Peter Speaks to the Empowered Church
Prior to these verses, we find Peter and John, who were at the Temple for prayer, having healed a lame man at the temple gates. This man was asking Peter and John for alms (some money or food given to the poor and needy), but he received something far greater and everlasting. At the time of his healing, the man leaped with joy, and entered into the temple praising and worshipping God. This drew the attention of a crowd that recognised the lame man as being as being healed. This astounded them, and they wanted to know more of both Peter and John.
It’s here that Peter gives his 2nd mini-sermon in the book of Acts. This sermon teaches us a few great pointers on what it means for Vine Church Poole to become an “Empowered Church”.
1. It’s always God’s glory
After this miracle, it would have been very easy for Peter and John to lap up and play to the crowd a bit. After all, something supernatural just happened following their spoken word. However, we find in verse 12 & 13 that Peter is extremely quick to point away from himself and point to God. All things we do are at the power of the hands of the Potter, with us simply the clay. If Peter were to take even a second of praise for himself from these people, that would be glory stolen which was rightfully meant to be for God. To become empowered church we must always point back to God.
2. We must share the truth
Peter calls out these people on their ignorance, as he notes back to how the Jewish people called for the murder of Jesus and for a criminal to be freed. He shares how these people were not truly aware of Jesus being the Son of God, but he doesn’t leave them in their ignorance. Peter roots them in the truth of who Jesus is by using the common knowledge the people already had – the stories of the Torah and the Old Testament prophets. Peter shows that Jesus is the prophet whom Moses talks of, and is the seed of Abraham. Finally, Peter recounts the death and resurrection of Jesus and the power that has been granted to all believers as a result. To become an empowered church we must share the truths of Jesus.
One of the key things we see in this passage is Peter directly calling these people to repentance. Unlike Peter, we so often tiptoe around sin, and when we see it we can become nervous of it and just try to push it under a carpet somewhere. As verse 20 says, we must call sinners to repentance so “their sins can be blotted out” as God seeks to restore His creation. And to be people who can call others to repentance, we must not overlook ourselves. As Christians, we are still just as likely to slip and slide, and the danger is that unlike the Jews we cannot claim to be ignorant. We must call our own hearts to repentance daily before the Author of Life. To become an empowered church we must be repentant.