When the Spirit fills a Life

MEMORY VERSE: “With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” —Acts 4:33

ACTS 3:1-6

THIS first section of today’s lesson concerns an outstanding miracle recorded in the New Testament. It was shortly after Pentecost that the miracle was performed by Peter and John, who visited the temple about three o’clock in the afternoon and found a man, who had been lame from birth, lying at the gate of the temple called Beautiful. He was there to ask alms of those who entered into the temple. Peter and John observed this man and were asked by him to give him financial aid. Peter explained, “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.”—vs. 6

While this lame man was doubtless momentarily disappointed when Peter explained that they had no money they could give him, how great his rejoicing was when he realized the blessing they had bestowed upon him, for he was healed of his life-long lameness. In verse 8 we read concerning him, “He leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” Verse 11 reads, “And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.”

Peter noticed this “wondering” and proceeded to give them an explanation of what had taken place. His explanation was that this man had been healed, actually, through the resurrected Jesus whom they had crucified. Verse 16 reads, “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.”

In verses 19-21 Peter draws a wonderful lesson from the display of divine power in the healing of the lame man. He explains that at the second coming of Christ there will be times of restitution, or restoration, of all things, meaning that then all the ill will be restored to health and even all the dead raised to life. Peter explained further that this great time of restoration had been foretold by the mouth of all God’s holy prophets since the world began. What a wonderful hope is thus held out for the suffering world of mankind!

ACTS 4:31-37

Converts to the Gospel of Christ continued to increase. Not only were the apostles themselves filled with the Holy Spirit and actuated by it in their zeal for proclaiming the message, but those who heard and genuinely believed were also whole-hearted in their devotion to the truth and to one another.

Verse 32 relates that “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” Verse 33 reads, “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”

The giving up of all their material holdings was a wonderful display of zeal for the Lord and for his cause, and, no doubt, those who participated in this experiment were richly blessed. However, the Book of Acts does not indicate that this communal arrangement continued for any great length of time. The fallen human heart is selfish and oft-times suspicious. Luke informs us of some of the difficulties involved. Not all were satisfied with the manner in which the temporal blessings were dispensed. There were those who professed to turn in all that they had to the common treasury, but held back some for their private use.

However, efforts were made to correct these difficulties. Deacons were appointed to assist in the distribution, and, especially to serve at tables in order to relieve the apostles of this work, that they might have more time to preach the Gospel. Peter summarily punished two who were dishonest concerning their claim of giving all. Nevertheless, as we have noted, this arrangement was not continued. We do not get too far into the Book of Acts when we notice that no further mention is made of it. Perhaps one reason for its discontinuance is that as the disciples increased in number the administration of such an arrangement would become too difficult.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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