Friday, March 25, 2016


For the week beginning Sunday March 27, 2015

Acts 3:1-11

In Acts chapter 2, after the HOLY SPIRIT came down from Heaven on Pentecost Day, we see Peter step forward and deliver the first sermon ever preached in a Christian church. And now, here in Acts chapter three, verses 1-8, we see Peter healing a man who had been crippled for forty years. The man had come to the temple every day, apparently, having “low expectations from GOD”, because he only sought after alms that would merely allow him to exist in his present condition for one more day.
Here we see Peter, along with John, in the name of JESUS, giving the man much more than he thought he could ever receive from GOD. Peter tells the man, “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) (KJV).
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. As he did this, the man’s feet and anklebones were healed and strengthened. The man got up and began to walk, and not only did he walk, he even began to leap and praise GOD, as he entered into the Temple with Peter and John.
This miracle fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah, as it is recorded in Isaiah 35:6, where it says, “Then shall the lame man leap as an hart” (KJV). It was an undeniable miracle, because everyone, including the leading priests and Pharisees, had seen this cripple man sit at the gate called “Beautiful” and beg for alms for many years.
When all the people saw the once-lamed man walking and praising GOD, they were absolutely astounded. They all rushed over to “Solomon’s Colonnade” to take a closer look, where he was tightly clinging to Peter and John, who had given him the power and authority of JESUS to walk again into the Temple. 

Acts 3:12-26

Now, as the crowd began to grow, Peter sees an opportunity to address those in the Temple who had just witnessed the miracle that was performed on the lame man. They too, like that man, had probably came to the church daily, having low expectations concerning what GOD could do for them. Peter asks them in verse 12, “Why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? (KJV)
Peter goes on to tell the crowd of people that it was “The GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and, the GOD of our fathers, WHO hath glorified HIS SON JESUS”, by allowing us to perform this miracle (Vs. 12-16). In other words, the very name of JESUS had, quite literally, healed this man. It was nothing more than faith in JESUS’ name that had caused this man’s healing right before their very eyes. We, as Christians, can all do a lot better in life if we will raise our expectations of what GOD can do for us, whenever we have faith, and trust in HIM.
As Peter began to “sermonize” his thoughts, he first tells them how he could relate to their rueful feelings about the things that they had said and done to JESUS out of ignorance, while HE lived and taught before them. He reminded them that even their leaders reacted in the same harsh and deadly way toward our LORD and SAVIOR. They all participated fully in rejecting JESUS, and turning HIM over to Pontius Pilate, who, wanted badly to release HIM. Peter tells them that they all chose instead to release a legitimate criminal (Barrabas), and kill “THE AUTHOR OF LIFE” (JESUS). 
However, through it all, it was really GOD’s Will being played out, as HE was merely fulfilling what HE had told HIS prophets to declare centuries ago, concerning the sufferings of the MESSIAH, HIS SON. Even Moses had spoken of JESUS when he declared in Deuteronomy 18:18, that, “The LORD your GOD will raise up a PROPHET like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything HE tells you” (NLT). Moses went on to say that, “Anyone who will not listen to that PROPHET will be cut off from GOD’s people and utterly destroyed” (Deuteronomy 18:19 - NLT).
From the time of Samuel, every prophet spoke about the things that were happening in the days surrounding the birth, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and post-ascension of CHRIST JESUS. And Peter reminded them that they were the children of those prophets, and were included in the covenant promise of GOD that was delivered by JESUS personally, and then, signed in HIS OWN blood. When GOD raised up CHRIST JESUS, HE sent HIM, first, to the children of Israel, and they failed to listen.
Peter then urges the crowd, that, with all being said and done, it was now time for them to repent and turn from their sins, and turn to GOD for spiritual healing. Then, and only then, will their souls be made fresh again, so that they can receive the MESSIAH upon HIS return. But until then, JESUS will remain in Heaven, sitting at the right hand of the FATHER, waiting on HIS new orders to return and restore all things back to perfection under GOD.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

Saturday, March 12, 2016


For the week beginning Sunday March 13, 2016

Acts 2:1-13
In Acts chapter 2 Luke chronicles events that took place during the “Pentecost” observance, which was celebrated fifty days following the resurrection of CHRIST JESUS, or traditionally, seven weeks after the final day of “Passover” (Leviticus 23:15-22). Pentecost, which means, “fiftieth”, is also known as the “Festival of Harvest”, and the “Feast of Weeks”. In New Testament times, Pentecost also commemorated Moses’ receiving and giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.
In Acts 2:1-4, as Christians met in a house somewhere in Jerusalem, we see three great phenomenal occurrences unfolding, which will forever serve to make the coming of the HOLY SPIRIT, on that Pentecost day, an unmistakable and unique event;

·        First we see the “roaring of a mighty windstorm” come down and fill the house that the Apostles and the others occupied (Acts 2:2).
·        Secondly, we see the “flames of fire” appear and settle on each person in the house (Acts 2:3).
·        And finally, we see that they began speaking in “other tongues” (“heterais glossais” in the Greek), which means “various learned languages or dialects”, as the HOLY SPIRIT instantly gave them these abilities (Acts 2:4).

Here in this passage, we see GOD’s offer of salvation is to be extended to all people, Jews and Gentiles, who were willing to believe and put their faith and hope in CHRIST JESUS. At the time of this miraculous event there were GODly Jews and foreigners (Gentiles) from many different nations who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Pentecost. And so on this wonderful occasion they were able to hear the new Gospel of CHRIST being taught and spoken in their own language or dialect, no matter where they came from, to Jerusalem that day. These “visible signs” are unique in that, in all of recorded Scripture, this is the only time when these three things occur together during a distinctive act of GOD. 
 Since that day, the HOLY SPIRIT has come to indwell every person that believes in their hearts in CHRIST JESUS, and we, as a result, can belong to the family of GOD. GOD has bought us at a high price by sacrificing the life of HIS only begotten SON as a ransom for our release from the bondage of sin and death. As we live in fellowship with GOD, HE will fill us and keep us filled, and when HE does, we will be able to serve and grow, and conform more fully to HIS Word and will.
The HOLY SPIRIT adds “supernatural power” to the “shared nature of GOD” that we have in us already from birth, and HE enables us to win the battles within ourselves, between “reason” and “passion”, that, without HIM, we would not otherwise win, a great deal of the times. HE further enables us to resist the temptations of life, that, without HIM, we’ve already proven to be too weak spiritually to resist. In fact, HE actually makes us more aware of those times when we are about to move out of the will of GOD, and will prevent us from doing so, IF we listen, or heed to HIS prompting.

Acts 2:14-36

Taking up at verse 14 the Apostle Peter steps forward along with the eleven other apostles, and he begins to preach the good news using several references from the Old Testament Scriptures, explaining in his “kerugma style” how they foretell the first advent of JESUS CHRIST, and the HOLY SPIRIT. He tells them that the people in the assembly were not drunk with wine, as many on the outside of the temple were suggesting, but rather, what they were witnessing instead had actually already been foretold by the Old Testament prophet, Joel, for example, who said, “In the last days, GOD said, I will pour out MY SPIRIT upon all people” (Joel 2:28), and also that, at that time “anyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved” (Joel 2:32).
Peter goes on to tell the crowd that GOD publically showed HIS endorsement of JESUS by doing wonderful miracles, wonders, and signs through HIM, and that they had all, Jews and Gentiles, followed GOD’s prearranged plan by nailing HIS SON to the cross. GOD then released HIM from the horrors of death and raised HIM back to life again, and so we see, death could not keep JESUS in its grip (Vs.14-22).
In verses 25-33 Peter cites the first of two Psalms by King David (Psalm 16:8-11) to prove his doctrinal point about GOD’s promise to raise CHRIST JESUS from the dead. In verse 27 of this passage Peter cites these words from King David, where he himself is prophetically referencing JESUS’ resurrection. There David says, “For YOU will not leave my soul among the dead or allow YOUR HOLY ONE to rot in the grave”.
In verses 34-36 peter makes the third and final point of his, now famous, Pentecost Sermon by again referencing King David. Here he cites the words of “the man after GOD’s OWN heart” in Psalm 110:1 where he prophetically states, “The LORD said to my LORD, sit in honor at MY right hand until I humble YOUR enemies, making them a footstool under YOUR feet”. And so if GOD said this, through David, as a clear reference to JESUS, then the Scriptures themselves testify that JESUS is both LORD and MESSIAH.     
In Acts 2:37, we see the HOLY SPIRIT convicting those members of the first Christian Church, through Peter’s words to them, regarding the wrong that was perpetrated on JESUS, by way of their role in HIS death on the cross. Peter goes on to tell them, that, the promise of the HOLY SPIRIT was not only for those present in the room that day, but it is a promise that extends to all who come to know CHRIST, and answer the call of GOD, in all future generations.
In Acts 2:41-47 we see quite vividly, the spiritual characteristics of the early Christian Church on display. We see quite clearly a picture of what the term “United by the SPIRIT” really means, and, we can see that the power of the HOLY SPIRIT transcends race, gender, and nationally, and, HE unifies us with GOD, through CHRIST JESUS. Here in this passage lies, perhaps, one of Scripture’s greatest examples of “Christian Unity” actually being lived out by the original Christian Church through their behavior. Here we see spotlighted, their;

(1). “teaching and learning”- (verse 42)
(2). “prayer and fellowship”- (verse 42).
(3). “fear and reverence for GOD”- (verse 43).
(4). “sharing in the Church”- (verse 44-45).
(5). “worshipping GOD together daily”- (verse 46-47).
(6). “being filled with joy”, - (verse 46).
(7). All in all, they were a church where “good things were happening constantly”,
      and, “new people were receiving Salvation daily”- (verse 47).

What a wonderful example for modern-day churches to emulate. We see here in this passage, an example of “Christian Unity” that has been placed before us, and available to us, since the very birth of the Christian Church in Jerusalem. And even though this all first occurred on that memorable day of Pentecost, way back in the first century A.D, still, to this very day, in a very real sense, we’ve never shown an ability to duplicate GOD’s great example that we see here.  In fact, we have failed, as GOD’s greatest creation, to follow suit in too many other biblical examples also, simply because, too often, we only seem to place value on our own “human ingenuity”, and thereby, we de-value the things of GOD, even in “the Church House”.
I’ve often stated that, it seems as if GOD has placed a hunger and thirst inside of each of us, innately from birth, and the only way to satisfy that hunger or thirst is by seeking and ultimately finding HIM. It is for the purpose of GOD that mankind was ever created in the first place, and just as no man has ever created anything that wasn’t for his own purpose or benefit, so it is with GOD. Man was created to serve GOD, and until we are able to grasp and understand that, we’ll just continue to meander around, looking for physical answers, to problems, that have always been spiritual.  

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website