A Living Example – Acts 3:1-11

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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The Apostle Paul is more than a “pattern” of God’s longsuffering “to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting” (I Timothy 1:16). He is more than a pattern for believers today in the unique grace doctrines we are urged to “follow” (I Corinthians 4:16; 11:1). Paul is also an example of how religious, but spiritually dead, Israel was in the past. Like Paul, however, Israel could have become vibrantly alive by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.

As a nation, Israel became unnecessarily stricken with illnesses. As the Jews prepared to enter their promised land, God promised them that, “…if thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God…and wilt give ear to His commandments…I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians…” (Exodus 15:26). Had Israel been faithful to the Lord, they would have enjoyed divinely given good health. However, Israel was so repeatedly sick with the sins of false worship and spiritual adultery that many were afflicted with all kinds of illnesses. The man whom Peter and John found in the temple begging for alms is an example of Israel’s spiritual condition in this day. He was “lame from his mother’s womb” (vs. 2). The beggar in the temple also represented how spiritually sick and bankrupt the nation of Israel had become. As a whole, she was void of a living relationship with Jehovah. They were still very religious and active in rituals, but they were aptly described by Isaiah 29:13, when the Lord told them, “…this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me….” However, the Lord was willing to heal them physically and spiritually if they would only fully trust in their promised Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The beggar is also an example of how overjoyed Israel could become through saving faith in their Redeemer. Once healed, this beggar was literally “leaping and praising God” in overflowing joy (Acts 3:8). They could have known exuberant spiritual joy by knowing Christ.

While the beggar represents Israel’s past spiritual condition in the early Acts era, he may also illustrate some believers today. If our walk is far from the Lord, we too become spiritually crippled, poor, and lacking in joy. How is your spiritual health? We urge you today to genuinely draw close to the Savior with dedicated worship and thankful rejoicing.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."