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saved without strength


For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
(Romans 5:6)


The Book of the Acts contains the amazing account of how God’s men, Peter and John, healed a crippled beggar outside the Temple in Jerusalem (Acts 3:1-10). Like Peter’s miraculous escape from prison (Acts 12:1-11), the restoration of the crippled man typifies, in spectacular fashion, our own conversion experiences. In particular, it reflects the redemptive, saving work of Jesus in the lives of us who were once “without strength.” Luke tells us that the man was “lame from his mother’s womb” (Acts 3:2). This is analogous to the fact that we came into the world with corrupt, fallen natures (Psalm 51:5); we were born spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13). We were as powerless to save ourselves from sin’s just penalty as the poor beggar was to get up and walk. By God’s providence, the apostles came upon the beggar at the hour of prayer (Acts 3:1-2). The man was hoping to receive money from them but Peter disabused him of that false hope. “Silver and gold have I none,” said the great apostle (Acts 3:6), thereby laying to rest the errant claims of today’s “health and wealth” prosperity heretics. “But such as I have give I thee,” he continued, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Luke tells us that Peter “took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him” (Acts 3:7-10). Like the man who was healed, we also received apostolic ministry that profoundly changed our lives. By believing the apostolic witness, and trusting in the Christ of Whom it speaks, we were transformed from ungodly, powerless sinners (Psalm 1:4-5) into faithful saints of the Most High God. We now walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4) and in resurrection power (Ephesians 1:18-21). The Lord’s ministry through his apostles gave the healed man new strengths, abilities, and capacities, which he used to praise God in the sight of all the people (Acts 3:8-11). This mirrors (or should mirror) our own redemptive histories. After being restored to a right relationship with God through the redemptive work of Jesus, we too should become stellar object lessons; our changed lives ought to cause people to wonder greatly (Acts 3:11). As in the case of the healed beggar, God’s witnesses are tasked with drawing attention away from lesser things and onto Christ Himself (Acts 3:12-16). May the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8) continually be our message (Acts 5:42) and the Blessed Hope we faithfully share with others (1 Timothy 1:1).May this be so, for God’s glory and for the good of others,

God bless,

Pastor John


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