Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 8, 2019

“why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?” – “they shall glorify Your name”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 3:1-12.

“Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer.  And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.  When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.  But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!”  And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.  But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you:  In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”  And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up;  and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.  With a leap he stood upright and began to walk;  and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God;  and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement.  But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?”  Acts 3:1-12.

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If Peter and John did not claim any credit for the healing of the lame man, then why should we claim any credit for the good works that God does through us?!

God is the One Who should be glorified for the good works that He does through us.  

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.

“For who regards you as superior?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  1 Corinthians 4:7.

8 There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord,
Nor are there any works like Yours.
9 All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name.
10 For You are great and do wondrous deeds;
You alone are God.

11 Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
12 I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.
13 For Your lovingkindness toward me is great,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”  Psalm 86:8-13.

But, despite all the wondrous deeds and other good things that God does for us, we still will not give thanks to God nor glorify God unless God causes us to do so. 

Consider the sad story of Israel in Scripture summarized in the Scripture below that despite all the wondrous deeds and other good things that God did for them, they still did not give thanks to God nor glorify God.  Instead, Israel forsook God and chased after idols.

“7 “Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of all generations.
Ask your father, and he will inform you,
Your elders, and they will tell you.
8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
When He separated the sons of man,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the sons of Israel.
9 “For the LORD’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
10 “He found him in a desert land,
And in the howling waste of a wilderness;
He encircled him, He cared for him,
He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
11 “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.
12 “The LORD alone guided him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
13 “He made him ride on the high places of the earth,
And he ate the produce of the field;
And He made him suck honey from the rock,
And oil from the flinty rock,
14 Curds of cows, and milk of the flock,
With fat of lambs,
And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats,
With the finest of the wheat—
And of the blood of grapes you drank wine.

15 “But Jeshurun (Israel) grew fat and kicked—
You are grown fat, thick, and sleek—
Then he forsook God who made him,
And scorned the Rock of his salvation.
16 “They made Him jealous with strange gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 “They sacrificed to demons who were not God,
To gods whom they have not known,
New gods who came lately,
Whom your fathers did not dread.
18 “You neglected the Rock who begot you,
And forgot the God who gave you birth.”  Deuteronomy 32:7-18.

Other doctrine teaches that we just need to try harder.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that our natural condition is “Total Depravity”.  We are selfish and dead in sin.  We will not be grateful nor glorify God unless God chooses us to do so and does everything else in and for us to cause us to give thanks and glorify God as we should.

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”  1 Peter 2:9.


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