January 31, 2023
Samuel Davies was the 4th President of Princeton in the mid-1700s and one of the principal figures of the First Great Awakening in America, in which 15% of the population came to faith in Christ. He said that before the revival, humble preachers had preached for years with little results. And then the revival came. The same preachers preached the same sermons, and 200 people would be saved. “The gospel became almighty,” he said, “and carried everything before it.”
Do you want to see a spiritual movement across our nation? An epoch-making season that would bring spiritual refreshment and life to millions? You might be surprised, but that is God’s desire too. If 15% of America were saved in a few years, it would result in 50 million people becoming followers of Christ.
THE MESSAGE OF SPIRITUAL AWAKENING
In the early church, Peter and John were used by God to completely heal a man who had been lame from birth. When people began to praise them, they quickly diverted their attention to the only Name, the only One who can heal. They used this moment as an occasion to preach the gospel. He told the people there was something they must KNOW and something they must DO.
WHAT YOU MUST KNOW …
1. You delivered, disowned, and put to death the Prince of life.
Paul told them that all of us put Christ to death. It was our sins that placed Him there. We have delivered Him to the cross. We have disowned Him.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, (Acts 3:13-14)
2. God raised him from the dead.
Death could not hold Christ! God raised Him, which authenticated everything Christ had said. It proved He was the promised Messiah. It also means that, through Him, we can overcome death. Those who come to Christ will never die but live forever, just as He promised!
“(You) but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead.” (Vs. 15)
3. We are eyewitnesses
Hundreds saw Christ after His resurrection, proving that it had occurred. It was authenticated in the highest possible ways, so it is something each of us must believe.
“A fact to which we are witnesses.” (Vs. 15)
4. This man has been completely healed by faith in his name.
Christ is powerful and can do anything. He can physically heal, and this proves that He can do more—He can spiritually heal us from the inside out eternally! This healing gave a lame man “perfect health!”
“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” (Vs. 16)
5. You acted in ignorance, but Christ’s death had been announced by all the prophets.
We have no excuse for what we have done to Christ, ignoring Him and putting Him to death. We are responsible for His death.
“And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. (Vs. 17-18)
SOMETHING YOU MUST DO …
And then, Peter reminded them of what their response should be if they wanted to be delivered and forgiven by Christ.
You must repent and return so your sins will be wiped away and times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
Repentance means a profound change of mind that leads to a change of direction. Every man has sinned and is going his own way. We must see the foolishness of a God-less life, and return to Him, and Him alone.
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Vs. 19)
The Wuest translation of the Bible (which gives the literal meaning of each word) says this best.
Therefore repent at once, instantly changing your attitude, and perform a right-about-face in order that your sins may be obliterated, in order that there may come epoch-making periods of spiritual revival and refreshment from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:10, Wuest translation)
Do you want your sins obliterated? Do you want to see epoch-making periods of spiritual revival and refreshment? It comes from one source: the presence of the Lord! Everything flows from His presence. If you have Him, you have everything; without Him, you have nothing.
This is the message we must embrace and the response we must give. We must turn to God and come to Him in humble repentance and faith. And this is the message we must proclaim with unashamed boldness constantly. We must tell everyone, everywhere, all the time. It is the message that brings revival.
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