After years of investigation and $ billions, man does not yet know how many stars there are in the heavens.

A nice round number that I have often heard is: a hundred million billion.

On a clear winter’s night, when the sky isn’t disrupted with clouds or those disconcerting aurora’s, it seems that the stars go on forever and ever.

And from our vantage point and limited eye-sight, other than brightness, minor color variations and the patterns of their arrangements, it looks like a lot of redundancy.

If you’ve seen a dozen stars you’ve seen them all. Amen?

We know better than that.

Every star is unique, and if we had access to the right equipment, we’d recognize that.

All the redundancy and duplication of stars, isn’t redundancy or duplication at all.

Everyone of them is a finger pointing to its Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ.

In a similar way, there appears to be a lot of redundancy and duplication in the pages of the Word of God.

Some scriptural stars are brighter than others,

And likewise we have the miracle of this lame man and another at the pool of Bethesda in John 5.

These and other scriptures stand out from among the thousands of others.

But in these two examples there are quite a few similarities between them.

Are they redundant?

And we have prophecies of the second coming of Christ, over and over again.

And some of the exhortations are repeated a dozen times.

How boring.

And yet when we put our telescopes on each of these things, we find there are beautiful variations.

In another example, Acts 3 is a reflection of Acts 2 in a great many ways.

They both begin with miracles; both contain powerful sermons, and both end in the salvation of souls.

But putting our telescopes upon them, we find that they have their own blessings and lessons.

We have adequately considered the miracle in this chapter, now let’s move on to Peter’s sermon.

We may look at a couple of the theological details in a little more detail later, but for this morning, let’s think about the message in general.

Let’s think about “Peter’s Three-fold Testimony of the Lord Jesus.”

Specifically, the source of the miracle, the redeemer of souls and the fulfilment of prophecy.

Christ Jesus is the SOURCE the GREAT MIRACLE.

When Peter saw the great excitement which the healed man’s thanksgiving produced, he raised his voice,

And he “answered” the people.

He replied to the questions of their hearts and the excitement in their voices:

“And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?”

For the miracle, Peter commanded the lame man, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to rise up and walk.

He wanted the man to know that he and John were acting upon the authority of Christ.

And then when the crowds started gathering he once again said that it wasn’t by either his power or John’s holiness that the man was healed.

“Don’t stare at us as if were are, by nature, any different from you.

We are just insignificant servants of the Lord.”

“The God of our fathers, the God of Israel has glorified His Son, Jesus, in the healing of this man.”

To be honest, it needs to be stated that Peter didn’t say that it was the Son who healed the man.

I believe that to be true, but that is not the way that Peter worded his statement.

The Bible teaches that when we have a revelation of Jehovah, it is seen through either the Second Person of the Trinity, or the Third, but not God the Father.

It was the Second Person, God the Son who dined with Abraham on the plains of Mamre, prior to the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And it was the Son with whom Jacob wrestled at Bethel.

It was the pre-incarnate Christ who visited with Adam and Eve in the cool of evening.

It was the Second Person with whom Moses spoke on the top of Sinai.

Every time we have some sort of special revelation of God it is God the Son Whom we see.

Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.”

“The Father is in me, and I in him” (John 10:30 & 38).

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him” (John 14:6-7)

“Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me” (John 14:10-11).

It is one of the fundamentals of the Christian faith, that Jesus Christ is by nature one with the Father.

He that has seen Christ has seen the Father.

They are in complete and absolute agreement in every possible way.

If you deny this doctrine then I don’t think that you have any right call yourself a Christian.

Notice that Peter called Jesus “God’s Son.”

“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up.”

When Peter spoke of Jesus as God’s Son he does so in an absolutely unique sense.

There is a very, VERY limited sense in which God is the father of us all, through creation.

Unfortunately, we are more the children of Satan than we are the children of God.

Because of sin, humanity no longer has a right to call itself children of God.

We divorced ourselves from the Lord by transgression.

But then there is a far more important sense in which those who are born again are the children of God.

Paul told the Galatian Christians,YE are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

If a person doesn’t have Biblical faith in Christ, then that person is not a child of God.

But clearly, when Peter was talking about Jesus and calling him God’s son, that relationship had nothing to do with the two sonships that I’ve just mentioned.

At Jesus’ baptism the Father spoke from heaven, THIS is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

At the transfiguration again the Father spoke so that men could hear: “This is MY beloved Son, in whom I am well, pleased; hear ye him.”

There should be no doubt amongst us that the relationship to which the Father referred was special.

And when Jesus referred to it among the unbelieving Jews, they picked up stones in order to kill Him.

When Jesus was addressing the crowds after His healing of a crippled man, in John 5

“Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath,

But said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

To the Pharisee’s Biblically trained minds, this statement was blasphemous, because it made Christ the Son, equal to God the Father.

And that is exactly what I am saying to you this morning.

This is one of the cardinal doctrines of Christianity.

It was God the Father, who healed this second lame man, in order to glorify His Son, Jesus.

And it was God the Son, who healed this lame man, because they act in unity and absolute agreement.

“That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him” – John 5:23.

Please notice in passing, the titles which Peter applies to the Lord Jesus:

He is the “Son of God” in verse 13.

In verse 14 Peter calls Him the “Holy One and the Just.

Both of these statements again point to the deity of Christ.

He is THE Holy One and THE righteous One.

He is by nature holy and righteous, unlike the rest of us.

And then in verse 15 Peter calls Christ the “Prince of Life.”

As I have told you before, the word “Prince” is “archegos” (ar kay gos).

Twice this word is translated “prince.”

Once it is translated “author.”

Christ is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

And once it is translated “captain.”

Christ is the captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10).

There should be no doubt in our minds that Peter cannot hold the Lord Jesus up any more highly.

He has already said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of God.”

And it was “in his name through faith in his name” that the lame man was miraculously healed.

And by the way, it was not the faith of the cripple to which Peter referred, but to his own faith.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth was the cause and source of this mighty miracle.

Secondly Peter declared that the Lord Jesus was the REDEEMER OF SOULS – Acts 3:18-19.

The Jews had been awaiting a Messiah who would succeed Moses and deliver them from the Romans.

In other words, they were looking primarily for a secular or political Saviour.

But the scriptures declared that their Messiah would first have to suffer and die.

We read from Psalm 22 a few minutes ago.

Psalm 22 is one of several songs of David which prophesy the suffering and death of Christ.

When you get home today I encourage you to read Psalm 69 as an other example.

The very first recorded prophesy, declared that Saviour would suffer in battle against Satan.

Turn to Isaiah 53:1: “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Zechariah 13:6 and 7 prophesy the suffering of Christ.

Daniel 9:26 describes the death, or the cutting off, of the Messiah and even tells us the time.

So many of scriptures speak of the suffering of Christ that Peter doesn’t even go into detail in his sermon.

Those Jews knew these scriptures.

But WHY was it that He should die?

Every little Passover lamb sacrificed since Exodus, 1,500 years earlier, tells us why.

And every one of the goats & bullocks on the Day of Atonement, spoke of the reason for Jesus’ death.

And so did the hundreds of thousands of other sin offerings and trespass offerings.

“Without the shedding of blood is no remission” [remission of sin] Hebrews 9:22.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” – Leviticus 17:11.

In his first sermon Peter said that Christ was delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”

This sermon says that he was delivered up by the very people who were listening to him preach.

“He came unto his own and his own received him not.”

They had “denied the Holy One and the Just, and killed the Prince of life, and desired a murderer to be granted” unto them.”

But God the Father “raised Him from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.”

Why did the Lord Jesus have to suffer and die?

In order to deliver His people from their sins.

The work of salvation had been accomplished and completed by the Lord Himself.

And now the requirements left upon man were to believe the Lord – believe the scriptures and repent.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.”

This blotting out of sin is equivalent to forgiveness of sin.

The Psalmist plead: Lord, “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.”

And the He replied, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” Isaiah 43:25 and 44:22

Micah praised the Lord, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?

He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities;

And thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

The Jews were right in looking for a Messiah to succeed Moses in delivering them.

But they were wrong in looking for a POLITICAL Saviour.

They needed a spiritual Saviour.

The Lord Jesus was speaking to some Jews one day in John 8:

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

We might argue even more correctly than the Jews,

“We’ve never been in bondage to any nation, since we won our freedom at Valley Forge.”

Perhaps true, but we are all the slaves of sin and in need of a deliverer.

And the battle for that freedom was fought primarily at Calvary.

It was won with the blood of the Son of God.

There was once a lame man at the Beautiful Gate, who had been miraculously cured through Christ.

But inside that temple there were thousands of others far more crippled than with mere mangled legs.

Those sinful cripples needed the miracle of salvation, the blotting out of their sins

They needed to be turned from their iniquities.

The miraculous aspect would be performed by the Saviour, as they reached towards him in repentance and faith.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.”

Peter testified before them that Christ was the source of the minor miracle performed upon the lame man, and that He was the key to the greater miracle called salvation from sin.

And then the preacher went on to say that . . .

Jesus Christ is the FULFILLMENT of great Old Testament PROPHECIES. Acts 3:20-26.

In Deuteronomy 18 Moses prophesied to Israel that he would have a successor – somewhat like himself.

This prophet, like unto Moses, would be a deliverer too.

But this second Moses would be infinitely greater, and one that eventually could not be ignored.

In fact, before this coming Messiah, whose name is Jesus, “every knee should bow, of things in heaven,

And things in earth, and things under the earth;

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Notice again verses 19 to 21:

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things.”

Peter was telling his audience the same thing that I often tell you.

“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come [again] in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

And when He comes it will be for the restitution of ALL things.

It will include the restoration of Israel, but even more than that, it will be the restitution of God’s holiness and glory in His creation.

“And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear [Christ Jesus], shall be destroyed from among the people.”

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.”

Our message two millennia after Peter’s sermon has not changed.

The gospel hasn’t changed because the problem of sin hasn’t changed.

And the promise of the Saviour has not changed: He is coming again.

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” – II Thessalonians 1.

Are YOU prepared for the return of Christ?

Are you prepared to meet the Lord if you die before His return?

Are you a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus?

“Ye must be born again,” as was illustrated by the healing of this lame man.

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Will you see the kingdom of God when He comes in the glory of the Father?

Have you been born again?