Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 3 (Lesson 3) by clicking here.
Read and meditate on Acts 3.11-15.
Almost everything about Peter’s sermon on this occasion would come under the condemnation of contemporary church consultants. Too much Old Testament. Too hard on the listeners, too condemning. Not enough humor. No stories or jokes or even a poem. Not long enough. Too much implied theology.
1. Peter is almost too cool here as he seems to be saying to the astonished people, “What’s the big deal? What’d you expect, what with Jesus rising from the dead? Isn’t this just the same thing He did, and which He now continues to do?” From what we’ve seen of the ongoing work of Christ thus far in the book of Acts, do you see any areas in which your church needs to improve? Explain.
2. A new reality has broken into human experience, and the Apostles get it, while the crowds can only look on in amazement. The Good News is about God and what He is doing, not about men and anything they might accomplish. Given the opportunity to share the Good News of the Kingdom with a friend or co-worker, what would you say? What makes the Kingdom of God, and Jesus as its King, Good News?
3. Peter comforts his hearers: You sinners! You murderers! You who prefer the scum of the earth to the Messiah of God! That ought to get their attention. Then look at the lovely, powerful way Peter connects Jesus with God’s covenant, and the Holy and Righteous One glimpsed and anticipated throughout the Old Testament. He was here, Peter says. You killed Him. God raised Him up. This man walks by the power of His Name. What’s the big deal? Peter made room for the Spirit to convict his hearers, but also to instruct and convert them. What is conviction? Why is conviction important to instruction and conversion (cf. Jn. 16.8-11)? Should we expect people to come under conviction when we share the Good News? Explain.
4. Of course, the Kingdom of God is a big deal – the big deal, we should say. But it’s the “new normal” in the world, even though most of the world remains out of sync with the ongoing work of Christ. It’s just a matter of time, though – time and faithfulness on our parts. Meditate on 1 John 2.8. How does the story in Acts 3 illustrate John’s claim in this verse?
5. What is your church’s vision for the coming of the Kingdom in your community? What is your vision for the coming of the Kingdom in your life? In your sphere of influence?
The Kingdom of God comes with power to make all things new. Christians must neither fear nor neglect that power. Rather, we should seek it like the Apostles did in Acts 1, proclaim it like Peter did in Acts 2, and wield it like Peter and John in Acts 3. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 = “Very Well” assess your Kingdom citizenship using those three verbs: seek, proclaim, wield. Why did you choose the number you did?
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,
Nor will I go in with hypocrites.
I have hated the assembly of evildoers,
And will not sit with the wicked.
I will wash my hands in innocence;
So I will go about Your altar, O LORD,
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,
And tell of all Your wondrous works.
T. M. Moore
Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies Acts.
Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. For more insight to His work in our here and now, order the book, The Kingship of Jesus, from our online store by clicking here.
Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.