Acts 3:14-26

Countryside Bible Church 11-6-99

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Times of Refreshing

Times of Refreshing    Repent    In Heaven Until...    To the Jews First    Conclusion

 

Intro:  Peter tells those who have just rejected and crucified their Lord,  Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…”

“Times of refreshing”.  “Refreshing” is from a word that literally means “recovery of breath”. 

I never cease to be amazed at the similarities of though and expressions with people and civilizations of centuries ago.  Today we have the expression, “catch my breath”.   After we have been excising or working hard or just plain busy with so many tasks we may say, I just have to stop, get something to drink and catch my breath.  A time of refreshing!

In so many ways, it reveals that we are like them and they are like us. 

So then, are these times of refreshing speaking of the present times or of the times that come with the return of our Lord.  Let’s consider this phrase for a moment.

 

I.                   Times of Refreshing

A.     Phillips Paraphrase give it as presently

1.      Now you must repent and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that time after time your souls may know the refreshment that comes from the presence of God”.

B.     Occasion is great conviction of sin.

1.      Fits the present need.

2.      “sins wiped out (blotted, KJV. Practice of creditors removing debtor from the list)

3.      God will forgive your great wrong

4.      God will lift your oppression

5.      God will refresh your soul

6.      Rejoicing was the first great response of salvation

C.     “times  of Refreshing

1.      “from the presence of the Lord”

... from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:19 (Left out by NIV)

2.      This makes one think these “times” may be reserved for the time when Jesus returns, his  “coming”, parousia, par-oo-see'-ah, Greek 3952;  . . . physical aspect :- coming, presence.

3.      This “presence” is most often rendered “face” and sometimes “countenance”

Hebrews 9:24   ... appear in the presence of God for us: 

1 Peter 3:12    ... the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 

4.      “Refreshing” comes directly from God Himself,  as you appear before His face.

Numbers 6:24-26     ... his face shine upon you ... turn his face toward you...

a)      Do not have to hide from God or feel guilty before Him (as Adam and Eve “hid”)

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II.       “Repent” 

A.     AND “turn to God”

1.      Repent more than confessing a wrong or remorse for an act of sin.

2.      Saying the Jews,  Away with your disbelief, your cherished, but mistaken views,  your bitterness and pride, your dependence upon your efforts of righteousness.

3.      Repentance is a life-long renouncing of the old, self-styled ways

4.      “Turn to God”  is a new direction of believing God,  attention to God and the interests of God.

B.     “Appointed for you” v. 20

1.      Jesus is God’s answer for you.

2.      As in Romans 8:32   He who did not spare his own Son, ... 

3.      Romans 2:4   ... that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? 

C.     Reason to repent?

1.      “That he (God) may send Christ”

2.      God does not want to send Jesus until you’re ready 

2 Peter 3:4   ... "Where is this 'coming' he promised?... 

2 Peter 3:9   The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,...

3.      Jesus does not want to come and find us not ready.

Matthew 24:42   "Therefore keep watch,... 

D.     “I know you did it in ignorance”

Now of course I know, my brothers, that you had no idea what you were doing any more than your leaders had.  But God had foretold through all his prophets that his Christ must suffer and this was how his came true”.

1.      Innocent by reason of ignorance?  No but-

2.      Yes, but.  Ignorance did make a difference.

1 Tim. 1:13-14   ... I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief....

3.      As Judge, God takes everything into account. 

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III.       “IN HEAVEN UNTIL. . . “

A.     The “until” of His coming.

1.      Matthew 26:29   ... I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day... 

2.      1 Peter 1:5   ... until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

3.      Philip. 1:10   ... and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,

4.      1 Tim. 6:14   to keep this command (to fight the good fight of faith ) without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

B.     “Until” suggests our time of endurance

1.      Rev. 2:25   Only hold on to what you have until I come. 

2.      James 5:7    Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. ...

C.     Definition of “Until”

1.      “the idea of terminus” – Strongs

2.      The “until” most often used (88 verses 9) meaning a continuance to a certain point.  Like traveling until a certain city.  Not necessarily that they stopped traveling altogether.

3.      But “Until” in Acts 3:21 designates a termination

4.      Jesus is coming back “home”

5.      Parables teach his time away represents his time in heaven

6.      Some try to blur any difference between earth and heaven in the future age.

7.      “What’s the difference”? flies in the face of God revealing

8.      Jesus coming back is more significance than just taking a little trip

9.      His place at the “right hand of God” will terminate

Matthew 22:44    ... until I put your enemies under your feet."

10.  His ascension into heaven is never spoken of as “returning home” or even “returning”

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IV.             To the Jew “first” v. 26

A.     Jesus was sent to the “Lost sheep of the house of Israel

1.      The gospel was to first be preached to the Jew Acts. 1:8

2.      Acts 3:26

3.      Acts 13:46  ... "We had to speak the word of God to you first. ... 

4.      Romans 1:16   ... first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 

5.      Romans 2:9-10   ... first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;... first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 

B.     “Bless you BY TURNING EACH OF YOU FROM HIS WICKED WAYS”

1.      Can be no blessings from God without “repentance”

2.      “wickedness” is failing to believe in the one God has given.

3.      “wickedness” is rejecting the truth for error

4.      James 5:19-20   ... if one of you should wander from the truth ... Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death...

a)  ERROR plane, plan'-ay, Greek 4106; feminine of Greek 4108 (planos) (as abstract); object fraudulence; subject a straying from orthodoxy or piety :- deceit, to deceive, delusion, error. 

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Conclusion:  God has true “times of refreshment” to offer.  Salvation is sharing in God’s blessings now and in the exciting times of restitution of all things.

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