The Bulletin
of the
Church of Christ at New Georgia

Tim Johnson, editor

March 16, 2014

 
In This Issue:
A Notable Miracle Has Been Done
by Jerry Curry

Self-Improvement
by Richard Thetford

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A Notable Miracle Has Been Done

The power of God, though undeniable by the honest mind, has been assailed through the ages. Many imitators have come and gone, ultimately dismissed due to the lack of tangible evidence. The miracle recorded in Acts 3 of Peter healing a forty year old man lame from birth is particularly interesting because it is defended as undeniable by the enemies of God. As you read this summary of the miracle, please note with interest that those seeking to discredit the work of Peter and John are forced to admit that a notable miracle has been done.

The Miracle

“Then Peter said, 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. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.” (Acts 3:6-10)

Reaction of the multitude who witnessed the miracle

“Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.” (Acts 4:4)

Acknowledgement of the miracle by the Jewish leaders

“Saying, what shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.” (Acts 4:16)


Inquiry by the high priest

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, by what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” (Acts 4:5-7)

Peter’s response

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” (Acts 4:8-12)

The ruler’s dilemma

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.” “But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:13-18)

God glorified by this notable miracle

“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.  So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.” (Acts 4:19-22)

- Jerry Curry


 

Self-Improvement

 

The largest room in life is the room for improvement. Self-improvement should be the aim of each and every Christian. We need to look to Jesus as our example. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." The apostle Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

Robert Louis Stevenson remarked, "There is one person to whom it is my duty to make good, and that is myself." Oliver Wendell Holmes, famous novelist and poet of the 19th century, wrote, "To reach the port, we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail and not drift, or be at anchor."

No one ever drifted into improvement. It takes a determined effort. There's room for improvement in everyone's life. If you want to improve, you must start with yourself. If you aren't attending all the services of the church, by all means, start doing so. If you aren't studying as you should, start today. If you aren't promoting unity and love among the brethren, don't wait until it’s too late, start today.

Paul's prayer for the brethren at Colosse needs to be made for all of us who desire to do the will of God. He said, "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy..." (Colossians 1:10-11).

-Richard Thetford