AUGUST 10, 2021
Know thyself. That’s how God gets credit. Let’s talk on Key Life.
That was author and seminary professor Steve Brown. And this is Key Life. We’re all about radical grace, because of what Jesus has done, God’s not mad at you. Keep listening and that message will set you free to live a life of joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the third chapter of Acts. And we’re studying Acts and are going to be doing that until Jesus returns. And in the third chapter, and I’m not going to take the time to read it to you. It’s too long. I did that last week. It’s a wonderful story about a cripple man who gets healed. And we’re looking at that story, we’re learning some really important things that we need to remember. We noticed the close proximity of the cripple to the church, Acts 3:2. Where else was he, he was a cripple, people know that, people are drawn to the reality that the church purports to have, even if they don’t say so. You know, in a thunder storm, atheists will stand at the church porch, more than they’ll stand under a tree. Why is that? Cause they know. When it gets bad, they know. And then we saw that what the cripple received, was better, far better than what he expected. And then we saw the amazement of the people, oh my. People aren’t amazed by us anymore, you know why? They’ve got us figured, we’re religious folks, saying religious things, in a religious way, to other religious people. And then we expect God to give us an awakening. It’s not going to happen that way. What people need to see in us, is what God has done. And they can only see that when we celebrate, when we have a party, I’ve told you about my friend who says that the problem in the church, is that there’s smudges on the windows, on the inside, as people inside the church look out at the world and wish they could join them. He said, it ought to be just the opposite. The smudges ought to be on the windows, on the outside, as the people who are on the outside, are thinking, I wish I could join them. Amazement that took place. And then, we saw yesterday that Peter gave proper credit, Acts 3:12.
When Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why in the world do you stare at us, as though by our power or piety, we made this man walk?”
And then Peter preached a sermon about Jesus, it’s him, it’s not us. It really is him. It’s not us. You know, we sometimes, Jeremy, who is the producer of this broadcast and he sits in a control room with all of the buttons and the recorders and stuff that you need to do a broadcast like this. And I look at him through a glass, a big glass window. And, we sit and talk a lot about, in fact, we talk too much. We gotta remember that, you know, we’re supposed to be doing a broadcast called Key Life. And then, we end up with either Jeremy saying, or me saying, you know, we really do need to get on this, or we’re going to be here all day. But one of the things that’s so good about Jeremy is, he’s a cheerleader. He really is. And, when he records Pete Alwinson, he does our Q&A or records. He does a lot of producing around Key Life. And everybody loves him for a lot of reasons, first he’s really good at what he does. And that’s important, man. He hits the wrong button, this whole thing goes down the tube. But secondly, because he’s a cheerleader. And sometimes, because this has to be so precise, I mean, I have, I have just so many minutes to teach and I’ve got to end exactly at the right time on the clock. And if I don’t, then it’s going to require editing and problems and that’s going to be a, another problem for Jeremy, but sometimes I am so good. I am so good, I surprise myself. I mean, I hit the peg, I hit the nail on the head to the second I get it. And, Jeremy, whenever I do that says, that’s so perfect, so good. And then I think I am good and then I realize the times, when I missed it, so many times, and I realize that this has to do with Jesus. It really isn’t me, cause, I don’t know what I’m doing. Let me tell you a secret. Was it Socrates that said you should know yourself. You should know yourself. You should, when you go to God, pray with the Psalmist, search my heart, show me the evil that is in me. You say, I don’t want to do that, that doesn’t sound like a very good devotional time. Search me O God, let me see myself, who I really am, what I really think without the pretense and the shame. Help me to see who I am. And God answers that prayer. He really does. And when he does and good things happen, you know what else happens? God gets praised, because you know, it wasn’t you. That’s what Peter had done. You know, Peter had a tendency, like all of us to take credit for what God did, but man, he learned, you know why? Because he denied Jesus three times, that’s why. Cause he ran, that’s why. Because he was scared to death and he didn’t do what he said he would do with Jesus. And that is die with him. Peter had prayed the prayer, show me myself. And God had done that. And Peter standing there looking at a cripple who is dancing and what does he do? Of course dummy. He gives God the credit, because he knows, know thyself. And if you know thyself, God gets the praise. I see it all the time. Let me move on to something else. I want you to see, that was number four, if you’re counting, I want you also to see, as you look at this third chapter of Acts, God’s kind of system of priorities. You’ll find that in the 19th verse. And this is in Peter’s sermon.
Repent therefore, and turn again that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
Repentance is first. It really is. And you say, Steve, I don’t need this. I really don’t. I’ve seen those signs, turn or burn, repent. And I don’t need a sermon on repentance. Yeah, you do. Cause the repentance, isn’t what you think it is. Repentance isn’t getting your act straight, doing it right when you did it wrong. Repentance isn’t fixing everything. Repentance isn’t, repentance is from a Greek word. It’s metanoia, and it means, it’s an attitude thing. It means to change your mind. It means to recognize profoundly and deeply that God is right and that you’re wrong. That God is perfect and you’re not. That you are sinful and what he says is sin, is true about you. In other words, repentance isn’t change. It’s the way God changes us, if he desires to do so. It’s his methodology of change, it isn’t change. And so what repentance is, is exactly what Peter did. Peter had done some really bad things. He really, in fact, he was always doing something either sinful or stupid, and he knew himself, and because he knew himself, he knew who God was, and he knew God’s love, and he knew to give credit where credit was due. And repentance, he said is first, then your sins are blotted out. You’re forgiven and free. And the promise from Acts 3:19 is this, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. It’s interesting to note here, that Peter’s focus was not on the miracle. I was the pastor of a church, where we had healing services, every quarter on Wednesday night. And God did amazing things, but the congregation never knew it. I mean, people, people, their lives were changed, really bad stuff was healed. I mean, you would be amazed if I, but the congregation never knew it. You know why they didn’t know it, because I didn’t want them to start focusing on what God was doing and forget about God. It’s easy to do that. God does really neat stuff. And he did something neat here, but don’t forget who did it. That’s what’s important. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, digging into God’s truth here in Acts 3. Today, we learned about God’s system of priorities and how repentance leads to refreshing. And boy, we can all use that. Well earlier, you heard Steve joke that we’re going to be in this exploration of Acts until Jesus returns, but no kidding, there are still a lot more chapters in this book to explore, and that’s why we want you to get the most out of our guided tour. Toward that end, we’d love to send you a special free booklet. It’s called Through the Eyes of Grace: Acts & Romans. It covers early church leadership, the Pentecost, the fellowship of believers, persecution, all of them. In addition, there’s Steve’s overview of Romans. You are going to love this booklet, and it is free. But you have to claim it, to get it. So, call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org to ask for the booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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