Thursday, January 19, 2012

Acts 3:16

Acts 3:16
And upon the faith of his name this one – who you all watch with the eyes and you all have known – his name made strong.  And the faith – the one through him – he gave this perfect soundness over against you all. 

Thoughts for Today:

First Thought:

In spite of the greatness of the miracle, Peter continues to focus on Jesus as the source of power.

How hard is it to continue to focus on Jesus – especially in the face of success?  Why is it so difficult to be in the midst of success and continue to give Jesus (or more generically, God) all the credit?

Second Thought:

Peter teaches that the healing was based upon the power of faith through Jesus Christ.  Now, please don’t hear me saying that God cannot work if a person has no faith.  But quite often, God works through the people who have faith.  Think about all the people in the Bible that Jesus healed.  Each one of them believed that Jesus was the answer.  God may be able to do anything, but enjoys working through people who have faith in Him.

Does it make sense that God would choose to work through people with faith?  Why or why not?

Third Thought:

Peter is clear that our faith comes through Jesus Christ.  In other books of the Bible, the authors of those books also make the same claim.  It is important to see our faith as not something we make, but something God gives to us.  After all, if our faith is something we make on our own, then we are in danger of teaching salvation by works: my faith becomes my work and I think I am great enough to be saved.  Instead, what we should think is that it is God who gives us faith and we merely respond to the faith that God gives us much like Peter, John, and the beggar have done.  This way we do not think that we are saved through any of our work, but rather that God has saved us and what we do is a response to the salvation God has already promised.

Can you tell the difference between someone who thinks they need to do good works in order to be saved and someone who does good works because they are saved?  What might some of those differences be?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 3:17-21
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