapters of the book of Acts and thinking about “The Exciting Growth of Christ’s Church

- Jesus promised his disciples that He would…Matthew 16:18 - I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

- and that was incredibly good news to them…because that meant that Jesus intended not only to die for the sins of men and women, but also to offer the gift of forgiveness and new life to those who would repent and believe…

- and because of His mercy, and because of His power…this group of forgiven and transformed people would be built – it would grow…

- and as Christ continued to teach them – He made it clear that they would have the privilege of being part of the accomplishment of that plan…so He said in places like Matthew 4:18–19 - Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

- well, it didn’t take long for that promise to be fulfilled…because as soon as we open the pages to the book of Acts…now that Jesus has died, be buried, and has risen again…and then His final commission before ascending to heaven…the church is born…and it’s born with a bang…because on day 1 we read… Acts 2:41 - So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

- the Bible lists specific numbers of people who had placed their faith and trust in Christ…not to glorify Peter, or any other human being…but to glorify the power of faithfulness of our redeeming God…and don’t you love the way the number is given?...

- three thousand souls…people who will spend eternity somewhere…and here’s 3000 who will spend their eternity in heaven because of the redeeming work of our Savior…

‑ so the question we’re wrestling with is – where, if at all, should numbers fit into our mindset?...

- and I’ve been around here a long time – I don’t know of anyone who wants to draw attention to ourselves as people…or to us as a church…that’s just pride and self-exaltation…

- but if we’re talking about eternal destiny of those God has placed around us…we surely want to be faithful fishers of men…

- and especially on these five marvelous ministry platforms God has given us – this year we want to grow what God has given…

- now in Acts 3…we’re going to see the Lord on the move additionally…in a text that ends with an updated count of people who had believed…

- we’re talking about Growth Through a Powerful Transformation

- read Acts 3:1-4:4

- so we’re talking about Growth Through a Powerful Transformation…and with the time we have remaining, let’s look for Three principles to help us maximize our use of God’s blessings.

I. Be on the Lookout for Others in Need

- I would encourage us to tether everything we’re saying this morning to where the story ends…

- Acts 4:4 - But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

- I would ask us the same question about that verse as I did when we were looking at the numerical statistic we found in chapter 2:41…why is that detail in the passage?...

- surely not to glorify Peter…or John…or any other human – that would be contrary to everything we read here…

- but hearing the sheer number of people was an additional way to focus of the redeeming power of our Savior…

- and by the way – please don’t be put off that we’re only counting men…[I can hear the e-mails on that one]…the point there is – the numerical growth is occurring so rapidly that now we’re just going to count heads of households and before long it will be impossible to put an exact number on it because the numerical growth is rapid and expansive…

- but then the question becomes – how did that happen?...and the answer we have before us is…one lame man at a time…one person in need at a time…one soul at a time…

- and what a fascinating soul we have highlighted in this passage, huh?...

A. The hopeless nature of this man’s condition

- Acts 3:2 - And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.

- John MacArthur helps us understand the significance of his condition - Crippled from birth, his case was hopeless; his affliction was not one the doctors of his day could cure. The imperfect tense of the verb translated was being carried along, together with the phrase set down every day indicates it was his daily routine to beg at that location (John MacArthur, Acts 1-12, p. 98).

- and one of the key principles of this passage is – thank the Lord Peter and John, these so-called rough, calloused fishermen didn’t walk right on by?...

- why is that?...because they took Jesus up on His offer…to go from being fishers of fish…to being fishers of men…

- I hope this year that this metaphor will just be seared into our consciences in fresh ways…because it’s all about…

B. The power of where you fix your gaze

- Acts 3:4 - But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him…

- the Monday after we had our initial kickoff for our annual theme and discussed this privilege of being beings of men…

- my son The Bear and I were watching the Alabama/Clemson game for the national college championship…

- and I was telling Andrew that Clemson’s freshman quarterback had made it clear that he was a follower of Jesus…

- [Heather – insert picture of Trevor Lawrence]…

- he said earlier in the season -- “Football is important to me, obviously, but it’s not my life; it’s not like the biggest thing in my life, I would say my faith is. That just comes from knowing who I am outside of (football). No matter how big the situation is, it’s not going to define me. I put my identity in what Christ says and who He thinks I am and who He says I am. So really, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what people think about me or how good they think I play or whatever.”

- he tweeted a few days before the championship game -- Just think about the privilege it is to have a Lord like ours. Imagine the mercy and grace it takes to offer us this life with Him. In all of our disgusting sin and how we’ve betrayed Him, He STILL pursues us. If He has done that, I’ll live this life for Him. There’s nothing that compares (Trevor Lawrence, Clemson University quarterback).

- so anyway, I was Andrew about Trevor as we were watching the game and the Bear said without missing a beat – oh, the others guys are fishing for tackles but Trevor is fishing for men…

- I loved the way Andrew was processing this biblical concept…if we’re interested in Growing What God has Given – then it’s all about the power of where we fix our gaze…

- please also keep in mind that the author of the book of Acts, humanly speaking, is who?...Luke…

- can you think back to a story he recorded in his gospel of people who responded to someone in need in a very different way?...

- the story of the good Samaritan…where a person had been beaten and left on the side of the road and two Jewish leaders – a priest and a Levite – passed right on by…

- and what did the good Samaritan do?... Luke 10:33 - But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,

- one of the questions that each of should ask is – are we ordering our hearts, and our lives, and our schedules so we’re on the lookout for others in need?...

- one other exegetical point – this word translated in Acts 3:4 with the phrase – “fixed their gaze” has actually already occurred one other time in the book of Acts…can you think of where that might have been?...

- atenizo - Acts 1:10 - And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.

- that was at Christ’s ascension, just after he gave them the command to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth…

- I don’t want to take that point too far – but there’s no question that the more we’re gazing on the beauty and majesty of Christ – the more likely we are to be on the lookout for those whom Christ can heal, and forgive, and transform…

- now, what do we see next?...

II. Rejoice that the Lord Often Stands Ready to Do Far More than a Person in Need Dares to Hope

- if time allowed this am, we could talk about the importance of practically every word in verse 6…but there is one that surely would have stood out to this dear man…

A. A bold proclamation

v. 6 – Walk!

- not – here are a few coins that might get you a meal to last for a few hours…

- but in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene – walk

- don’t you love the fact that we have the privilege of living for, and telling others about, a Savior who consistently over-delivers…

- that’s one of the primary points Jay Adams makes in his book More Than Redemption (or, the Theology of Christian Counseling)

- that trusting Christ is not simply getting back to where we once were on one of our best days in the past…but achieving a new kind of blessing, and position, and life unlike we’ve ever had before…

- I love being able to tell that to a married couple in counseling [develop]…

- the apostle Paul would later say this about Jesus -- Ephesians 3:20–21 - Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

- that’s the kind of Savior we have the privilege of representing…you also have to love…

B. With a willingness to reach down and help

- Acts 3:7 - And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up…

 - why was that?....probably because the man didn’t believe it was possible…

- and because often chooses to only do for us what we couldn’t have done ourselves…

- like in the miracle of the raising of Lazarus?...do you remember what happened next?... John 11:43–44 - When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

- you would think the Lord would have gone ahead and unwrapped him?...

- but what a beautiful picture of Peter’s faith…and his willingness to do whatever was necessary to help this man…

- I was doing some of the prep work for this message on a Monday evening [in fact, just before the Clemson/Alabama game]…and I like the way our offices are set up at the NCC…because on the way to mine – I pass the conference rooms and several other staff/volunteer offices…

- and I wasn’t counseling that particular hour in our counseling center…but I was thinking about this text as I passed by office after office…and the way they’re designed you really can’t tell who’s there because of the position of the chairs and desks…but it was a cause of rejoicing to see our staff and church family in action…reaching down and lifting men and women up to the place God had prepared for them…

- friend, do you have examples in your life where you are trying to do that?...

- that is such a crucial aspect of accomplishing our theme this year…then what happens?

C. An amazing healing

- Acts 3:7–8 - …and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

- can you imagine that sight?...and you might say – why is this so important at this point in the book of Acts?...

- for the same reason it was important for Jesus to do miracles as part of his public ministry…

1. to authenticate the truthfulness of the message

- John 10:37–38 - If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

- now you might say – well, where in the world does that leave us because the last time we checked, we don’t have the ability to physically heal people like this?...

- that’s true, and the Bible clearly said that these kind of sign gifts would die out…

- why?...because you and I can do much better things…and if you just rolled your eyes at me…let me roll them back…

2. as a precursor to you and me doing “greater things”

- John 14:12 - Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

- we are in a far better position than the apostle Peter ever was…why?...

- because we have the power of the completed Scriptures, and nearly 2000 years of testimonies of men and women whose lives have been dramatically changed by the power of the gospel…

- and then you have this…

D. An amazing testimony

- Acts 3:9–10 - And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

- and friends – what’s occurring here?...because of an amazing  transformation…everyone wants to know how this happened…

- it’s the same emphasis we see in the book of 1 Peter…

- after we read about the change Jesus wants to make in the way we relate to secular government officials….and the way we relate to unreasonable bosses…and the way wives relate to imperfect husbands…and the way husbands relate to wives who are hard to understand…

- 1 Peter 3:15 - but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

- the goal is to live in such a powerfully transformed way that people are left wondering – what in the world happened to you?...what is the explanation for what is going on in your life?...and then it is time to do exactly what Peter does next…

III. Use the Platform of Dramatic Change to Advance the Conversation to the Power of the Lord.

- not surprisingly, what did people do?...

- Acts 3:11 – While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement.

- by the way – this would have been a great time for Peter to make a quick buck…

- he just said – he didn’t have any silver or gold…he could have changed that in a hurry – if that’s what he was fixing his gaze upon…

- step right up folks – we’re so powerful we’ll heal you next for the special price, today only, of…but, what did they do?...

A. Quickly take the focus off yourself

- Acts 3:12–13, 16 - But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus…And 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.

- that was true even in the way Peter spoke to the man…

- Acts 3:6 - …In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”

- let me ask you – are you looking for opportunities to do this, this am?...

- maybe it has to do with a way the Lord is transforming you – and to get the message out there about what God is doing…

- let’s look at it through the perspective of social media…but this could just as simply be an individual conversation…

- but perhaps you took the financial peace class and the Lord has really helped you get a handle on that area of your life…

- why not a post that says something like – for the first time ever, truly enjoyed sitting down and drafting a budget this year – God’s principles of finance really work – if you’d like to know more about the Financial Peace University, please let me know…

- or, my wife and I just celebrated 25 years of marriage – we had some rocky ones – but after going to biblical counseling – things are better than ever before

- or, struggling through some difficulties with our children, but glad for Christ’s promise to give us all the strength we need…

- isn’t that far better than saying nothing – and just having people think you’re really great with your money, or you have a great marriage, or are just a model parent…

- see, how do we use the platform of dramatic change to advance the conversation to the power of the Lord?

- now, another important piece of this is what you do once you have someone’s attention…

B. Be honest about the nature of the problem

- God did not allow this miracle so Peter could ignore the core issues…

- just a few of many examples…

- Acts 3:14–15 - But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

- this truly requires the wisdom of Solomon to determine exactly how and when to raise the core issue of the sin that has separated us from our Holy God…

- this man’s greatest need was not his physical condition but his spiritual one…

- this is one of the reasons we would ask you to regularly pray for your pastors…

- [develop the issue of speaking at funerals]…

- [could also develop the issue of speaking at the Christmas Eve service]…

- [or could develop the full page ads in the J/C – Addictions are not your fault]…

C. Be direct about the needed action

- Acts 3:19 - Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

D. Be celebratory about the beauty of the solution

- [where sin abounded – grace did much more abound]…

- v. 14 – the Holy and Righteous One

- v. 15 – the Prince of Life

- v. 18 – His Christ (who) would suffer

- v. 22 – A prophet

- v. 26 – raised up His servant

- this story ultimately is not about Jesus’ power to heal a person’s body, it’s to save a person’s soul…

- the morning I finished this message – our staff received an e-mail like we often do on Tuesdays – about a counselee who accepted Christ the evening before…

- another powerful transformation – growing what God has given…

- well, does the Lord care about numbers?...apparently so…[re-read v. 4:4]…

- but what do those numbers represent – marvelous stories of change like the lame man of Acts 3…growth through a powerful transformation

 

Dr. Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video