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“Peter Travels and the Lord Works”

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

Let’s recall where we left off in the Book of Acts because we’ve been out for a couple of weeks.

You may remember that Saul went to Tarsus to escape being killed, and the Church in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was experiencing peace and was strengthening.

You may also recall that I said much of the remainder of the Book of Acts would focus on Paul, which is true.

However, before we focus on Paul, we’re going to go back and learn some more about the continued ministry of Peter.

So, let’s look at our passage today, which is Acts 9:32-43:

32 As Peter was traveling from place to place, he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed,” and immediately he got up. 35 So all who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which is translated Dorcas). She was always doing good works and acts of charity. 37 About that time she became sick and died. After washing her, they placed her in a room upstairs. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples heard that Peter was there and sent two men to him who urged him, “Don’t delay in coming with us.” 39 Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they led him to the room upstairs. And all the widows approached him, weeping and showing him the robes and clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room. He knelt down, prayed, and turning toward the body said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and helped her stand up. He called the saints and widows and presented her alive. 42 This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed for some time in Joppa with Simon, a leather tanner.

Let’s pray together before we go any further.


So, we see Peter was active in ministry. He was traveling outside of Jerusalem, going place to place, and ministering in the name of Jesus Christ.

Today’s sermon is entitled “Peter Travels and the Lord Works.”

So, let’s look at our map again. Here’s where we see Peter travel in this passage.

Ok, here’s Jerusalem. While going from place to place, Peter traveled to Lydda (also called Lod), then to Joppa.

Later, in another passage, we’ll find out that Peter will travel to Caesarea.

Well, what is Peter doing as he is traveling? He was ministering to those he encountered. He was doing miracles in the name of Jesus, and many were coming to know Jesus as Lord.

So, let’s look at what is happening in this passage in a little more detail.

First, we see that . . .

‌I. The power of Jesus led to people being healed.

There is no doubt that the power of Jesus was at work in this passage, right?

We see two miraculous healings through the ministry of Peter.

First, we learn about the healing of Aeneas.

Aeneas was paralyzed; he had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years.

So, this was a legitimate physical disability, not some minor thing.

Yet, in verse 34, Peter simply says, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.”

What happened next, church? Verse 34 says, “immediately he got up.”

Sometimes God chooses to work immediately, doesn’t He?

Peter told Aeneas to make his bed, which probably referred to the mat that he was lying on.

So, Aeneas was healed! He went from constantly lying in a bed to instantly making his bed. He didn’t need that mat any longer, because Jesus Christ healed him!

Next, Luke (the author of Acts) tells us about another healing.

We’re introduced to a woman named Tabitha, also called Dorcas, who is located in Joppa.

Tabitha was well-loved because she ministered to so many others, particularly widows.

However, Tabitha became very sick, and she died, leaving many in sorrow because of her death.

Tabitha seemed to be one of those who everybody loved. So, lots of people were sad when she passed.

Well, Peter happened to be close by in Lydda, which was near Joppa.

The people of Joppa had faith that Peter could help in Tabitha’s situation, so they asked Peter to join them.

Peter joined them, sent everyone out of the room, and healed Tabitha. He simply said, “Tabitha, get up.” We learn that she did, indeed, get up. She was healed by the power of Jesus Christ.

Of interest to this story is the parallel to a time when Jesus healed a young girl.

In the Book of Mark, we hear about how Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter from death to life. Mark said in Mark 5:41, “Then he took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum” (which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up’).”

We learn that the word for little girl is Talitha. So, in Mark 5, Jesus says, “Talitha, get up.” Then, in Acts 9, Peter says, “Tabitha, get up.” That’s pretty remarkable, isn’t it?

This reality is just a fun little reminder that Jesus said that the apostles would continue the type of ministry that He did.

So, we see these two powerful miracles that Peter accomplished in the power of Jesus’ name.

Well, healing is not the only thing that took place in this passage.

We also see . . .

‌II. The power of Jesus led to people being saved.

The pattern we have seen in the Book of Acts is that God does amazing things and people come to recognize the wonder and the saving power of the name of Jesus!

Once people experience Jesus they get saved from their sins.

We see this happen again in this passage.

After the healing of Aeneas, verse 35 says, “So all who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.”

Also, after the healing of Tabitha in Joppa, verse 42 says, “This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.”

You see, church, when the Lord works, people cannot help but recognize that God is wonderfully powerful.

Once they realize that God is powerful, God often opens their eyes so that they can see that He can save them from their sins.

Jesus pointed to this reality in Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

When God works through His people, other people start to see how He is working through His people, and then some of those other people also become His people.

God is a people person. He heals people, He saves people, and He uses people.

The power of Jesus led to people being healed, and the power of Jesus led to people being saved.

The power of God was truly evident in Acts chapter 9.

Now, some people may wonder if God can still work this way today.

That leads to our final point:

‌III. The power of Jesus is still present today.

I want to be clear right up front, church: God can do anything that He wants to do. He has the power and the authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, save sinners, and so much more.

There are generally two main schools of thought regarding whether or not God still does miracles like those described in the Book of Acts.

There are those who believe that these miracles have stopped or ceased. These people are called cessationists.

Then, there are those who believe that these gifts can keep occuring today, or that they continue. These people are called continualist.

I am a continualist, and I’ll tell you why.

First, I don’t believe there is any convincing scriptural proof to indicate that miraculous gifts, such as healing, have ceased.

Second, I believe God is still powerful and still works in powerful ways.

Third, there are credible accounts of miraculous events from all over the world, including from some of our own International Mission Board missionaries.

Finally, we see miraculous events described at the end of days, and if miraculous events have ceased, that doesn’t explain how those events will happen.

Now, I also want to be clear about something else: I don’t believe that all those who claim to perform miracles are actually performing miracles.

For some reason, this area is one which many false teachers and charlatans have latched on to in order to deceive God’s people.

Let me warn you, church: be careful, be discerning, and go back to the Bible. Don’t trust just any teacher on television or YouTube.

Go back to the Bible and see how God works. Remind yourself that the end goal of miracles was to point people to Jesus and the forgiveness found in Him. Miracles are not the end goal. Knowing God is the end goal.

Let me give you a little tip: if people speak more about healing or prosperity than they speak about forgiveness of sins and knowing Jesus, that is not a teacher you should listen to.

Be careful, be wise, and be discerning.

So, how should we respond, church?

We should respond by asking God to work miraculously in us and through us for the goal of us knowing Him more and proclaiming Him more. (repeat)

The power of Jesus is still with us today. Jesus can change lives. Jesus can heal sickness. Jesus can raise the dead if He wants to do so. Most importantly, Jesus can still save sinners!

Here’s our bottom line from today’s passage:

‌Bottom Line: God used Peter in a great way to do great things.

God used Peter to bring healing to a paralyzed man. God used Peter to bring life to a dead woman.

More than those two miracles, God used Peter to lead many to turn to the Lord.

Listen, church: God can use you in a great way to do great things. God can use our church in a great way to do great things.

Do you believe that? God is still using His people today!

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

‌Weekly Challenge #1 – Ask God to accomplish great things in you.

God will not work through you in a way like He did in Peter until He first works in you.

God can change you in a mighty way. God can save you from your sins. God can increase your faith in Him.

God can do great things through you. First, ask God to accomplish great things in you.

‌Weekly Challenge #2 – Ask God to accomplish great things through you.

Once you’ve surrendered yourself to God, and He has done great things in you, then God can do great things through you.

Don’t you want to be used by God? Don’t you want God to do great things through you? If so, spend some time this week asking God to do great things through you.

‌Weekly Challenge #3 – Ask God to accomplish great things through our church.

Church, I believe that God wants to do some amazing things in our community and in our world, and I believe He wants to do so through our church.

Would you join me in asking God to do great things through our church, for His glory? Challenge yourself to ask God to do that this week.

God did great things then, and He is doing great things now. Come to Him, and see what He will do in your life. (Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

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