Family Bible Study lesson for November 2: Experiencing The Gospel's Power : Thursday, Oct. 30, 200
October 29 2003 by Mary Fillinger

Family Bible Study lesson for November 2: Experiencing The Gospel's Power : Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for November 2: Experiencing The Gospel's Power

By Mary Fillinger
Focal Passages: Acts 3:1-8, 11-16, 19-20
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples in the upper room (Acts 2) marks the birth of the church, leading to the spread of the gospel throughout the known world.

This is still the greatest need of the church today. A Spirit filled, Spirit directed, Spirit-empowered ministry is the only thing that will meet the needs of a sin sick world. All of us need to surrender our hearts totally and completely to Jesus, to let Him fill us with His Spirit and make us what He wants us to be.

Expecting the Unexpected

Acts 3:1-8

"One day Peter and John were going to the temple to pray, at three in the afternoon ..." (v1). The Jews had two times of prayer, nine in the morning and three in the afternoon, in connection with the morning and evening daily sacrifices. It is interesting to note that the believers continued to participate in these times of prayer at the temple, even after the day of Pentecost.

On this particular day they found a man crippled from birth at the temple gate. The grand gate was added by Herod the Great, between the court of the Gentiles and that of Israel.

When Peter asked the man to look at them, the beggar hoped for a bountiful gift. Peter did not give the man what he wanted (money) but what he needed (a healthy strong body). Now he could work and earn his own living. To encourage the man's faith, Peter took him by the right hand and raised him. Often a little gesture of encouragement will help people in responding to the divine invitation.

The man went into the temple courts, full of excitement, praising God for his goodness. This man had his legs and ankles strengthened. He went into the temple walking and leaping. Until that moment he had never been able to walk nor had he ever learned how. The miracle was both physical and psychological. He had a right to celebrate.

A Good Witness

Acts 3:11-16

The people in the temple courts came running to the east wall of the outer court to see what had taken place. When Peter saw he had a crowd, he began to preach. That was just like Peter. "Why are you staring at us? We didn't do anything, but God did. It was God that glorified His servant Jesus," he said. Peter was probably referring to the passage in Isaiah 52-53 about the suffering servant.

Peter brought a very serious charge against the Jews that day: "You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer (Barabbas) be released to you." That is what every sinner does when he rejects Jesus and holds on to sin. Peter concluded by saying, "By faith in Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong." It was Jesus who healed him.

A True Repentance

Acts 3:19-20

Repentance is often overlooked or misunderstood. However, true repentance is essential for a person to come to a saving knowledge and acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Lord. The word "repent" means to turn away from our sins and to dedicate ourselves completely to God. Without repentance, salvation is hollow and is nothing more than some nicely spoken words. Jesus is God's appointed Messiah and Savior. He came that we might have an abundant life as we repent and serve Him through faith.

Why is there so little witnessing with power being done today? This type of witnessing can be done only by those who have the power of the Holy Spirit within their individual lives. The tragedy is that the average church has too often concentrated on programs, rather than waiting on the Lord until the Holy Spirit empowers the leaders and the people.

There is no substitute for power, which comes through prayer. A prayerless church is a powerless church.

10/29/2003 11:00:00 PM by Mary Fillinger | with 0 comments




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