North Augusta, South Carolina
As we come together in this advent season, we are compassed about with a direction from almighty God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, to acknowledge and accept a call to restoration. A call to restoration is much needed in our society, as we pause to give recognition to the death and resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus, the Christ.
To fully understand this call to restoration, we must first know and accept the fact that the word restoration, in this biblical sense, means to restore; which further means to return all things to their previous and pure state.
The Ancient Hebrew legal definition of restoration was, to not only, to restore or repay what was lost, but to make it better than before. Job, for instance, was restored or repaid more than he had lost during his trials and sufferings.
In the text as recorded in Acts 3:19-21, as it relates to a call to restoration, we notice that Peter takes the time to break things down, as he preaches to the Israelites.
In the sense of a sermon, Peter preaches a word to the Jews in Jerusalem entitled “A call to Restoration;” a call to turn back to the truth they had heard and been taught by the prophets relative to Jesus Christ.
A call to return to what these Israelites had heard and what they had been taught was much needed, upon observing their reactions to seeing the miraculous healing of a certain lame man, who was begging arms at the gate called Beautiful or the Beautiful Gate.
Acts 3:11 records that as the lame man, who was healed, walked and held on to Peter and John as they approached Solomon’s porch, the people were amazed and ran up to Peter and John and begun to praise them for the miracle they wrought. When Peter saw this, he asked them saying “Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this; why are you staring at us? Do you think that it was by our powers we caused this man to walk?”
May I pause hear? Whenever, we turn a deaf ear to God and the words He sends by and through His priests, prophets,kings,judges, pastors, evangelist and teachers, we also develop the mindset to put our trust in man, rather than Jesus Christ.
Some of us today have developed the mindset that the government and its agencies are the answer or fix to our problems.
Have we not heard or have we forgotten that Paul records in Philippians 4:19 that “My God, not the government and its agencies, shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory?” We must put our trust in God!
Yes! Peter issued a call for restoration; a call to return to Jesus rather than man; a call to let go and let God; a call to trust in the Lord and lean not to our own understanding.
I know this to be true because it is recorded in Acts chapter 3, verses 13-18 that Peter preached unto these Israelites saying, “We did not heal this lame man by our powers; but by and through the powers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who has given divine glory to his servant Jesus Christ.” But you out of ignorance; but you out of the lack of knowledge; but you who turned a deaf ear to the priests, prophets,kings,judges, pastors, evangelist and teachers, handed him over to the authorities and rejected him in the presence of Pilate, even after Pilate had decided to set Him free; you rejected Jesus and favored setting free a murderer in His stead. You killed the one who leads to life. But, God raised Him from the dead. It was by this power, in the name of Jesus, the one you killed, this lame man you see walking and leaping in the temple is healed.
I’ll have you know, it is by the power of Jesus we are delivered, when our burdens get heavy; it is by the power of Jesus we are able to rise above it all, when life gives us a lemon; it is by the power of Jesus a way is made for us when there appears to be no way possible. We are where we are today, not by our might, not by our knowledge and understanding, but rather by the powers of Jesus.
For this cause Peter said, “So, now my brothers, I know what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done out of your ignorance. But, let me help you out! You did not know but God made the announcement through his priests, prophets,kings,judges, pastors, evangelist and teachers, a long time ago that His Messiah had to suffer. So, He made it come true by and through what you and your leaders did out of ignorance unto Jesus.
So now, I am calling on you to return from your ignorance and be restored to the knowledge you and your ancestors received before hand from God’s priests, prophets,kings,judges, pastors, evangelist and teachers. I want you to return to God, so that He will forgive you of your sins. In so doing, you will gain spiritual strength and the love of Jesus will come into your heart and your life. You will live with Him and He will live with you, even though He remains in heaven at the present time. He is still with us on earth, by and though the Holy Spirit, which indwells all believers in Christ.
As Peter made a call for restoration, I am making a call for restoration for each of us, as we pause in humble submission and recognition of the death and resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
No! We were not there when He was betrayed. We were not there when He was falsely accused. We were not there when He received the 39 stripes. We were not there when they led Him up Golgotha Hill, to a place called Calvary. We were not there when they nailed Him to the cross. We were not there when they lifted Him up and speared Him in His side. No! No! No! We were not there when He hung His head and died from the 6th to the ninth hours. No! We were not there when they laid Him in the tomb. We were not there when they found the empty tomb early in the morning upon the first day of the week. No, my brother and no, my sister, we were not there when all these things took place, but we do know that three days later, Jesus, the Christ, rose again as He promised because an empty tomb is there to prove that our savior lives.
So, join me, and let us accept a call to restoration and return to the knowledge of God we heard and learned from the beginning. Let us remain steadfast, unmovable and always abounding in the teaching of our Lord and savior, and let nothing separate us from His love. To God be the glory!
Happy Resurrection (EASTER) and be blessed!
Rev. Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr.
Sermon Topic for April 2015
A Call to Restoration
The truth that needs proof is only half true
First Providence Baptist Church
315 Barton Road
North Augusta, SC 29841
Phone: (803) 279-8836
Fax: (803) 441-8666