When cripples dance, Jesus is present.
AUGUST 2, 2021
When cripples dance, Jesus is present. Let’s talk on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches the God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible and by the way, we’re studying the book of Acts. And this material, by the way, isn’t the way I’ve taught it in the past. I’ve been teaching the Bible most of my life, and I’ve taught every book of the Bible, some of them several times. And I went into my past notes on the book of Acts, and I have notebook after notebook on this particular book. And, as I look over the notes of things that I’ve said in the past, and a lot of years ago, I wince and think, I can’t believe I said that. And Jeremy, he’s the producer of this program were talking before we sat down to do the program. And he said, you know, it’s good that you can see what God has done in your life. And now you’re teaching it different based on your past experience and your growth and your deep spirituality. On the other hand, he said, you might be worse than you were then, and maybe we’re going to have to edit this program a lot, but I want you to know I’m learning as you are learning, as we go through this particular book, what a great book in the Bible. It reminds us of our past of our roots of God’s faithfulness and that he is still faithful. He still loves his church and he’s still doing stuff that is so good, even when we don’t feel like it’s so good that it would blow you away. We’re going to be looking at the third chapter of the book of Acts. That’s where a cripple throws away his crutches. If you had been with Jesus, you would have heard blind men’s beggars cups clanking by the side of the road. And you would have seen crutches thrown into the sky and you would see cripples dancing. And this is an incident where that happened. Let’s pray. And then we’ll get down and study. Father, as we come into your presence, we are reminded that you’re faithful. We complain, and we tell you the stuff that scares us. We’re sometimes lonely and we always feel needy, but you’ve been faithful all the time, every place, everywhere in our lives. And we praise you and worship you for your faithfulness. We remember Jesus and we’re thankful for the Cross that set us free, for the resurrection that said we would live forever, for the love that continues. But Father, if you had never been as kind as you are, and as loving as you are, you’re still God, the sovereign creator, ruler, and sustainer of the universe. The only one before whom we say, holy, holy, holy. And Father, you are worthy of our worship. You know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast and you know the hard places and the soft places, the times when we laugh and the times when we cry, And we are thankful that you’re our God in all of it. And now we pray for the one who teaches, that you would forgive him his sins, because they are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. I’m going to, I’m going to take the time to read the entire third chapter of Acts. And that’s about all we’re going to have time to do today, but I can hardly wait to tell you some things that I’ve found in this chapter. This is what Luke, the physician writes.
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of those who entered the temple. Seeing Peter and John, about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, with John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention upon them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but I give you what I have in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and walked, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While he clung to Peter and John, all of the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s, astounded. And when Peter saw it, he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder it this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham and 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 had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong, whom you see and know, and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health and in the presence of you all. “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of the holy prophets from of old. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren, as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ and all of the prophets who was spoken, from Samuel and those who came afterwards, also proclaimed these days. You are the sons of the prophets and the covenant which God gave to your fathers, says to Abraham, ‘And in your posterity shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ God having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
Oh my. I’ve been teaching homiletics and preaching for a lot of years to a whole lot of students. And that’s one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard. You know why, first cause it’s short. I mean, how can somebody say so much in such a short period of time, well Peter did, and he got it all in. And if you want to know what’s important about the Christian faith, read this third chapter, Peter tells you. This is what it’s all about, it’s about Jesus. And it’s about his love and it’s about his forgiveness. And it’s about the gift that he has given to his people. Now, we’re going to be talking about this throughout the rest of this week and next week, because it is such a good story. I love it, man. You talk about a cripple dancing, I love the way Luke put it. And he was leaping and praising God, I would’ve done that, if I’d been crippled from my birth, I would have done that if I’d been a cripple and never had known, never had known what it was like to dance. Now that I think about it, that’s exactly who I am. And it’s exactly who you are. We’re cripples. Our sin has crippled to us. Our, our fear, our need has made us crippled. Our lack of laughter is a sign of being crippled. Our lack of freedom is there too. And Jesus came and cripples threw away their crutches and they danced. He’s still doing that, with me, and you. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown ushering us into the third chapter of Acts. What an exciting book. And there’s still so much more to explore. We did cover the full chapter three today, so starting tomorrow, we will double back and start gathering up all the gems that this chapter holds. Make sure you join us then. So, you know, about our talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc. And we have some amazing guests, but some of our best shows are when it’s just us. And recently we had one of those shows and the springboard for our whole conversation was the survey we did on our YouTube channel. And it indicated that a lot of us are struggling with guilt and on the show, we really dig into what that means and how to overcome it. Could you use some encouragement like that? If so, then let us send you that whole show for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that show CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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