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Peter Performs Miracles (Acts 9:32-43)

August 27, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon dramatically attests to the Power of Christ to heal both physically and spiritually. Elder Woodard labors the point that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just, what saves us, but the Gospel keeps us until Christ returns. The focus of this sermon is on Peter’s twofold ministry to believers and unbelievers with the miracle, mercy and message of Christ.

The Miracle of Christ

Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed”… Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper roomBut Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive (Acts 9:32-34, 36-37,40-41;ESV).

The healing of Peter and the Apostles was an extension of 20140311-184658.jpgChrist’s ministry. In fact, Jesus promised that after He had returned to His Father, His followers would do greater works than He had done (John 14:12, 15:20). Elder Woodward parallels the healing of Aeneas to Jesus’ healing of paralytics in His ministry and the raising of Dorcas to Jesus’ healing of Jarius’ daughter. The miracles of Christ are revelatory of His authority over death, sin and Satan. More importantly, since Christ has the power to physically heal the sick, raise men and women from the dead, and cast out devils, surely, He has to power to forgive and save the lost (cf. Luke 5:12-25).

The Mercy of Christ

Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, Please come to us without delay. So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room (Acts 9:38-39; ESV).”

Dorcas was a believer of Jesus Christ and gave her time, treasure, and talents to the furtherance of His Kingdom (v. 39). Although she was believer, Dorcas found herself at the mercy of Christ, when death drew near. Since Peter was not far from where Dorcas was, he did not delay. He served others at the call of another; he served quickly; and he served in spite of the position God had given him (cf. Jesus). The mercy of Christ has a temporal (i.e. physical healing) and permanent element (i.e. eternal life). The raising of Dorcas was also revelatory of the message of Jesus Christ. Just as Christ raised Dorcas, so shall He raise all who abide in Him to eternal life (cf. John 15; Romans 6:9, 8:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

The Message of Christ

And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the LordAnd it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord (Acts 9:35, 42; ESV).”

The message of Christ (i.e. the Gospel) is not that God helps those who help themselves. Aeneas was at the mercy of others in his paralytic state. Dorcas could not raise herself from the dead, nor give herself new life. Only Christ has the power to heal and reverse the effects of sin. Only Christ has the power to forgive sin and raise the dead (Luke 24:46-47). Therefore, He deserves all the praise, honor and glory.

Do you believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Works are crucial to the Christian life. They do not save us, but our works may testify that we are genuinely saved. If we believe in Jesus Christ, our ministries should be aligned with His, in both attitude and service. Christ shows compassion to the miserable, helpless, and unworthy (Luke 19:10). If you believe that you can save yourself today, ask yourself can you heal yourself, raise yourself from the dead, and endure the wrath of God for your sin (Matthew 9:12-13)? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him is forgiveness of sin, eternal life, and fullness of joy.

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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