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God’s Word for You

Acts 3:16 complete healing

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, September 13, 2019

16 And it was by faith in the name of Jesus! This man whom you see and know was made strong by his name. and the faith that is through Jesus has given him complete healing in the presence of all of you.

When a word is repeated in Scripture, it’s the way the Holy Spirit has for underlining a point and putting exclamation points after it. Peter repeats two words here, ‘faith’ and ‘name.’ It was the name of Jesus Christ that healed this crippled man. Let’s understand the significance of this.

First, the name of God reveals to us everything that there is to know about him. But just as a person might not who Schuyler Wheeler is without something else being revealed about him, God has revealed many things about himself to us in his word (Dr. Wheeler invented the electric fan). Here before the people in the temple, it was revealed that Jesus gives healing, Also: Jesus is the holy and righteous one, the promised Christ who is the Son of God (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), that he is the Author of life, and that God raised him from the dead.

There are many other things we learn about God and about Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, but let’s notice one important point: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is not the same as any of the pagan gods. Baal and the other pagan gods are “worthless idols” (Jeremiah 2:8). No one can combine worship of the true God along with any of the idols. The LORD’s prophet said: “I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal, the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests—those who bow down on the roofs to worship the starry hosts, those who bow down and swear by the LORD and also swear by Molech, those who turn back from following the LORD and neither seek the LORD nor inquire of him” (Zephaniah 1:4-6). And Jonah said, “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” (Jonah 2:8).

Why is this important? That’s where faith enters. The grace of God and the forgiveness of our sins come to us through the channel of faith. It is the organ that receives, the IV tube through which God’s medicine flows into each one of our hearts. Faith is what attaches us to Christ.

For the crippled man, the name of Jesus brought him what Dr. Luke calls holoclería (ὁλοκληρία), “complete healing.” This is probably a medical term as Luke uses it, a physician’s judgment that someone is thoroughly sound and healthy. We can look beyond the miraculously sound and healthy legs of this man and look at our own souls, and even our own bodies. What is it that cripples us? It’s our sin. Our sin begins with the sinful condition we inherit, a spiritual disease that makes us predisposed to more sinfulness. David lamented, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 53:5). This is the “flesh” part of our list of enemies: the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh.

What will heal us from this burden, this disease of sin? Jesus Christ has healed us, and we obtain this healing through faith in his name. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25), and God credits our faith in Jesus as our righteousness. So how will you enter into heaven? Will it be grumbling and complaining about the many hurts you received in life? Or groveling and crawling because of the weight of the sins you bear? No. You will enter into God’s eternal temple jumping and leaping for joy, and praising God forever and ever, all because of Jesus Christ. This account of the crippled man isn’t a parable, but a true account of a healing, a healing that foreshadows our own entrance into paradise. Put your faith in Jesus, and be certain that because he lives, you, too, shall live.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.


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