2018-07-15 – Acts 9.32-43 – Get Up!

2018-07-15 – Acts 9.32-43 – Get Up!

The Healing of Aeneas
32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

Peter in Lydda and Joppa
36 Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity.37 At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them.40 Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. 42 This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43 Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.

2018-07-15 – Acts 9.32-43 – Get Up!

Good morning everyone. I am so pleased that you chose to spend the morning with us here today. God bless you all.

What an awesome Vacation Bible School we had last week. We had a total of 65 children and youth here that heard the word of God, isn’t that praise worthy! We also were able to paint the porch and garage of our neighbors down the street; we painted the north windows of this church; Re-Landscaped the prayer garden on the east; they even replaced the door handle of the upstairs bathroom. We were all crazy busy doing God’s work, isn’t that great! Not to mention they also performed at two of the elderly homes in town. It was all positively exhausting and blessed indeed. Thanks again for all you folks that contributed. And please keep the Hillcrest Baptist group, and all the children in prayer this week, as we all contemplate all the happenings God showered upon us. Praise the Lord!

We are going through the book of Acts, and last week we read that after Jesus appeared as a bright light to Saul and chose him to become his apostle, Saul experienced, as much of us had experienced, a lot of Ripples of Conversion, which was the title of our last message. As Paul was now preaching the Gospel, the Jews despised him and considered him a traitor. Likewise the Christians were fearful of him at first, that is until Barnabus stood up for Saul, and vouched for him. There was indeed a lot of Ripples of Conversion that Saul had to deal with, and we too will have to continue to deal with as well as we endeavor to live out our new Christian life. That takes us now to today’s message which is called simply, Get Up!

Please turn now to Acts 9:32 (pg 128 of the Pew Bibles), which is the Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God, but let us start with prayer.

This book, The Acts of the Apostles, is commonly referred to simply as Acts, the fifth book of the New Testament. It basically tells us of the founding of the Christian church and the spread of its Good News Gospel message to the rest of the Roman Empire. Dr. Luke wrote this book, and it is an extension of his other book, the Gospel of Luke. Although there were many different authors of the Bible, we believe all the 66 books are inspired by God, or God breathed. Amen?
The majority of this book of Acts is written about the life and experiences of Peter and Paul as the early church formed and grew. The last few messages we went through were about Saul, and now we switch back to Peter, who was the first leader of the newly formed Christian church.

32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed.

The majority of this book of Acts is written about the life and experiences of Peter and Paul. The last few messages were about Saul, and now we switch back to Peter, who was the first leader of the newly formed Christian church.

Our first verses here today say that Peter was traveling with the believers and saints, when he found Aeneas. The words believer and saint aren’t very commonly used these days, but they are great titles for Christians and we should consider using them. I remember the first time I was called a saint, I was a little put back. I really didn’t know how to receive that title. Most times we think about the title saint as somebody that is without sin. But really all Christians are saints in that God has forgiven all of our sin. We are saints, not because of what we have done, but what God has done for us through His Son Jesus that paid for our sin on the cross. Everyone look to your neighbor and say Hi saint and their first name, lol.

So Peter met a paralyzed man named Aeneas. We don’t know why Aeneas was paralyzed, but he was. Some people are physically paralyzed and others are spiritually paralyzed. We know this guy was bedridden for eight years, and that is a long time. I couldn’t hardly imagine being bedridden for even a week, let alone eight years. He was helpless and had to have people care for him. I could imagine that there was nothing much he could do for himself. A sad situation indeed, not only regarding his physical state, but it is also presumed that he was not a believer yet either. So he was helpless both physically and spiritually. Like Aeneas, before Christ came, we were all are helpless regarding our eternal position. Paul said, “While we were still helpless, Christ died for the ungodly” {Romans 5:6). We all needed, and still need the great physician. Without Jesus we are all helpless, paralyzed in spirit. So Aeneas was in bad shape.

34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

God used Aeneas’s situation to show His mercy and compassion. Through Peter Aeneas immediately got up. It was a miracle. Everyone there knew Aeneas was tragically paralyzed for the past eight years, and now he is walking. And just like all the other miracles used to spread the Gospel for the early church, things like that got a lot of attention. God used such miracles at the time to serve as a witness to the people in order to spread the Gospel and grow the church. God still performs miracles. Some we realize and some are happening in the background that we don’t even know. All I can say is, Praise the Lord. Anyone want a miracle?

36 Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity.37 At that time she became ill and died.

Now Tabatha is a nice Aramaic name. I have met a few Tabatha’s in my time, but Dorcas, the Greek equivalent, is a rather unique name, at least these days. Has anyone here ever known a person with the name Dorcas?  It actually means “Gazelle” in our language. A good friend of ours is named Dorcas. In fact, she and her children helped us out for our last year’s Vacation Bible School program. Her husband is an Army chaplain and they just moved back to Virginia. Like Dorcas in this verse, our friend Dorcas is very much also a disciple that is devoted to good works and acts of charity. That is a pretty good thing to be known for, wouldn’t you say?

When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them.

So Dorcas was full of good works and charity. She had obviously made a powerful impact on the other ladies of the town. So much so that the ladies were even boasting about the things she had made with tears in their eyes. They were grieving the loss of their good friend Dorcus and they were reflecting on her life.
? What do you think others might say about your good works upon passing? Will people see the good fruit of your conversion? Will they see the evidence of your salvation? What do you want to be known for? Things that make you go hmm.

40 Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. 42 This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43 Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.

Here are a couple questions for you to ponder. Why do you think God healed the paralyzed man named Aeneas? And why do you think God allowed Peter to raise Dorcas from the dead? Why them, and not others?

I would suggest the key to knowing the reason is here in verse 42, so the ministry in Joppa could continue, and so that many would choose to believe in the Lord. Because of these two miracles, Peter had gained a lot of clout amongst the people. Therefore he was reaching many others for sake of the Gospel in that area. I would argue that the reason God gave the Apostles the unique abilities of healing and raising from the dead is so that the early church could thrive, grow, and spread throughout the world. And it did just that. The church expanded in a huge way during this time. Peter was now being sought after for the miracles.

And just think of how Peter could have taken advantage of the situation and abused the power that the Lord gave him in performing these two amazing feats. He could have set up a tent and held healing services, with big banners reading, “Come and See Peter the Apostle and Evangelist Work Miracles.” Everywhere he went, he could have attracted attention for himself. If he lived in our day, he could have gone on talk shows and written books to tell about how it all happened. But Peter was not into performing miracles to bring glory to himself. Instead Peter gave God all the glory and therefore God was pleased to use these incidents to bring many to the saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Notice also that Peter did not say, “Aeneas, I heal you.” Rather, he said, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you.” He gave all the glory to Jesus and took none of it for himself. Also with Dorcas, Peter did not claim to have any power to perform such a miracle. Rather, he humbly knelt down and prayed, depending totally on God’s power to do what only God can do.

Another striking thing about these two miracles is how closely they parallel two other miracles that Jesus performed. You might recall how when four men brought a paralytic man to Jesus, He first forgave the man’s sins, then Jesus commanded the paralytic to get up, pick up his bed, and go home (Matt. 9:7). Here, in a similar way, Peter commands Aeneas to do the same: “get up and make your bed”. Peter saw what Jesus did and he emulated him. That’s what we should be doing as well. We should be attempting to pattern our lives off of Jesus and also the Apostles as we move forward. But first we need to be knowing His word, so we can choose to follow their example. Are ya with me?

The incident with Dorcas also parallels Jesus’ raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:35-43). Both incidents happened when the healer was absent and had to be summoned. And just like Peter, Jesus put out the noisy mourners, He was not there to put on a miracle show. Then Jesus took the girl’s hand and said (in Aramaic), “Talitha kum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” and she did.
Peter, on the other hand, could not speak in his own authority as Jesus could, so he knelt down and prayed. Then, when he was assured of God’s will, he said “Tabitha, kum.” And she got up. There was only one letter difference between the two incidents, Talitha and Tabitha; the parallels are too close to be coincidental. Peter was following the example of the Lord Jesus, in dependence on Him.

Peter was able to imitate Jesus because he had been with Jesus when He performed these and other miracles. Although we have not physically been with Jesus, if we have spent much time with Him in His Word, He will use us to be His instruments in bringing His saving power to those who are spiritually dead.

 

These two miracles had to have taken everyone that witnessed it by surprise. There was no human hope in either situation. But where there was no human hope, God miraculously broke in with His power and accomplished in an instant what no one could ever do. Always leave room for God ladies and gentlemen, or should I call you believers and saints. Always leave room for God.

And relating this to our spiritual situation, sometimes we see a person who seems so far gone in sin, that they are spiritually paralyzed or spiritually dead.
We despair, thinking, “There’s no way that he will ever come to Christ!” It’s true, there is no human way. But God is mighty to save sinners. Whether the corpse is washed and dressed in clean clothes or whether it is smelly and dirty, dressed in rags, it’s still a corpse. It makes no difference to God what the corpse is wearing! He has the power to impart new life to dead sinners. So we should be encouraged boldly to share the gospel with others, knowing that it is not our power or the other person’s will power that will bring about the change. It is God’s mighty power; if He raises the dead, the dead will be raised!

Again, the title of this message is Get Up! We should be getting up and emulating Jesus and the Apostles. We should be Getting up and spreading the Gospel, and maybe like Peter, God will perform miracles as you go. The song we heard and sang during the offertory today is Let God Arise. That is the key dear believers and saints this morning. We got to let God Arise in our hearts, and we need to Get Up and do something about it. That is God’s will for you today.

May I ask you all now to please Get Up.. and let us close together this meeting and message

Song – Let God Arise

Let Us Pray: Heavenly Father..