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Written by Bill Bradford
For years the man sat in the way where people passed to the Temple. He was born crippled, and had to be carried by family members to this place where he lay on the pavement. He would look up from his pitiful condition and beg, hoping that people going to the temple to worship and bring their offerings would spare a kind thought for him and give him something of their worldly goods. Peter and the apostles are in the procession and the man makes his normal plea for alms. Peter voices the well-known words, "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." (Acts 3:6)
Peter took him by the hand and immediately he received strength in his ankles and feet. He leaped up and began walking, and leaping and praising God. Naturally people who were there and who heard about it were greatly amazed, and looked intently on Peter and John. What happened next is very instructive.
Peter responded to this new fame with, "...why do you marvel at this? Or why do you look intently at us as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?"(Acts 3:12)
People tend to associate God's healing with their own godliness. Some use healing to promote themselves in the eyes of people as trying to make out that they have some special power from God. There are those "healers" who desperately want everyone to know that God has given them this kind of power or gift. They make a pretty decent living playing on this idea.
Peter made it plain that this man's healing was not about him. Peter wasn't seeking an audience. Peter simply did what God led him to do because of Peter's faith that God would do it.
"And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all."(Acts 3:16)
Peter makes several important points.
1) It is through Jesus Christ and faith in His name that we are healed.
2) He disclaimed any thing that came from him except his faith.
Peter took the opportunity to make a third and fourth great point.
3) This proves that Jesus is the one who was foretold to come to be their Messiah
4) Their response when seeing this should be to "repent, therefore be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that the times of refreshing may come from the Lord." (Acts 3:19)
Healing, again, wasn't for the glorification of the people through whom God inspired the words or the prayer for healing. It was to turn people to God through Jesus Christ and believe that He was the one through whom sins are forgiven.
This is a hard lesson for all of us. God is creating a people for Himself - people who have faith in Him, people who consider Him as the great Chief Shepherd. He tells us to work under Him to shepherd the flock which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion, but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly.
Any healing we experience or any healing we seek must be from Him based on our own faith. Christ frequently referred to the faith of those who came to Him for healing. It was not faith in a person, but faith in Christ. The elder, himself, must give a prayer of faith, as one would expect. But God is the one who will have the credit, praise and honour for what He does according to His own will and power. The greater miracle is when a person repents and turns to God.
There is a crisis of faith. Few people place confidence in God or the future. Many have no faith their marriages will survive, that political leaders will honourably serve their country or that education will prepare them adequately for the challenges ahead. Faith is all too rare today. This booklet will help you understand the keys to living faith.
Are you desiring a closer relationship with God? If so, where do you start? What tools can you use to grow spiritually and build that all-important relationship with your Creator? This important study aid will set you on the right path. Read and begin implementing these important elements today!
Have you ever considered how much the Easter holiday just doesn’t add up? Start with the timing: Jesus said He would be in the tomb three days and three nights. But do the math—a Good Friday crucifixion to a resurrection on Sunday morning is at most only one day and small parts of two others, plus two nights. Also, John’s Gospel tells us Jesus was already resurrected before sunrise, so we can’t count that part of a day. Does the Bible offer a solution? Yes, and when we understand it, everything adds up perfectly! But that’s not all that doesn’t add up about the Easter holiday. What do rabbits, colored eggs and sunrise religious services have to do with Jesus Christ’s resurrection? Discover the fascinating historical truth about all this and much more in this issue of Beyond Today!