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Message Text

Acts 2:22-24

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

Acts 2:37-41
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Acts 3:11-26
While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over 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 you 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 that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, 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 restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

Message Notes

1. Sudden infusion of courage

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

Peter, in about 50 days, had gone from denying he even knew Jesus to placing the death of Jesus square on the people standing in front of him. As little as 1 month before this, they were locked in a room in fear of the very people Peter is now addressing. He had no counseling, he had no coaching, he didn’t have medication, he wasn’t listening to the latest fear-busting podcast. He had received power.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

2. Sudden concentration of focus

Acts 2: 37Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”38And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”40And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”41So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

The disciples were anything but focused before the day of Pentecost. They were hiding, doubting, confused, hoping, fishing, but they were not focused. After being filled with the Holy Spirit, it is undeniable how focused they become.

There was no written strategy or vision statement to keep them focused. No mission statement, no org chart, no HR department, but every time they went out the message was the same.

3. Sudden demonstration of power

The miracles that accompanied the disciples proved that they had been empowered. It confirmed their testimony. When they healed the man at the gate, they didn’t have to tell people they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 3 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.

The demonstration of power is not to prove you have been filled with the Spirit of God but to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. You receive power to be a witness, and God demonstrates His power to confirm your witness.

If we make disciples, miracles will follow. If we don’t make disciples, then you’ll end up trying to make miracles.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

1. What stood out to you most from this week’s message?

2. Has there ever been a time when, like Peter, you had the opportunity to show courage, but didn’t? What are some things you can do so that when new opportunities arise, you will have courage for them?

3. How would things look in your life if you experienced a sudden infusion of courage? If you have already experienced this, what was it like?

4. What are some things you could remove to avoid being distracted from what God is doing? Are there things you feel him asking you to give up or set aside so you can focus on him?

5. “If we make disciples, miracles will follow.” How can we get our focus off the miracles we want God to perform and on to making disciples so the miracles can follow?

6. Who in your sphere of influence can you invest more in? What does that look like?

7. Where is God asking you to run in with courage, focus, and power?

8. What do you plan to do differently because of this week’s message?