October 16, 2021

To This We Are Witnesses 18-04-2021

18th April 2021
Third Sunday of Easter
Title: To This We Are Witnesses
(Scripture Readings: Acts 3:12-19; 1 John 3:1-7)
By Heeyoung Lim
“Peace be with you.”
As we have seen the video, in the first part of John 3, Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer at three in the afternoon. A man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful. Peter looked straight at him when the man asked them for money. (1- 4) They were on the way to pray, but they looked and helped him first instead of passing their way.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (6) Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. (7-8) All the people saw this well-known beggar walking, jumping, and praising. No one doubted what had happened. (9) This happened at the beautiful gate. Where is our beautiful gate? I hope we can all feel the church door is “beautiful” whenever we are coming to church where we worship God together and look after each other. I look forward we can open wide the door toward the wider community and the world beautifully through our faith and lives. The physical and spiritual miracle occurred in the same man at the same time by walking, jumping, and praising in the name of Jesus.
God never asks us to give what we do not have; he expects us to give to those in need from what He has given us, and always to do it in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I hope we can thank God daily for all the great blessings we have in Christ.
When we call Jesus’ name? Luke uses “in the name of Jesus” thirty-three times in the Book of Acts. How was this man healed? How is all this possible? Because of Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him. However, using the name of Jesus is not a matter of new kind of magic, there has to be faith in the one who speaks His name.
When Peter and John were surrounded by an amazed crowd after the miracle, they said to the crowd “why do you stare at us?” (12) It was not though by our power, it was not us, it was Jesus. After healing Peter and John completely denied their own power and immediately said that all healing power came from Jesus. They proclaimed that God has glorified his servant Jesus; His name itself has made the man strong. (13, 16) Jesus has given him this perfect health through the disciple’s faith.
We also remember John the Baptist once said, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). All Christian ministries need to centre on Jesus. Our service for Jesus begins and ends in Jesus’ name, but God works through His people to accomplish His Mission.
In Today’s text, Peter reminded us that people rejected the holy and righteous one, Jesus and sent Him to His death; he said “your sins may be wiped out” by repentance in faith. Acts 3:12–19 invites us not to repeat the crucifixion of Christ and leads us to repent and turn to God. Repentance refers to a change of mind, sometimes it describes turning around and walking in a different direction. They crucified the Messiah, but some of them returned to God by repentance accepting Him as their Saviour. They killed our Saviour, Jesus on the cross, but God raised him up. God wants us to be God’s people who does what is righteous.
By God’s grace, repentance brings forgiveness through Christ, and that forgiveness is available to all who call upon His name in faith. The name of Jesus makes us grow up, rinses out our sins, and renews us. The resurrection and His work of bringing new life continues to be at the heart of the church. Most importantly, we are witnesses of risen Christ and God’s work. Repenting sins can be a sign of Christians and loving others can be a mark of authentic witnesses. Obedience to God’s commands is also a mark of our love for Him.
In 1 John 3, God is righteous and loves us with a great love, and God’s children do not try to live in sin. Especially Ongoing, wilful sin is incompatible with true Christianity. True Christian experience is revealed not just in our beliefs but in our behaviour. 1 John 3:2 starts, “My dear friends, we are already God’s children”, and it says, “we know that we will be like Him when Christ returns”. This hope will make us keep ourselves holy just as Christ is holy as in verse 3. We are witnesses of Christ in the hope.
We are loved by unconditional love and redefined as nothing less than God’s children and Jesus’ witnesses. We are also adopted into the family of God even though we have more changes to undergo.
Sometimes our lives are twisted by a combination of our own sin and the effects of the sins of others, but our risen Christ gives us His peace when we are broken and imperfect. From time to tome the world does not understand us because we have been given a new identity in Jesus. On the other hand, when we look at ourselves, we know that sometimes our old identity is too strong to ignore and too powerful to escape.
We may reflect “Am I a true child of God? when we do fearless self-searching, but we are precious God’s children and Jesus’ witnesses. We may face physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties in the experience of our own brokenness, but we can have a rest on the love of God and the peace of the Lord. We need to remember that God’ saving promise is far much bigger than our vulnerability and brokenness. God’s grace is much greater than our sins or pains. God will surely restore us in His way. By grace we are the Lord’s witnesses who purified by faith, hope, and love. In hope we cling to what God is doing to us and we seek solidarity, forgiveness, and peace in our lives.
I look forward to the wonderful change that will occur when we look at Jesus and become like Him. I believe we can get encouragement, motivation, and strength from the hope of resurrection. I pray we can commit ourselves completely to following Jesus and obeying His commands. I hope we are willing to help our brothers and sisters in Christ if they are in need and if we have something to help them in the name of Jesus.
God knows our heart, and He does not condemn those who are in Christ. However, no compromise can be made with evil. I believe that we are witnesses of risen Christ. God gave us opportunities to serve the Lord and others with love and willingness. Some ministry opportunities come when we least expect them and have not planned them into our lives. But we need to be ready for any opportunity for ministry God has given us. Our age, gender, and our circumstances do not matter to serve the Lord.
I hope we can think and thank more how much the Father loves us and I pray we love one another just as Jesus has loved us. I believe God will restore us by healing, comfort, and strength, and we can please God by looking, repenting, sharing, helping, praying, and loving until the very end. May God fill us with His joy.

Thanks be to God! Amen!
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)