Acts 3:7 – And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
For some days now, we have been talking about boldness, and in particular, boldness in its direct connection to faith. We have seen that true boldness is a living entity, arising from the God kind of faith. It is neither brash nor timid, but strong in standing. Today we examine this remarkable force further. Look at our Text for Today. In this particular instance of the performance of boldness arising from the God kind of faith, we witness boldness in the work of bringing someone to the place of being ready to receive from God. And when that boldness had set the stage by both word and action for the lame man to receive, it entered into the next step without hesitation.
What a joy it is to see the boldness of faith take action, and in our Text for Today, we see one of its most vivid examples. Peter took the lame man by the “right hand and lifted.” Note in our Text for Today that the words “him up” are in italics, meaning the translators added them for clarity. They certainly do not distract from what happened, but the key action words in this work of the boldness of faith are “took” and “lifted.” Matthew tells us that regarding the work of the kingdom, that “the violent take it by force.” This is not talking about carnal weapons or actions, but by spiritual ones. Still, we must always remember that when spiritual actions are taken, corresponding physical actions must be taken. Because these actions are taken in proper response to faith, they are not carnal actions, but spiritual ones, even though physical action is involved. That is what happened in our Text for Today.
We know that the love of God is clearly defined as keeping His commandments. We know that faith works by love. From this truth we can easily see that the God kind of faith and love REQUIRES physical response on our part. It is the “works” that demonstrate “faith.” And it requires boldness. We see it clearly in our Text for Today. After faith was released, work was required. So, Peter “took” the man by the hand, and having taken him by the hand, he “lifted” the man up. Peter did NOT ask for the man’s hand; he TOOK it. Nor did Peter ask what the man felt like doing; he LIFTED him up. That’s what faith does. It TAKES hold of what needs to be done, and it DOES it. Oh, and allow me to state it very clearly once more; faith does it BOLDLY.
Manna for Today – Acts 3:1-10; James 2:20-26; Matthew 11:12; John 14:12-17