This morning’s service was led by Ian Middlemist who preached on Acts chapter 2 verses 37-38. Here Peter considers the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is not preaching to the marginalised, he is preaching to those who have crucified Jesus (v 36). He speaks to them directly, telling them they have killed Jesus. He accuses them of being complicit in killing a man – the Saviour, the one whom God had accredited as being the Lord of all, the Prince of Life. There is an element that each one of us placed those nails into Jesus’ hands. We are guilt of sin.
Peter tells us that the response of the congregation before him was that they were ‘cut to the heart.’ We want a response every time the gospel is preached. We want it to move us, to have a deep work in our lives, in our hearts. The heart is the seat of our fundamental faith, our belief. The crowd before Peter were evidently effected. Cut to the heart – the stabbing of conviction. My guilt is being spoken of here. Peter’s sermon was to convince them that Jesus is Lord and that every one of us is born with spiritual blindness. We need to come out of that blindness. No man is able to do this, only God can.
The second part of this response was they asked what they must do. It is the right knee-jerk reaction. It is a question each one of us must ask. They knew their situation was desperate. We are empty and helpless. It is important we all come to that point. We are not a good person before a holy God. This has consequences. There must be punishment. Where do we turn? Praise God we have an answer! Verse 38 tell us,
“Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Baptism is a command. It shows the world you are a new person in Jesus Christ, you are coming to Him for cleansing, trusting in Him alone for Salvation. He alone removes guilt. The good news is we are guilty but Jesus took the guilt, He took the condemnation we deserve. He died in agony on the cross, shed His precious blood so we are forgiven – forgiven for yesterday’s sins, today’s sins and tomorrow’s. Hallelujah! Have you repented? Are you trusting in Jesus?
Ian Middlemist, evangelist at Hill Park Church, Haverfordwest, took last Sunday’s service in which he preached on the final verses of Acts chapter 3. His sermon began by saying that too easily we give way to the culture around us. However, Peter says we are not to do this. Our God has a great plan – it’s about having an encounter with the risen Jesus Christ. Ian’s sermon raised three points:
Receiving Christ The Sent Christ and Restoring all things.
Christ must be received into heaven before He is sent. The author of life was killed – without Christ there is no life (Hebrews 1). He was murdered on a cross. But the wonderful truth is death could not hold Him. He is risen. Jesus then revealed Himself to His disciples. Later they saw Him ascend into heaven. Jesus told them to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This was still not the end – the church grew and the name of Jesus Christ spread into the world. We are still waiting for more to come. Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of God. He sits. He has completed His work of Salvation. He sits as a perpetual reminder than sin has been dealt with. He sits because He is reigning. He is not simply the king of the church but He is king of the universe, the King of Kings. All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him.
Christ sends His disciples and preachers into the world. They respond to His call to share the Gospel which is spoken with Holy Spirit authority. Peter quotes Moses (v. 22). Moses didn’t just speak about the coming of Christ, Moses was like Christ. The Israelite’s were crippled under the reign of pharaoh, not unlike the cripple at the gates. Peter draws our attention to the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only one to give us hope – not Moses or anyone else. Too often we hear the voice of the community around us who want nothing to do with the future, with the second coming. They want to hear about now. Our purpose is not to reform society. Peter says it is to give the message of repentance. The people around us don’t need our help, they need the gospel. Christ has defeated death, sin and Satan. He has truly secured a victory.
Everything in history is leading up to when Jesus will be sent. The great event creation is moving towards. Is Jesus coming again – that’s the answer for this world. He will come ‘with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God.’ (1 Thessalonians 4:16). He will come to restore all things. We are waiting for Christ, for His second coming. Jesus is coming very soon!
Sunday’s morning service was taken by evangelist Ian Middlemist who preached from Acts chapter 3, focusing on two of the blessings of God: sins blotted out if we repent and times of refreshing.
Sins blotted out if we repent:
There is no good deed we need to do to accomplish Salvation, we just need to be a sinner and know our need of Jesus Christ. God chooses people such as us, He holds out His grace for us and calls to us to turn and receive His blessings. They are not just one off blessings, they continue on and on. Our sins are blotted out. This speaks of total annihilation (Revelation 3:5). Our names will be in the Book of Life for evermore. God no longer recognises sin in us, it has been blotted out, covered in the blood of Christ. It is costly; Jesus’ death was the most costly (Isaiah 43:25).
We need to turn away from sin. God doesn’t blot out everybody’s sin, there must be repentance. We remember our past sins, the evils committed against us and from us. The devil uses this to dishearten us. When we are filled with doubts caused by the devil, look again to the cross. This is why we come regularly to the Lord’s Table, to remember again His precious love towards us (Psalm 32).
Times of refreshing:
This world makes us weary. We have to be refreshed. God has promised us times of refreshment as we hear the Gospel. The Lord is the source of our refreshment. Turn to Him and then you can face tomorrow. Trust in Christ alone, start trusting in Him. Refreshment is the recovery of breath after exhaustion, it is also the cooling and relief from heat. It is the sense of relief that comes from the knowledge of removal of sin, the removal of guilt. It is spiritual refreshment. Rest in Him. Seek His refreshment.
There is no greater burden on the soul than the feeling of guilt. God has seen our failings and dealt with it entirely appropriately. Hold onto Christ to know His blessings, the times of refreshment. Although the Author of Life was killed, we are still called ‘brothers.’ The Gospel tells us we have total forgiveness.
This morning’s worship was led by evangelist Ian Middlemist, who preached from Acts chapter 3 verses 11-19. Here, the congregation before Peter were ready to give him all the praise for healing the crippled man. However, there were incredibly wrong to do this in three ways: they tried to give glory to men, not God, they rejected Jesus, they wanted to stick to their own principles.
The first act of ignorance was to try to give Peter the credit for the healing which had taken place. We need to give all the credit to Jesus. Peter asked them why they were surprised the man had been healed. No one should be amazed because in Jesus’ world this is what happens. The crowd were ignorant in giving glory to the men. People today give honour to human icons, crowds give praise to men. This can also happen on a spiritual level (John 12, verse 43), when men prefer the praise of others rather than God’s praises. Praise belongs to the Lord and the Lord only. Give the glory to God.
The second act of ignorance was rejecting Jesus. In contrast to the honour the Lord gave to Jesus, we see the great dishonour shown by the inhabitants of Israel. They denied the holy, righteous one. They killed the author of life. But no-one could over-throw the Prince of Life, who is risen again. The author of life suffered on the cross; it is by His Grace we are here today.
The third act shows the people being persistently ignorant. Christ’s death was no accident, it was always in the eternal plan and purpose for the Son to be crucified. God is in total control. Those who caused the death of Jesus did it in ignorance. Many people believe they cannot be held accountable. Peter is not giving them an excuse; every person who walks on this planet knows of the existence of God. No-one has an excuse to reject Christ.
Peter calls for their repentance. Forgiveness is necessary. Everything that happened to Jesus was foretold. Wrath is coming, judgement of God is coming. Stop making excuses. Repent. Start again. Don’t try to fix things yourself, turn to Jesus. What men planned for evil, God planned for life.
The cross brought resurrection. We can have newness of life because we are forgiven. Forgiveness is not for all. We must repent then blessings will flow – sins will be wiped out, Christ will come and complete the work He began.
The crippled man praised God, we too should praise God for the wonderful Salvation He has given us. Look to Jesus, He who deserves the praise.
Our morning service was led by Ian Middlemist, evangelist at Hill Park Church, who preached from Acts chapter 1 verses 1-10, Peter healing the crippled beggar. We learnt that as Christians we all have something to give, something perfectly relevant to whatever situation we find ourselves in. The beggar held out his hands hoping for silver and gold, but he received so much more. As the world holds out its hands, waiting for riches – for what it thinks it needs, we have the greatest message to give, what the world needs – the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Those who are spiritually dead can be raised to a new life, to walk with God, to praise God. We need to bring the message to a needy people, to a crippled world, to let them hear about Jesus Christ.