Part 2 - Jesus is the Son of God
Pastor John Talcott
Christ's Community Church
Read Part 1
(2/9) Last week we read in the beginning of Acts chapter 3, and there was the healing of a man who was lame from birth. If you remember, two of Jesus’ early ministry leaders, Peter and John, they’re like the Batman and Robin of the Bible, and they’re going up to the temple around 3 o’clock, the time of prayer, and they see a man who’s been lame since
birth. He’s begging, trying to get some money to make ends meet, and they tell him, "Silver and gold we do not have, but in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, be healed." And this guy is instantaneously healed… he jumps up, leaping, dancing, and praising God.
The question then is what’s next? What happens after Jesus, who’s alive and well in heaven, shows up to do this healing here on the earth? We’re going to look at that this morning as we continue in Acts chapter 3. We’re going to see what happens as we pick up the story in verse 11… let’s read together in Acts 3:11-16:
Verse 11, "While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the
name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see." (NIV)
Jesus is the Son of God, who comes into history, lived without sin, died on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended back into heaven. From there he sent the Holy Spirit to indwell and empower his people to continue his mission on earth. And so here we are and suddenly something amazing has happens… suddenly a man lame from birth is on Dancing with
the Stars. It’s amazing… it’s a miracle!!! And the Bible says, "All the people were astonished and came running to them…" So Peter sees the crowd gathering and once again the Holy Spirit empowers him to be daring for Jesus.
So, he’s going to preach. You know why? …it’s always a good time for a sermon… amen? Isn’t that right? It’s always a good time for a sermon.
And so the Holy Spirit empowers him… like the Holy Spirit wants to empower you and I… He wants us to be daring in talking about Christ. And so as Peter preaches this amazing sermon he highlights three things regarding Jesus Christ. Three things that give glory to Jesus. And we’re going to look at them, because for us today, ultimately, it’s all about
Jesus, the Son of God.
So, Peter is going to preach. And he says, "Men of Israel… The God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus." He calls him the servant of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do you see that in verse 13? So Peter starts by telling us that Jesus is the suffering servant.
1. Jesus Is The Suffering Servant.
Now those men, were Jewish and would have been familiar with the Old Testament… they would have remembered the words of the prophet Isaiah… words given seven hundred years before Jesus was even born. And in Isaiah chapters 40 thru 66 it tells of a hero, about someone called the servant. If you read the second half of Isaiah 52 thru Isaiah 53, it
predicts the coming of Jesus… his life, death, burial, resurrection, and salvation, but chapters 40 thru 66 are all about the servant, that God would send a servant. And so then Jesus comes, and he says things like this: "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).
So, Jesus’ service for us includes his death for us. And I find that’s just amazing… it’s one of the ways that I know that the God of the Bible was not made up by men’s imagination, but was revealed by God; because other religions, other theories of God, are of a God that exists to be served… you see our ideas of God are merely a projection of the way
we are. So, you and I live in a world where most of us, maybe all of us, would rather have servants than be servants. Isn’t that right? The goal in a company is to climb the corporate ladder… to get as high as you can so that you can hand off as many responsibilities as you can… so that other people can take care of things that we don’t want to. The goal is to make enough
money to employ people to serve you… so that you don’t have to do certain things… those menial tasks… and people who can’t afford that… well they go to Subway right? They can have their moment of having a servant, of giving orders, and barking out demands.
You see all of us like the concept of someone serving us, someone taking orders from us, someone obeying us, and someone being under us. We don’t look forward to being a servant, right? You can’t get a minor in college in how to be a humble servant, they don’t offer it, because no one would take that course of study. And so Jesus comes as a humble
servant. He leaves the glory of heaven and comes in humility. He leaves luxury of a throne and comes in poverty. He leaves a place where he is served by the angels… to serve his enemies. That’s the Jesus Peter preaches. One who came to serve.
2. Jesus Is The Holy And Righteous One.
Then he says that Jesus is the "Holy and Righteous One." That’s exactly what he says in verse 14. And this is controversial, because we live in a day when there is no conflict or controversy if Jesus is just one of many good teachers or good examples. You know, it’s like there’s Jesus and Mohammed and Gandhi and Mother Theresa. There he is, one of the
greats, but Peter says, He is the "Holy and Righteous One."
Now how many is that? How many is "One"? There’s no other like Jesus, no equal, no partner, no one in addition to Jesus. It’s just Jesus, only Jesus, always Jesus in a category by himself. He’s not just a good man in a category with the rest of humanity. He’s in an entirely different category… he is the God-man… he alone is holy and righteous… there is
no other… he alone is the sinless One.
You see, there are two categories: Jesus and everyone else. Jesus and us. And there’s nothing compared to Jesus. He alone is holy. He alone has no sin. He alone is righteous. He alone is acceptable in the sight of the Father.
Now, here’s the good news. I know some of you are trying really hard not to sin, but it’s already too late. You’ve already messed up, just being proud enough to think that you could be good enough. That would be pride, and that’s the worst sin of all, but here’s the truth… here’s what Peter says… Jesus is our holiness. Jesus is our righteousness. Jesus
is our evaluation, he is the results of our examination, he is our report card. So when we stand before the Father and he says, "Explain yourself." You just point to Jesus and say, "His name is Jesus. He’s my righteousness. It’s right there!"
The Bible says it this way, "God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:13-14; New Living Translation).
You see, Jesus goes to the cross to take our sin, to take our unrighteousness, and to trade places with us, serving us, and giving us his holiness and his righteousness. And so this is the good news: Jesus is the "Holy and Righteous One" (Acts 3:14). God has loved you and made you alive with Christ… he’s helping you… and this is great, because we stand
in Jesus’ righteousness and not our own. We stand in Jesus’ holiness and not our own. He alone is "Holy and Righteous".
3. Jesus Is The Author Of Life.
And so now Peter gets really daring, really bold, and even accusatory saying, "You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead" (Acts 3:15). Number three, is that "Jesus is the Author of life…". He is the Word… the Living God… He is eternally existent… He is the uncaused cause… the Creator of all that is created; and He brings creation
into life because he is the Living God.
Jesus said, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10; NASU)
And so when we foolishly rebel against God… when we choose sin… we choose death… The Bible says in Proverbs, "Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools" (Proverbs 16:22). You see we choose the one called the thief… the one who "comes only to steal and kill and destroy" (John 10:10), and yet the
Living God, is so gracious with us, he’s so patient toward us, that he comes, He enters into his creation, the Creator enters creation, he humbles himself and walks among us. And he comes to bring life. And what do we do to him? Peter said, "We killed him." We murdered the Author of life.
So what God is revealing here, is not just His goodness, but the evil of the human heart… that God would create us to live and that we would choose death… that God would come to bring us life and we would kill him. It says a lot about us… about our hearts… but then Jesus rises from the dead. And you know why? Because He’s the Author of life, and death
cannot hold him. So he invites us to life again… a new life in him… spiritual life now, but a life where our sins are forgiven and we’re reconciled to God… where we have peace with God and we’re offered eternal life, and our own resurrection patterned after his.
And so as the "Author of Life" he extends the invitation to you today, because there is no life… spiritual or physical…. apart from the Author of life. That’s why we’re all in the process of dying. We’re just like all of our technological devices… if you leave your phone, your iPad, or your laptop unplugged from it’s power source? It’s not dead, but
it’s dying. And so apart from being connected to the source of life, it will die and remain dead. And that’s how we are, spiritually. We’re dying and in the process of dying. We will die if we remain apart from a connection to the Author of life. So Peter points out that Jesus, the Author of life, needs to be the object of our faith.
He says it this way: "By faith in his name." You see, other religions will agree that we have a problem that needs to be fixed… but they’ll differ on the solution… and that is… what or who is the object of your faith? With other religions you learn something… you do something… you experience something… but ultimately, you are the object of your faith.
You save yourself. You do!
Let me explain… In Buddhism, you save yourself by controlling your desires. In Confucianism, you save yourself through education, reflection, and moral living. In Hinduism, you save yourself by separating from your ego and living in unity with the gods. In Islam, you save yourself by living a life of good deeds. In Judaism, you save yourself through
repentance, prayer, and obeying God’s laws. In the New Age Spirituality, you save yourself by living in harmony with and becoming part of the divine oneness.
So there are various solutions, but the one thing that remains the same is the object of your faith. These other religions come along and say, "Here’s what you do to save yourself." But God comes and says, "I am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed… I and not some foreign god among you. You are my
witnesses," declares the Lord, "that I am God" (Isaiah 43:11-12).
So, it’s not about what you do; it’s about what God has done. It’s not about you saving yourself; it’s about you being saved by God your Savior.
Now, this can be difficult for us when we have family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, maybe even a spouse… that follow other spirituality’s and religions. And honestly… often they are very devout… very moral… and very committed. A lot of them are very nice people, nicer than some of the Christians we know. The bottom line is that their faith may be
sincere, but the object of their faith cannot save.
Now how many of you watched the Roadrunner cartoons as a kid? Do you remember how Wile E. Coyote always pursues the Road Runner with the anvil that he’s gonna drop on him. Now let’s say you’re a bad swimmer, summer’s here, and you’re out swimming, but it’s not going well. So you yell at someone, "Help! Throw me the anvil!"
And you have sincere, devout faith in the anvil. You believe that the anvil will save you. And they throw you the anvil. In a great act of faith, you grab it, and you hold onto it with a deeply religious type of commitment. So how’s it going to go? You’re going to sink, right? Because faith doesn’t save you. The object of your faith saves you, and if
you put your faith in the wrong object, it’s not going to go well for you. It’s like that.
So, Peter tells us, "By faith in his name…" "It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing… as you can all see" (Acts 3:16).
Jesus is the object of our faith. He alone is the Son of God. He alone is our Savior. So today have you made Jesus the object of your faith? Have you received Jesus gift? Have you responded to his offer, embracing him, and trusting him? Is your faith in His Name?
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