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Sunday, September 4, 2016
Training Camp: Part 2
Direction, not intention determines destination.
Value #2: Salvation is by grace alone, through Christ alone.
Jesus is the only way for people to be brought into a right relationship with God.
“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
Now Peter has everyone's attention and he does what every good preacher does when he has the attention of a crowd - he preaches a message!
“While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.”
Horrible news: "You killed the author of life." This has to be one of the worst things a person could ever have done.
Soft words make hard hearts. Hard words make soft hearts.
““Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.”
Good news: Your sins are forgiven if you repent. God wants to bring you rest and refreshment.
One day a week - rest and know that you are not in control. God is. He will take care of you. Put the work down.
But in the middle of his message, he gets interrupted.....
“The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.”
Now Peter, who has a history of caving in and backing down, says.....
“The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”
Whoa - new boldness. While is this guy and where does this courage come from. But that is not enough...
“Jesus is “ ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.””
Peter was as offensive and politically incorrect as you could possibly be at that time!
Not everyone can accept Jesus. He is a stumbling block to many.....
“He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare.”
At Grace, you can belong before you believe. But you will know what we believe, because we will never hide it and we will never sugar coat it.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Now that statement seems so offensive and so unloving, so politically incorrect and so arrogant..... Unless it's true!
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.””
If the cornerstone of your home is not built on the rock of Jesus, it will crash. Storms will hit you and your family - no doubt about it.
Following Jesus is not a path to buried treasure (health, wealth, and good times), Jesus IS the buried treasure!
If your identity is in Christ, you are not guaranteed to have smooth sailing, but you ARE guaranteed to get through the storms! We are human BEINGS designed in the image of Christ, not human DOINGS.
If your cornerstone is in your job or your wealth, your house will crash!
Do you believe the Jesus is the only way? Do you believe that Jesus is your way?
For more truth about life, see... www.truthatlife.com