Captured by the Cause
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Acts 3:1-4:4 (NIV, NIRV, TNIV, KJV)
Sermon Series: Core Values
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AC 3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at
three in the afternoon. 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. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for
money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So
the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
AC 3:6 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." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he
helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to
his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking
and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising
God, 10 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.
AC 4:1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to
Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed
because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the
resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening,
they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed,
and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
This morning I want to continue to talk to you about the church that we find in the early
part of Acts, it’s this fledgeling church, it’s just been ignighted on Pentecost through the
Holy Spirit, and when I say ignighted, that’s what I mean...... this church is on Fire for
Jesus. 3000 people came into the Kingdom in thier first gathering.
What we will discover this morning is that when a People, when a Church, when a Team is
Captured By the Cause, When a Team can see the Big Picture, through the power of the
Holy Spirit, there is no stopping that team from it’s goals.
I’m going to ask questions of you this morning, Like..... Have you been Captured By the
Call that Jesus has given us? Do you understand the Call? How did you, in your own life,
this week obey the Great Commission?
We will come back to those questions as we dig into the scripture this morning.
First, let me share with you a story that will illustrate what can happen when a people is
Captured by a Cause.
Winston Churchill was one of the great leaders in our day. He understood the Law of the
Big Picture. It is said that during World War II when Britain was experiencing its darkest
days, the country had a difficult time keeping men working in the coal mines. Many
wanted to give up their dirty, thankless jobs in the dangerous mines to join the military
service, which garnered much public praise and support. Yet their work in the mines was
critical to the success of the war. Without coal the military and the people at home would
be in trouble.
So the prime minister faced thousands of coal miners one day and told them of
their importance to the war effort, how their role could make or break the goal of
maintaining England’s Freedom.
Churchill painted a picture of what it would be like when the war ended, of the
grand parade that would honor the people who fought the war. First would come the
sailors of the navy, he said, the people who continued the Tradition of Trafalgar and the
defeat of the Spanish Armada. Next would come the best and brightest of Britain, the
pilots of the Royal Air Force who fended off the German Air Forces. Following them
would be the soldiers who had fought at Dunkirk.
Then last of all would come the coal-dust-covered men in miners’ caps. And
Churchill indicated that someone from the crowd might say, “And where were you during
the critical days of the struggle?”
And the voices of 10 thousand men would respond, “We were deep in the earth
with our faces to the coal.”
It’s said that tears appeared in the eyes of those hardened men. And they returned
to their inglorious work with steely resolve, having been reminded of the role they were
playing in their country’s noble goal of preserving freedom for the Western World.
Those men, on that day knew what it was to be Captured by the Cause of Freedom.
My friends, We have a cause that is for Freedom today! The Cause of Jesus Christ is to
carry out His Great Command, and His Great Commission to set the Captives Free from
sin, and give them New Hope for this life, and New Hope for the after life. Have you been
Captured by the Cause this morning?
What does the Great Commission ask us to do you ask? I’m glad you asked.
Very simply there are Four Action words, phrases that we need to pay attention
too. Jesus in His Great Commission that He gave the Church right before he was taken
into heaven is found in Matthew 28 starting with verse 16. Let me share the four actions
for the church that we are to follow.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been
given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey
everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of
First. “Go”. Go into the world and find people who need Jesus, Go into your world and
see the hurting people, and share with them the Good News of the Gospel. The church is
suppossed to be a group of people who are continually Going. Friends, are we going to
where the people are, or are we hoping that they will find us? We need to be captured by
that first command to Go. In our Scripture today we see Peter and John going, being
actively going to where the needs are.
Second. “Make”. This is a verb, and action on our part as Christians. We are to make
disciples. In other words, once we find lost people, we are to share, win, and mentor our
new brothers and sisters in Christ.
When you make dinner today after church, do you just go and get the ingredients,
put them on your kitchen counter and hope they come together for a meal? I don’t think
so, you have to go to action and “Make” that meal so it’s ediable.
As a church, as individule Christians we need to be “making disciples” by winning
and mentoring new Christians. This is not an issue of Gifts. This is a life action by people
captured by the Cause of Christ.
Third. “Baptize”. This is simply bringing people to a point in their Christian experience
where they make a Public Testimony of what Christ has done for them. This is a outward
sign of the inner Grace. We need to be a church that practices Baptism, that brings people
to a place of descision.
Fourth. “Teach”. This is a action word that we know well. We are called to teach our
people the ways of God, and to teach is more than giving words, it’s an action. We can
teach by the way we model Christ in our life. We teach as we live out this Great
Commission in our life.
Do you know the best way to develope Strong Committed Christians in our
Church? BE ONE. They need to SEE what they are suppossed to Become IN YOU. It’s
hard for young Christians to keep striving to move forward when they don’t see examples
of Spiritual Maturity in the church.
What does a Young Christian think when they see two Board Members arguing
over things that don’t matter? What do our young Christians think when constantly worry
about tomorrow -- instead of being confident that God has tomorrow already taken care
It’s easy for us to accuse our Young Christians of not being committed. But
maybe we need to look at ourselves and ask if these same Young Christians see anything
in me that would motivate them, would spur them on, to want to be more committed to
this Christian cause.
How do we develope Strong Christian Disciples, BE ONE. Set the example in
your words, in your actions, and in your attitudes.
This morning I want to point out three things in our passage with Peter as he is walking to
church, this man who has been Captured by the Cause... what we see is that it affects his
read v. 3 & 4
3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked
straight at him, as did John.
I. Peter noticed the Need. Peter was on the “Go”. Peter was Going into his world
looking for the needs of people. Peter and John as they walked into the temple were not
trying to avoid people, they were trying to “see” the need in people.
Notice that Peter and John understood that Money was not the main need here,
first his need was Physical. Peter through the Holy Spirit met this first need, and healed
the man, and out of that Came Praise and Worship to God.
If we will be about the business of meeting the Felt needs of people, believe me,
God will get the glory, and people will be saved.
Are you noticing the needs around you.
II. Peter only offered what He Had. Verse 6 AC 3:6 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,
Peter didn’t worry about what he didn’t have. He didn’t have an education. He
didn’t have any formal training. He didn’t have a lifetime of experience in healing. He
probably didn’t feel up to the task, but one thing He did have was the Power of the Holy
Spirit, and He Trusted God for a miracle, and God didn’t disappoint.
Peter’s faith in God is what made the difference. How does your Faith affect your
effectiveness with people? Have you ever thought about that. If you are lacking faith in
what God can do, chances are God is not going to bless your unbelief. Just a thought.
Christians, understand this. Jesus Christ is the Power people need. You are the
messanger, you are the carrier of this truth to people. If you will Trust God to do His
part, God will use you. If you doubt that God will use you, they you will have a
self-fulfilling prophecy, He won’t because you don’t really believe. Trust God for a
miracle. (Getting our Budgets Paid is an example)
Peter and John also met this man where He was. Peter and John didn’t have any
expectations of this man. They didn’t ask him to change his clothes, or to put out his
cigarette, to cut his hair, they didn’t put expectation on this man before they reached out
to Him, they just offered Him Grace, and that’s what God does today.
III. Peter took Him by the Hand. v. 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him
up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and
began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping,
and praising God.
Friends, will we be willing to reach out and take people by the hand, wherever we find
them? We need to be a church that is reaching for people, reaching out with the Grace
that we have expeienced, reaching out with the Love that God has shown us.
We need to be like Christ in our willingness to get our hands dirty and be uncomfortable
for the sake of the Lost and Broken.
Have you been Captured by the Cause of Christ? How are you living out the
Great Commission in your everyday life? Is it one of your Core Values as A Christian. I
can tell you this. If the Great Commission is not apart of our indivdual Core Values, then
we can’t expect it to be a Core Value of the Church, because We are the Church. Amen?