Acts: The Apostles in the Temple

Sermon & Small Group Resources

This is the fourth sermon in our series on the book of Acts on “The Apostles in the Temple”. Preacher: The Rev’d Dr Daniel Rouhead. Bible Reading: Acts 3:1-4:4:

Download the Small Group Questions, Going Deeper, and Sermon Transcript (PDF).

Next Steps this Week

BIBLE READING: Acts 3:1-4:4

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

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.” 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. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

“Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’

“Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin

The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

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CONNECT: How can you help continue to shape St Bart’s as church devoted to learning, loving, worshipping, and telling? (Feel free to pick one!)

WARM-UP Questions

  1. How do you react when you come across people asking for money? Do you give or turn away? 

  2. If you could solve a problem or heal an ailment for one person in your life who would it be and what would you do? What is your greatest hope for that person?

READ Acts 3:1-10

  1. What do you think life would have been like for the man to go up to the temple everyday and beg?

  2. What does Peter and John’s reaction to the crippled man tell us about the God they worship? 

  3. What does the response of the crippled man tell us about who, he thinks, has healed him? How is his response a great example of thankfulness and faithfulness?

READ Acts 3:11-26

  1. How would you summarise Peter’s sermon? What do you think is his main point? 

  2. How many times does Peter make reference to the resurrection? Why is it so important to mention?

  3. Is Peter trying to offend his audience in vv.13-15? Is this how the Gospel should be preached today?

  4. Why is Peter’s call to repentance so important? What is the effect of turning to Jesus?

  5. How does the Old Testament foretell Jesus' coming, and how does Jesus fulfil God’s promises in the Old Testament? What does v.20 tell us about God’s promises?

  6. If you had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a friend, which aspect of Peter’s speech here might you use and which aspects might you leave out? 

READ Acts 4:1-4

  1. Why do the Sadducees and the priests react differently to the crowd at this point?

  2. Should we expect opposition to the Gospel? Should this stop us from sharing the Gospel?

  3. When you hear that, despite all of the opposition, “many who heard the message believed”, how does that fill you with a great hope for sharing the Gospel today?

APPLY This Week: What might it look like for your ‘one person’ to turn to Jesus? Pray each day this week (at a set time) for that to become a reality.

PRAYER

Dear God, thank you that you are a healing and restoring God. Forgive me for rejecting you and help me to live for Jesus. Thank you that you bless the world through Jesus. Help me bless others. Amen!

GOING DEEPER

WITH CHILDREN