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Show Your Love for the Lord

Notes & Transcripts

Show Your Love for the Lord

Acts 4:1-13

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 26, 2015

BACKGROUND:

*In Acts 3, Peter and John were on their way to pray at the Temple. But they were stopped by a beggar who had been lame for all of his life. The man asked for money, but:

6. . . Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.''

7. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

8. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them walking, leaping, and praising God.

*The large crowd of people in the Temple was filled with wonder over this miracle, and Peter began to preach about the Lord Jesus Christ. He talked about the cross and the wonderful good news of Christ's resurrection.

*Acts 4:4 will tell us that 5,000 men were saved that day, when they believed in the Lord! But these things caused such a stir that the Temple rulers had Peter and John arrested. Today we will look at part of their trial. Let's begin by reading Acts 4:1-13.

INTRODUCTION:

*Our Katie is 28 years old, but I still keep this note she gave me when she was 8. On the outside it says, "Keep forever." And on the inside it says, "I love Dad. I love Dad. I love Dad. I love Dad." Twenty-four times! -- "I love Dad!" Then "P.S. -- It's true."

*Katie wanted to show her love for me, and God wants us to show our love for Him. How can we do that? How can we show our love for the Lord Jesus Christ? Peter and John show us right here in the Word of God.

1. First: Give glory to the Lord.

*Give God the glory for the good things in your life. That's what Peter did during their trial. Something fantastic had happened to that beggar who was born lame. Acts 4:22 tells us that he was over 40-years-old, and he had never been able to take a step his whole life.

*Think about that for a minute: That man was never able to run as a child, never able to take a step, never able to take care of himself. He was reduced to begging outside the Temple, and he tried to beg from Peter and John.

*But God used Peter to give that man more than he ever dreamed possible. Again from Acts 3:6-8:

6. . . Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.''

7. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

8. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them walking, leaping, and praising God.

*With that astonishing display of power, it would have been easy for Peter and John to take the credit. But they didn't brag on themselves. They bragged on the Lord. They gave all the glory for that miracle to Jesus Christ.

*We see this happening in vs. 7-11:

7. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, "By what power or by what name have you done this?''

8. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:

9. If we this day are judged for a good deed done to the helpless man, by what means he has been made well,

10. let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

11. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.'"

*Peter and John gave all the glory to the Lord, and that's what we should do. Too much of the time we focus on what people have done and what they can do. That's okay up to a point, but we need to give glory to God.

*Years ago, some geography students were studying the Seven Wonders of the World, and the teacher asked their opinions about the wonders of the world. Almost everybody agreed on places like the Great Pyramids in Egypt, the Taj Mahal, the Panama Canal and the Great Wall of China.

*Then the teacher noticed that one girl hadn't turned in her list yet. The girl told her teacher she couldn't quite make up her mind, because there were so many possibilities. So the teacher said, "Tell us what you have, and maybe we can help." The girl hesitated and then said, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are to touch, to taste, to see, to hear, to hope, to laugh, and to love."

*A hush settled over the room as the truth sank in, and a wise man later said, "It is far too easy for us to look at human exploits and refer to them as 'wonders,' while we overlook the amazing things God has put into our everyday world. . . Life itself is wondrous, amazing, and miraculous! Count your blessings, and give all the glory to God! (1)

*That's what Peter and John did. But why did they give the glory to the Lord? It's because they had been with Jesus. They knew the Lord. They had seen His goodness, greatness, and glory. They had seen the Lord, and it was a humbling experience for them.

*Think back to when Peter had been fishing all night, and hadn't caught a thing. Luke 5:3-9 says this about Jesus:

3. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.

4. Now when He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.''

5. But Simon (Peter) answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.''

6. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.

7. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

8. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!''

9. For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken.

*The greatness of the Lord led Peter to fall on his face before Jesus, and he gave glory to the Lord. Thinking about that incident, Frank Lyman said, "What happened to Simon parallels what happened to Isaiah the prophet in Isaiah 6. Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up and Isaiah cried out, 'Woe is me! For I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for I have seen the Lord!'

*Isaiah saw the Lord God, and was also convicted of his sinfulness. This is the way God works. He confronts us not with threats, but with His goodness and glory. . ." And the more we really see the Lord, the more we are compelled to humble ourselves before Him. (2)

*You may think: "Well, it was easy for Isaiah, Peter and John to give glory to God. They had all seen the glory of the Lord with their physical eyes." But by faith, we can see Him today with our spiritual eyes. That's why Hebrews 2:9 says this about all Christians: "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone."

*And the same Holy Spirit that filled Peter in today's Scripture is here with us right now. So the more we realize that the Lord is right here with us, and the more we see the Lord's goodness and greatness, the more we will give glory to God for the good things in our lives. And that's how to show our love for the Lord.

2. But Church: We also need to speak up about His salvation.

*Please look again starting in vs. 10. Here Peter declared:

10. "Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

11. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.'

12. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.''

*Peter and John must have had a lot on their minds that day. They had spent the night in jail, and they had been hauled before the highest court of the Jews. But even though they had a lot on their minds, they were talking about salvation.

*One reason why is because they knew that everybody needs to be saved. Verse 10 tells us that the message is for everybody. Peter said: "Let it be known to you all and to all the people of Israel." But that was just the beginning. God wants all the people of the world to know the truth about Jesus. And the truth at the end of vs. 12 is: "We must be saved!"

*Everybody needs to be saved! But as we get busy with everyday life, it's easy for us to forget this most important thing. We must remember that people need to be saved, and Jesus Christ is the only one who can save them! Again in vs. 12: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.''

*The good news is that Jesus Christ can and will save anyone who trusts in Him! But our salvation could only come through the cross of Jesus Christ. So in vs. 10, Peter testified, "Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole."

*But we know that Jesus wasn't just crucified by those Jewish leaders. He was crucified for our sins. And now the Risen Savior can give eternal life to anyone who will trust in Him.

*Also remember that Peter had been saved! He knew the joy of salvation. He knew what it was like to know Jesus Christ in a personal way. And the resurrected Lord had put Peter's life back together when it was falling apart. So Peter loved the Lord and he wanted to share this blessing with others.

*Kathy & Larry Miller told the story of a little boy, maybe 6 or 7 years old. He was usually a good boy, but one evening he was driving his dad nuts. Dad had a hard day at work and desperately wanted to relax for a few minutes. But the little boy kept tugging at his dad's leg with another suggestion to play.

*Finally, the father tore a page from a magazine. It was a picture of the world. Dad tore it into little pieces, and handed it to his little boy with a roll of Scotch Tape. Then Dad said, "Go put the world back together," and he thought, "Peace at last!"

*But in just a few minutes his son stood before him with the whole world taped back together. Dad said, "Son, that's incredible! How'd you do that?" His little boy replied, "It was easy. On the other side of the page was a picture of a man, and when I got the man put back together, the world was okay too." (3)

*Church: Our world is torn apart in terrible ways. Jesus Christ is the only one who can put it back together, and He does it one person at a time. Jesus is the only one who can make us whole. And that's what He begins to do, when we put our trust in Him. That's why we love Him. And the more we love Jesus, the more we want to share this blessing with others. So we must speak up about His salvation.

3. But we also need to demonstrate the difference.

*God wants us to demonstrate the difference that Jesus has made in our lives. He wants us to live up to the new life we have in the Lord. That's why in Romans 6:4, Paul tells us we "should walk in newness of life." Galatians 5:25 says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. And Ephesians 2:8-10 tells Christians:

8. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

9. not of works, lest anyone should boast.

10. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

*That's what Peter and John were doing here in Acts 4. They demonstrated the difference Jesus had made in their lives in a very obvious way. In vs. 13 it was so obvious that even the hard-hearted Jewish leaders took notice. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus."

*I like the way the KJV puts vs. 13: "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."

*There was nothing special at all about Peter and John, except for one thing: They had been with the Lord! Peter and John had been totally transformed by their relationship with Jesus Christ.

*They had the talk of faith, but they also had the walk.

-They were ordinary men, but they were doing extraordinary things!

-They were supposed to be ignorant, but they had the wisdom of God.

-They were supposed to be scared to death, but they had great courage.

*What made the difference? -- They had been with Jesus. And it was so evident that even the rulers could see it. Peter and John very obviously demonstrated the difference Jesus had made in their lives. And that's what God wants us to do.

*John Smithson tells the story of a young girl who grew up in California during the Great depression. When she was 10, her family was so poor, they lived in a tent. Her home life was horrible. Her father was an alcoholic, and her sisters were prostitutes.

*But one day a man and woman came and invited that girl to church. Then they started taking her to church. After church, they would also take the girl home with them to feed her and visit with her. They showed this young girl the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, and because of this, she eventually came to know the Lord.

*John Smithson told that story and then said: "This little girl was my grandmother and because of the love shown her 55 years ago, every one of her descendants are Christians and working for God. Because of her, I am here. All three children pastor churches, three grandchildren pastor churches, plus music leaders and Sunday School teachers, a whole army of Christians from one person!" (4)

CONCLUSION:

*Church: All of that happened, because a Christian couple demonstrated the difference Jesus had made in their lives. And Christians: We are on our way to heaven this morning, because somebody else in our lives loved the Lord Jesus Christ. They demonstrated that love for us, and our lives were changed forever.

*Now God wants us to have the same kind of love. Show your love for the Lord. And if you have never trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, let me tell you: You are lost without the Lord, but Jesus loves you. He died on the cross for you. And the Risen Christ will save you, if you will trust in Him as your Lord and Savior.

*You can do that right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) Adapted from Pulpit Helps - March 2002

(2) Adapted from: Lewis, C. S., "The Problem of Pain" - p. 67 - Source: "When the Fish Won't Bite" by Frank Lyman - Luke 5:1-11 - "Dynamic Preaching" sermon - First Sunday of February, 2001

(3) "God's Vitamin 'C' for the Spirit" compiled by Kathy Collard Miller and D. Larry Miller - Starburst Publishers - Lancaster PA - Copyright 1996 - p. 85

(4) SermonCentral illustration contributed by John Smithson

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