God's power through God's people
7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (Acts 3:7-8)
If you’re a Sunday School retiree like myself, you remember the mixed feeling of hearing Bible stories. How amazing but far away it seemed to be one of God’s chosen people, who through God’s power, did amazing things!
But, two very important parts of God’s power are revealed in Acts 3:1-10 - the story of Peter, John and a lame beggar; power that He can show through all His people (that’s you and me). Before you go on reading, I recommend taking a minute now to open your Bible and reading Acts 3:1-10.
Done? Cool, please continue.
The power that brings immediate healing
When the lame beggar was healed, it didn’t take a few minutes for the effects of Peter’s healing to take place. As it says in verse 7, the healing happened instantly. You know what else is instant? God’s soul saving. In Romans 4:4-5, it says that “whoever has faith in Him, they are reckoned as righteous.” God takes no time in using His power to save us from sin. It’s really only in His power that sinners can be made as white as snow (Psalm 51:7).
The best part? Once we’ve been saved, God won’t ever remind us of our past wrongs. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour, God tells us that “everything has become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17) as He takes our sin and removing it from us, as far as “east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).
The power that changes your identity
The author of Acts, Luke, doesn’t tell us much about the beggar, not even his name. What we do know is that people knew him as the man “crippled from birth” (Acts 3:2), who sat outside the gates of Beautiful every day
But as soon as he was healed, he took a new identity. God’s power gave him a new identity, one which was deemed worthy to enter the temple gates and go forward “walking, jumping and praising God.”
Like how the beggar was born lame, we were born into sin (Psalm 51:5). But as God has done before - for Abraham, Sarah, and Gideon – He changes our identity. We don’t have to be known and plagued with an identity as sinners from birth. When we hear the gospel and accept Christ as our Saviour, we can be called children of God (Romans 8:16–17).
And it’s that change in identity that should make the people ask, “Wait… is the same person I knew before?” The people who recognised the lame beggar as the same man who used to sit outside the temple gates were “filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Do we inspire this same reaction in the people around us? Are we looking for opportunities to share the joy of new life in Christ with those around us?
Thank you, Lord for the healing I received when I accepted you as my Saviour. Thank you for my new identity. I pray that Your power works through me as I look for more opportunities to share the gospel.
In Jesus’ name I pray,