Faith In A Name

By | July 4, 2008

I have been reading Acts 3:6 over and over again. I continued to ask myself, “What did Peter have that I don’t have?”. I know that I shouldn’t take just one verse, and try to make a case out of it. So I read the entire chapter. I even read articles and commentaries that other people have written about this chapter and verse. But there still seems to be something missing. It’s kind of like the “forest and the trees thing”. You keep staring at the forest, but you never really see the trees! “What am I missing?” “What is it that I don’t see?” I continue to come back to the same verse.

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. Acts 3:6

I keep looking at Peter. A great man of God, and obviously endowed with the very presence and power of God. He had his problems, made his share of mistakes, and even sinned like we all do. But somehow, through Peter, this lame man was made whole when Peter pulled him up. It is obvious that the power that changed that man came from God. But how did it happen? Was it just a random miracle that God decided to perform through Peter?

Verse six makes it clear that Peter gave this lame man something that he (Peter) already had himself. Whatever it was, it was resident in Peter. It was part of his very being, and he obviously got it from God. It was not some power that just came and went. It was not a power that Peter could use one minute and not be able to draw on the next. Peter was very sure about what was going to happen. There was no doubt in Peter’s mind that this power could manifest itself in many different ways, but in this case he knew it was going to make this lame man whole.

Just so you understand how great this power is that was imparted to the lame man, consider this. This man did not receive a healing. A healing is the removal of some sort of sickness or disease from a persons body. This lame man was born with feet and ankle bones that just did not form correctly from his Mother’s womb (3:2,7). He received much more than just a healing. His feet and ankle bones were reformed and given strength by the power of God. Also keep in mind that he never was able to walk, and had no idea how to do that. His brain had to be re-programmed to know how to stand and to walk, not to mention jumping and leaping, which he was doing (3:8). That is an awesome power!

I’m No Peter!

We’ll your probably thinking, “I’m no Peter, and I never will be”. You are absolutely right. You are not Peter, and you shouldn’t want to be. If you are born again then you are somebody that is unique and precious in God’s eyes. You were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27 ). If you knew what was resident in you as a child of God you would not be looking at this incident between Peter and the lame man as some sort of special miracle but something that should be an everyday occurrence in your life.

It makes no difference how many times you have failed God in the past. It makes no difference how unworthy you may think you are. We (God’s children), and God are not moved by what we see or feel, but by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7 ). If you think that Peter was some sort of faith giant and never made a mistake, then consider this. It was Peter that denied the Lord three times because he didn’t want anybody to know he was ever associated with Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:34 ). It was Peter that tried to walk on water and almost drowned because he had no idea how to use his faith in Jesus Christ (Matthew 14:20). It was Peter that had no faith that he could catch a boat load of fish just because Jesus asked him to try again (Luke 5:1,6). It was also Peter through faith in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth who was able to make this lame man whole!

Peter didn’t start out that way. In the beginning he had no clue what Jesus was trying to teach him. Also remember that after Jesus ascended into heaven, the only thing that Peter had was his faith in the name of Jesus Christ. He was not able to watch Spirit filled teachings on television, or listen to them on tapes or the radio. He couldn’t run down to the local book store to buy a copy of the New Testament so he could study, and have it to refer to. What he had was a precious gift that was in him, which he gave to the lame man. He was only doing what Jesus instructed him (and us) to do.

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12

There is no question, or at least there shouldn’t be that we as God’s children have received a power that is now resident in us, and that has the capacity to “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils”. Yet if we look around, there doesn’t seem to be much of Matthew 10:8, and John 14:12 going on among God’s children. This then should bring us back to my original questions at the beginning of this article. “What am I missing?” “What is it that I don’t see?”

The Gift

Part of our understanding as to what Peter imparted to the lame man can be found in a letter from the apostle Paul to Timothy.

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:5-7

Here Paul was trying to get Timothy to understand that there was a gift of God that was not only in his Grandmother Lois, but also in his Mother Eunice. Paul was convinced that it was also in Timothy. Evidently Timothy was having a problem understanding that this gift was actually in him. Paul asked Timothy to stir up the gift that was in him. Or in other words to get stirred up over what God has given him. That was good advice then, and it is good advice now.

We seem to get stirred up over just about everything that comes into our lives, except the “Gift of God”. If somebody says or does something that we don’t like, we get stirred up over that. If somebody cuts in front of us in traffic, we get stirred up over that. We will tell everybody we run into that we are stirred up over what we heard, or what has happened. But when you talk to some of God’s children about the gift of God that is in them, and try to get them to understand the possibilities, the reaction is like you just asked them to sit and watch paint dry on a wall. The excitement just isn’t there! What has happened to God’s children? It seems like the early church didn’t have much in the way of money or material things, but they sure had a tremendous amount of excitement and power in the name of Jesus Christ. Now the church has a tremendous amount of money and material things but very little excitement, and power in that name.

The problem is that christians today will go through all the motions of being good little children of God. We go to church. We attend bible study. Why some of the more daring of God’s children will even raise their hands in worship right in front of the entire congegation. Now please don’t misunderstand me. All of these things are good things. But when push comes to shove (and believe me, the devil does a lot of pushing and shoving), the average child of God does not have a clue what he or she should do in a time of crises.

God has deposited an endless supply of spiritual blessings in our spiritual accounts. The early church did not hesitate one second to go ahead and write a “spiritual check” against that account. That is exactly what Peter did. He drew on his spiritual account, knowing that God was good for it! Today most of God’s children will not act in faith and “write that spiritual check”. They just don’t believe that it is God’s will. The truth is that most christians do not really know what God’s will is. This is then a sad state of affairs, because God’s will is spelled out in detail in His word.

According to the word above, the Gift of God is………FAITH! That is not the only gift from God that is in you, but that is the one we are talking about now. This is the same faith that Peter used. Peter had faith in that name of Jesus Christ, and God simply honored that faith, and made that lame man whole.

And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Acts 3:16

Why did God do that? Because that is one of the things that God does. He is in the deliverence business. God will deliver his children from harm, from sickness and disease and anything that’s in the “curse of the law” (Deut. 28). That is the reason the word says that Jesus has delivered us (those that are born again), from the curse of the law. The rest of the world is still under the curse. Can you believe that? Can you have faith in that name?………Jesus Christ!

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.Galatians 3:10

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Galatians 3:13

Get Your Mind Off Yourself

Most of God’s children today are having a hard time believing that this power could flow from them as it did from Peter. They feel that Peter was specially chosen by God to do those things, and they don’t feel that they have been chosen by God to do particularly anything. I have good news for you. You have not only been chosen by God, but God expects this power to flow from you as it did from Peter. Keep in mind when this miracle happened Jesus was not physically walking the earth. Peter could not go to Jesus and ask him to restore the lame man. Also know that it was not Peter that restored the lame man. So who did it? The answer to this question can be found in a statement that Paul made.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

When Jesus was walking this earth it was God that did the works through Jesus.

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.John 14:10

Nothing has changed! It is still God doing the works through Jesus! Jesus was in Peter, and Jesus is in you!

You have been crucified with Christ, and yet you live. Not you, or your old person that was alive before you met Jesus. That old person is DEAD. It is God through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost who is still doing the works!

Your old person is DEAD!. You have to allow that to get into your soul. When the devil comes, and he will to tempt you, or make you feel unworthy. Understand that he is trying to tempt a dead person. A dead person cannot respond to temptation, or anything else in this world.

You are dead to this world, and alive to God! You have been crucified!

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:24

Allow God through Jesus Christ to live through you. He owns you spirit,soul, and body! He is your life now!

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

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