One of the purposes of the Book of Acts is to give a defense of the spread of the Christian faith, while serving as a testimony of the work of God. This book, like every book of the Bible, calls readers to repent and believe in Jesus.
In Chapter 3 we have this amazing account of Peter and John healing a lame man. The people who witnessed this were amazed at what Peter and John were able to do.
Why were Peter and John given the power to heal? It was so they could show the people their need for a much deeper, spiritual healing, one requiring faith and repentance. Consider both the calling and the gifts of the gospel where Peter says, “Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19-20a).
The Calling of Faith
Faith precedes and gives life to repentance, but this faith needs to be placed in the proper person. Having faith in ourselves will not change our hearts. Having faith in others will not heal the brokenness deep within. Having faith in a system, philosophy, world view, or works will not fix the sin problem separating us from God.
Our faith must be in, and only in, Jesus, the Son of God. He is the only One who can restore, correct, change, and heal us in the deepest and most important way possible.
The lame man had faith. While Peter and John healed him of his immediate need, Jesus healed him of a much deeper need.
“And on the basis of faith in Jesus’ name, his very name has made this man—whom you see and know—strong. The faith that is through Jesus has given him this complete health in the presence of you all.” –Acts 3:16
The Calling of Repentance
Peter used the attention of the people around him to call them to repentance and faith in Jesus (v. 19).
I find James P. Boyce’s (1886) simple definition really helpful. He said, “Repentance is sorrow for sin, accompanied by a determination, with the help of God, to sin no more.” Repentance is an acknowledgment we have sinned and need God’s help to walk in His ways, fueling our determination to live for His glory. The call to repent is connected to the gifts of the gospel.
The Gift of Forgiveness
Repentance leads to a beautiful gift, the gift of forgiveness. The people who were there with Peter had no idea how deep their sin problem went. Two-thousand years later, we also don’t have the clearest understanding of our sin. Everyone needs the gift of forgiveness, and the beauty is of forgiveness is that it is an ongoing gift. God does not forgive only one time and expect us to be perfect. He forgives us daily, even hourly.
This forgiveness comes through repentance, which comes by faith.
The Gift of Refreshing
As Peter called the people to repent and believe, he told them faith and a changed heart would lead to a time of refreshment (v. 20). We all need and want this, don’t we?
What is this gift of refreshing? The sacrifice of Jesus brings gifts upon gifts, and one of them is the time of spiritual refreshment which includes joy, comfort, and peace. It is why Christians are able to go through hard times with tears in their eyes and still have joy in their heart. They can be isolated and still find comfort. Life can be stormy and yet there can still be peace because of the gift of salvation.
Don’t take your salvation for granted. Repent daily and praise the Lord for all the gifts He gives you.
Looking to Jesus,
Have you purchased your Empowered: Yesterday and Today journal yet? Not only will you find all of the daily reading passages and SOAP journaling pages, but you’ll have each of the daily devotionals in printed form–no need to check the app on your phone while working through your study!
Don’t forget, the new Bridge Reading Plan is only available in the printed journals! The Bridge is a two-week long reading plan designed to bridge the gap between two studies. In the Empowered journal you’ll find the Bridge Reading Plan along with two weeks worth of SOAP journaling pages and daily Scripture reading! This reading plan contains specific passages and themes to help bridge the gap between Empowered and our next study, beginning August 17!
When you purchase a journal, you are helping us reach women around the world with the gospel. By purchasing a journal you help our incredible team of volunteer translators build up leaders around the world. Your journal purchase allows women to read God’s Word in their native language and have access to quality Bible study materials in the language they best understand. We hope you’ll join us on our mission to make God’s Word accessible to women in every nation and in every language!
Order your Empowered and Empowered for Kids journals here!
The part that spoke so deeply to my heart was when this “lame” man joined Peter and them to go to the temple to pray. On the way he was JUMPING and praising God! Can you imagine that? Once lame now jumping. How overjoyed am I when o receive an answer to prayer?
Thank you for sharing that, Jennifer! It is such a good way to reflect, to ponder on that.