Acts 03 - The Power Of The Name Of Jesus
The Power Of The Name Of Jesus
1. The emphasis in Acts 3 and 4 is on the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 3:6, 16; 4:7, 10, 12, 17–18, 30).
a. A name, of course, implies much more than identification; it carries with it authority, reputation, and power.
b. When somebody says, “You can use my name!” you sincerely hope the name is worth using.
c. If an order is given in the name of the President of the United States or the Prime Minister of Great Britain, those who receive the order know that they are obligated to obey
2. But the name of the Lord Jesus has all authority behind it, for He is the Son of God (Matt. 28:18).
a. Because His name is “above every name” (Phil. 2:9–11), He deserves our worship and obedience.
b. The great concern of the first Christians was that the name of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, be glorified; and believers today should have that same concern.
3. As we study this section, we should note that the Jewish emphasis is very pronounced.
a. Peter addressed Jewish men (Acts 3:12) and called them “children of the prophets and of the covenant” (Acts 3:25).
b. He referred to the Jewish fathers (Acts 3:13) as well as to the prophets (Acts 3:18, 21–25).
c. The phrase “times of restitution” (Acts 3:21) is definitely Jewish and refers to the messianic kingdom promised in the prophets.
d. The message is still going out “to the Jew first” (Acts 3:26) and is presented in Jewish terms.
4. Keep in mind that Acts 1–10 describes a gradual transition from Israel to the Gentiles and from “Jewish Christianity” (note Acts 21:20) to the “one body” made up of both Jews and Gentiles.
a. It took several years before many of the Jewish believers really understood the place of the Gentiles in God’s program
b. This understanding did not come without its conflicts.
5. The contrast between Acts 2 and 3 is interesting:
a. Peter the preacher—Peter the personal worker; multitudes—one poor man; ministry resulting in blessing—ministry resulting in arrest and persecution.
b. The events in Acts 3 are an illustration of the last phrase in Acts 2:47, showing us how the Lord added to His church daily.
6. While the Holy Spirit is not named in this chapter, He was certainly at work in and through the Apostles, performing His ministry of glorifying Jesus Christ.
a. John 16:13-14 "13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
7. There are three stages in this event, and each stage reveals something wonderful about Jesus Christ.
Power of the Name
1. Amazement: Jesus the Healer (Acts 3:1–11)
a. Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
i. Peter and John
1. They were partners in the fishing business: Luke 5:10 “And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”
2. They were there at the mount of transfiguration: Matthew 17:1-2 "1And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light."
3. They prepared the last Passover for Jesus: Luke 22:8 “And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.”
4. They ran to the tomb on the first Easter Sunday morning: John 20:3-4 "3Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre."
5. Later, they would minister to the Samaritans who believed on Jesus Christ: Acts 8:14 "14Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:"
6. Now that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, the Apostles were no longer competing for greatness, but were at last working faithfully together to build the church: Psalm 133:1 "1A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
ii. The believers were still attached to the temple and to the traditional hours of prayer
1. 9AM, Noon and 3PM
2. Psalm 55:17 "17Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice."
3. Daniel 6:10 "10Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime."
4. This was at the ninth hour or 3 PM.
5. Acts 3:1
6. Acts 4:3 "3And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide."
b. Acts 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
i. There were nine gates that led from the court of the Gentiles into the temple itself. Scholars are not agreed, but the Beautiful Gate was probably the “Eastern Gate” that led into the court of the women.
ii. Made of Corinthian bronze, the gate looked like gold; and it certainly was a choice place for a lame man to beg.
c. Acts 3:3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
d. Acts 3:4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
i. Peter and John were not so caught up with large crowds that they had no time for individuals.
ii. Nor were they so busy in ministry that they could not pray.
iii. They had learned their lessons well from the Lord Jesus (Mark 1:35; Luke 8:40.)
iv. Amy Carmichael said, “It’s the individual touch that tells. He [Jesus] doesn’t love in the mass, but in ones.”
v. Census worker came to the door and asked the woman how many children she had:
1. “well there’s Bobby, and Susie, and Micheal, and…”
2. I didn’t ask you to name them, just how many are there
3. The mother responded, “They don’t have numbers, they’ve got names.”
vi. Aren’t you glad that God loves you?
e. Acts 3:5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
f. Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
i. There was a purpose behind the miracle: Jesus and the apostles never performed miracles simply to amaze the people. This wasn’t the circus.
ii. The medieval Scholar Thomas Aquinas visited the pope in Rome. The pope showed off all the treasures from around the world.
1. The pope said, “You see, brother Thomas, we cannot say as the first pope “silver and gold have I none”
2. Thomas replied, “No, nor can you say, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.’”
g. Acts 3:7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
i. Since the believers had pooled their resources (Acts 2:44–45), the two Apostles had no money to give; but money was not what the man needed most.
ii. He needed salvation for his soul and healing for his body, and money could provide neither.
iii. Through the power of the name of Jesus, the beggar was completely healed; and he was so happy and excited that he acted like a child, leaping and praising God.
h. Acts 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
i. Acts 3:9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
j. Acts 3:10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
i. It is easy to see in this man an illustration of what salvation is like.
ii. He was born lame, and all of us are born unable to walk so as to please God.
iii. The man was also poor, and we as sinners are bankrupt before God, unable to pay the tremendous debt that we owe Him (Luke 7:36–50).
iv. He was “outside the temple,” and all sinners are separated from God, no matter how near to the door they might be.
v. The man was healed wholly by the grace of God, and the healing was immediate (Eph. 2:8–9).
vi. He gave evidence of what God had done by “walking, and leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:8) and by publicly identifying himself with the Apostles,
vii. both in the temple (Acts 3:11 "11And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.")
viii. and in their arrest (Acts 4:14 "14And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.").
ix. Now that he could stand, there was no question where this man stood!
k. Acts 3:11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
i. He embraced the apostles
ii. He was truly thankful and was not ashamed to be associated with them.
2. Indictment: Jesus, the Son of God (Acts 3:12–16)
a. Acts 3:12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
i. The book of Acts is a textbook of gospel preaching
1. 22 sermons or speeches
2. 9 by Peter
ii. Preaching: Words easy to be understood
iii. In his sermon at Pentecost, Peter had to refute the accusation that the believers were drunk.
1. In this sermon, he had to refute the notion that he and John had healed the man by their own power.
2. Paul and Barnabas would face a similar situation after healing a lame man. See Acts 14:8–18.
3. He would turn their attention from the servant to the Master of the servant, the Lord Jesus Christ, who had healed the cripple.
b. Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
i. Wisely, Peter said that this was the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
ii. Not another god, not a strange new God, but the very God that appeared to the Patriarchs.
iii. He glorified His Son Jesus
iv. Not only had he identified that it was not by their holiness…men will try to justify themselves by comparison…well your good and they aren’t much worse than you are.
v. Peter made it clear that they were guilty.
c. Acts 3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
i. Pilate did not want to crucify Jesus
d. Acts 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
i. The Sadducees wanted nothing to do with the resurrection from the dead.
ii. The Prince of Life
iii. Holy One
iv. The Just
e. Acts 3:16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
i. Calvary may have been man’s last word, but the empty tomb was God’s last word. He glorified His Son by raising Him from the dead and taking Him back to heaven. \
ii. The healed beggar was proof that Jesus was alive. If ever a people were guilty, it was the people Peter addressed in the temple. They were guilty of killing their own Messiah!
iii. Nobody would dare deny the miracle because the beggar stood there before them all in “perfect soundness” (Acts 3:16; 4:14). To accept the miracle would have been to admit that Jesus Christ is indeed the living Son of God and that His name has power.
3. Encouragement: Jesus, the Saviour (Acts 3:17–4:4)
a. Acts 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
i. Ignorance: no excuse, still guilty, but the punishment was different
1. In the Old Testament Law, there is a difference between deliberate sins and sins of ignorance (see Lev. 4–5; Num. 15:22–31). The person who sinned presumptuously was a rebel against God and was guilty of great sin. He was to be “cut off” from his people (Num. 15:30–31), which could mean excommunication and even death.
2. Jesus had prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)
ii. Called to mind the cities of refuge
iii. There was hope!!
b. Acts 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
i. They had fulfilled the word of God
ii. In his previous sermon, Peter had explained that the Cross was the meeting place of divine sovereignty and human responsibility (Acts 2:23); and he repeated this truth in this second sermon (Acts 3:17–18).
c. Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
i. Isaiah 44:22 "22I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee."
d. Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
e. Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
f. Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
g. Acts 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
h. Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
i. Acts 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
j. Acts 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
i. God turns us from our iniquities
ii. As you review this section of Acts, you cannot help but be impressed with some practical truths that should encourage all of us in our witnessing for Christ.
1. God is long-suffering with lost sinners.
2. True witness involves the “bad news” of sin and guilt as well as the “good news” of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
3. The way to reach the masses is by helping the individual sinner. Peter and John won the crippled beggar and his transformed life led to the conversion of 2,000 men!
4. The best defense of the truth of the Christian faith is a changed life.
5. Whenever God blesses, Satan shows up to oppose the work and silence the witness; and often he uses religious people to do his work.
6. The name of Jesus Christ still has power! While we may not perform the same apostolic miracles today that were seen in the early church, we can still claim the authority of Jesus Christ as He has instructed us in the Word.
iii. We can preach the “remission of sins” in His name (Luke 24:47) so that people might believe and have “life through His name” (John 20:31).
iv. We can ask in His name as we pray (John 14:13–14; 15:16; 16:23–26). When we ask the Father for something “in the name of Jesus Christ,” it is as though Jesus Himself were asking it. If we remember this, it will help to keep us from asking for things unworthy of His name.
v. Yes, the name of Jesus Christ still has authority and power. Let’s go forth in His name and conquer!