Sermon Quotes: "More Than A Miracle"

“For a full understanding of the early church we need to read The Acts of the Apostles and The Book of Revelation side by side. Both tell much the same tale of the church and its experience of conflict, but from a different perspective. Luke in the Acts chronicles what unfolded on the stage of history before the eyes of observers, John in the Revelation enables us to see the hidden forces at work. In the Acts human beings oppose and undermine the church; in the Revelation the curtain is lifted and we see the hostility of the devil himself, depicted as an enormous red dragon, aided and abetted by two grotesque monsters and a lewd prostitute. Indeed the Revelation is a vision of the age-long battle between the Lamb and the dragon, Christ and Satan, Jerusalem the holy city and Babylon the great city, the church and the world. Moreover, it can hardly be a coincidence that the symbolism of the dragon’s three allies in Revelation corresponds to the devil’s three weapons wielded against the church in the early chapters of the Acts, that is, persecution, moral compromise, and the danger of exposure to false teaching when the disciples became distracted from their chief responsibility, namely, ‘the ministry of the Word and prayer.’” John Stott

“The temple courts echoed with his shouts of grateful praise.” F.F. Bruce

“It is instructive how consistently throughout Act the apostles vehemently disavow their own worth.” Bruce Milne

“These titles all speak of the uniqueness of Jesus in his sufferings and glory, his character and mission, his revelation and redemption. All this is encapsulated in his “Name” and helps to explain its saving power.” John Stott

“The name of Jesus is not a magical formula or an absolute power that operates apart from the person it represents.” David Peterson

“It is impossible to bring them truly to God unless they were first brought to a knowledge of their sins.” John Calvin

“The term means ‘wipe away,’ ‘erase,’ or ‘obliterate.’ It was used of washing papyri to remove letters written in ink. In ancient times ink did not soak into the paper but remained on the surface, so removing writing was straightforward. This then became the
metaphor. Thus it means an obliteration that leaves no trace. Peter offers the opportunity to have the penalty of sin removed completely.” Darrell Bock

“Here, surely, is the heart of the gospel of grace.” F.F. Bruce

“We may try to wash our hands of responsibility like Pilate. But our attempt will be as futile as his. For there is blood on our hands. Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance)…As we face the cross, we can say to ourselves both, ‘I did it, my sins sent him there’ and ‘he did it, his love took him there.’” John Stott