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The Book of Acts, lessons, commentary and study guide from the church of Christ


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Bobby Stafford Acts 3:12-26 (Lesson 13)     

The Book of Acts

Peter’s Second Sermon

Text:  Acts 3:12-26

This sermon is similar to the sermon on Pentecost but different in some important ways.  In both Peter proclaims the truth, backs it up with Old Testament scripture, and then calls for repentance.  In this sermon, he more clearly defines who Jesus is:  the servant of God, the holy and righteous one, the author of life, and the prophet like Moses.

Verse 12  Acts 3:12 “So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people:  ‘Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this?  Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?’ ” NKJV  As the people ran to Peter and John, Peter asked them, “Why are you amazed at this?”  They had witnessed the sick being healed by Jesus in Jerusalem.  He said that it wasn’t because of John’s and his holiness or godliness that had healed the lame man.

Verse 13  Acts 3:13 “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.”  NKJV  Peter reviewed how the Jews had treated Jesus.  He first described who God is and then described Jesus as His Servant.  Peter wanted his listeners to recognize that this Jesus was the Servant about who was prophesied.  (Isaiah 53:3) “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”  NKJV  While Jehovah glorified Jesus, (Acts 2:32-34) “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.  Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.  For David did not ascend into the heavens but he says himself:  ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand,’” NKJV the Jews delivered Him to Pilate and denied Him. (Matthew 27:22-23) “Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’  They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’  Then the governor said, ‘Why, what evil has He done?’  But they cried out all the more saying, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ ” NKJV

Verse 14  Acts 3:14 “But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you.”  NKJV

The Jews disowned Jesus, the Holy and Just One [the perfect and innocent One].  They demanded He be crucified and asked for Barabbas, a murderer, to be released!  Note :  (Acts 4:27-28) “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.”  NKJV

Verse 15  Acts 3:15 “and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.”  NKJV  The Jews had put to death the Prince of Life [the author of life or the One who gives life].  (John 6:35, 58) “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’  58 ‘This is the bread which came down from heaven – not as your fathers ate the manna and are dead.  He who eats this bread will live forever.’” NKJV  Jehovah had raised Him from the dead.  Note:  (Acts 2:23-24) “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”  NKJV  Note that Peter wanted his listeners to know that they were guilty and would be convicted of their sins.  This must happen before conversion can occur.  (II Corinthians 7:9-11) “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.  For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.  For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.  For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner:  What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication!  In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”  NKJV

Verse 16  Acts 3:16 “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.”  NKJV  Peter made it clear that this lame man was not healed through the authority of Peter and John, but through the authority of Jesus alone.  The lame man did not need to have faith, but Peter and John did.  (Matthew 17:14-21)  Since the man had been healed in the name of Jesus, then Jesus must be the Messiah.

Verse 17  Acts 3:17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers.”  NKJV  Their ignorance did not make them less guilty, but it did give them hope. 

Note:  (Hebrews 10:26-27) “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.”  NKJV

Verse 18  Acts 3:18 “But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.”  NKJV  Their prophets, especially Isaiah, had foretold that the Messiah would indeed have to suffer.  (Isaiah 52 and 53)  Also (Psalm 22)  This suffering was fulfilled in Jesus.

Verse 19  Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”  NKJV  Before Peter began listing many of the prophets by name, he called upon the people to repent and return to God.  Both repent and return are in the active voice.  [It was something that they had to do themselves.]  It is the imperative mood.  [It was a command].  “Blot out” is to wipe away.  (Colossians 2:14) “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.  And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”  NKJV  (Revelation 3:5) “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”  NKJV  In comparing Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ ” NKJV and Acts 3:19, one sees that being baptized is an essential part of returning to God.  “Times of refreshing – We shall receive spiritual blessings from the Lord starting with forgiveness of sins.

Verse 20  Acts 3:20 “and that He may; send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,” NKJV  Another blessing that awaits the faithful child of God is the second coming of Christ.  Christ was appointed or ordained to be the Messiah before the world began.  (Ephesians 3:10-11) “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,” NKJV

Verse 21  Acts 3:21 “whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” NKJV 

Upon Jesus’ return, all the prophesies of the Messiah would have been completely fulfilled.  All things would finally be made right.  Recall the prophecy of Zacharias in Luke 1:68-79.

Verses 22-23  Acts 3:22-23 “For Mosses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren.  Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.  And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people’ ” NKJV  Peter goes all the way back to Moses’ prophecies concerning the Messiah in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19. “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren.  Him you shall hear, 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all  that I command Him.  And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” NKJV and Leviticus 23:29. “For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.”  NKJV  Jesus had taught the apostles to recognize these prophecies.  (Luke 24:44) “Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’ ” NKJV

Verse 24  Acts 3:24 “Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days.”  NKJV  There are well over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah.

Verse 25  Acts 3:25 “You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Peter’s listeners were spiritual heirs of the prophets and inheritors of the Abrahamic covenant.  They were blessed by the coming of the Messiah, the seed.  (Galatians 3:16) “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made.  He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.”  NKJV

Verse 26  Acts 3:26 “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”  NKJV  The Jews had been especially blessed because the Messiah was of Jewish lineage.  God had sent the Messiah to turn them from their wicked ways.

Bobby Stafford 

June 7, 2015 [Evening] 

Lesson 13  Acts 3:12-26

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