The book of Acts is one of my favorite books, I always feel an activity of the Holy Spirit through reading this book. This book is important for understanding early church history. Chapter 1, tells about the ascension of Jesus Christ. Acts 1.9: "After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight." The second chapter is very important for understanding how we can be directed by the Holy Spirit and describes the story of Christianity beginning.
How God fulfills his promise of the Holy Spirit. Chapter three is the result after filling with the Holy Spirit. Experience of the Holy Spirit means establishing a direct relationship with God.
This chapter is a beautiful picture of evangelism. How Peter and John, after having new faith, did the new deed in the life of a cripple man through the name of Jesus Christ everybody was surprised after listening to this new name and a new deed. According to the passage Peter and John, use to go up to the temple at the hour of prayer at three o clock in the afternoon. The Jewish day started at six o clock in the morning and ended at 6 o clock in the evening. For devote Jews there were three special hours of prayer, 9 am, 12 midday and 3 pm. They agreed that prayer was efficacious. It is very interested that Peter and John after having new faith kept the custom in which they have been trained, they continue the habit of prayer. in the east, it was the custom for beggars to sit at the entrance to the temple or a shrine such a place consider very similar to my culture too.
Peter and John encounter with cripple man:
Peter and John were going to the temple and a man cripple from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called beautiful when Peter and John were about to go into the temple he asked for alms, they said to him look at us and they fix their eyes upon him it’s mean they felt the burden of healing they were searching something in his eyes and he respond to them because he had hope for getting something, they said to him that we don’t have silver and gold but what we have to give you, walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, he leaped up and stood and walked into the temple this name changed his life and walk. Through this name he was able to enter in the temple and praise the Lord Jesus , it’s the obligation for us that there are many people in the world like this cripple man whom we passed and ignore them they have to need this beautiful name and they don’t know about him, I encourage you to be like the Peter and John and do a new deed with this powerful name.
Lost sinner: This story is the illustration of a lost sinner here are some points about the story.
1. HE WAS BORN A CRIPPLE
He was born with a problem and it’s very true that we are all born with a problem that is sin. Psalm 51 verse 5, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
Because of sin, we are separated from God as we born with sinful nature (Romans chapter 3 verse 23) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
2. HE COULD NOT WALK.
He cannot walk because by birth he has this problem. He cannot enjoy life and this problem made him a beggar. He must be thinking this often; I wish I could walk to him but then see his disability. He must be disappointed that I cannot recover. One thing we should always remember because of sin, we cannot walk with God. Sin is a problem walking with God, it means we miss the fellowship of God like Adam missed the Lord’s fellowship in Eden.
Today many people are facing this problem, they have feeling they are not walking with God but they think they cannot remove sin from their lives, in this way they miss the fellowship of God. Sin is the hurdle walking with God. But I assure you there is one name who can set you free from this problem and you can walk with God and can enjoy his blessing. Mathew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his. name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
3. HE WAS OUTSIDE THE TEMPLE.
He was outside the temple. Keep it in mind, Sin has the power to keep us outside the church because sin does not want anybody could enter the church. Many people living this world but they are outside the church. As we read in the story of Genesis after having sinned, Adam and Eve were outside the presence of God and they hide.
Outside the church means being deprived of the fellowship of God. If you are outside the church and sin does not allow you enter the church. Jesus can give you hope that you can enter the church his powerful name breaks all hurdles of sin and provide you the opportunity to have the fellowship of the lord in the church. A new deed will happen in your life after accepting him as a personal savior.
4. A SINNER IS LIKE A BEGGAR.
He always searching for satisfaction because he is needy. He always searches for the people who can fulfill his needs. He is always searching for worldly things. Today in the world people are trying to get more and more money, so that they can satisfy their souls but failed to get satisfaction. Many times we read this story but do not think this cripple man is my picture. Peter performed this miracle not only to relieve the man’s handicap but save his soul. Peter also wants to prove to Jews that the Holy Spirit had come with promised blessings. Isaiah.6.35, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.”
The promise is that one day Jews would enjoy such miracles. When their Messiah was received. The man’s attitude after the miracle shows that new faith in Jesus Christ entered him in the temple. He entered the temple with God’s servants and he praise God. Right now his walk was new and different.
My dear readers. Today I offer you the precious name of Jesus Christ. If you are outside the church and think I cannot walk with God and sin chains are very heavy and you are feeling disappointed. You do not know about Jesus Christ and you are not aware of his power if this name is new to you. I assure you this name can change your walk and your path in life. Accept him as your personal savior and you will discover a new world. Amen.
Pastor Barkat is a graduate of Punjab University. After receiving a call to ministry in 1999 he attended Gujranwala Theological Seminary, graduating in 2003 with a Master of Divinity (His thesis covered a Biblical model of house churches.) Upon graduating he started pastoral ministry with the Anglican Church and was ordained in 2004, working within that church in different positions until mid 2015 when he got the opportunity for a short training program on Pneumatology from South Korea. Suneel currently is a visiting teacher in an evangelical Bible College empowered by Korean Mission in Pakistan, as well as doing independent teaching and preaching ministry. He has established many Bible study groups and I have passion to preach in remote areas of Pakistan.