Hello, God is so faithful in helping us. It's so important that we help ourselves. Today's lesson is titled "Being Honest to Yourself" purposed to encourage you all to remain honest to yourself for the sake of helping yourself as God continues to help you. This lesson starts with Acts 3:6-8 and continues with additional scriptures primarily in Acts.
Acts 3:6-8 - It's three O'clock in the afternoon, and Peter and John are at the temple for the third of three daily prayer sessions. A lame man is laid at the gate of the temple. The man asked Peter and John for some money. Peter responded: I have something else for you in the name of Jesus (a healing yet to be manifested.) Peter reaches down to the man. The man rises as his bones and ankles stabilize. The man walks, jumps, and expresses to God his (God's) excellence (healing now manifested.) The lame man trusted Peter and the name, power, and authority of the name of Jesus. Trust, authority, power, and strength is exemplified in both reality and symbolization - the right hand.
First point established: The man is actually healed in the name of Jesus.
Acts 3:12 - The man's healing creates a crowd. The crowd is marveled. Marvel is defined as a mixture of wonder, puzzlement, and admiration. Wonder meaning inexplicability - indescribable in regards to the law of nature. Puzzlement meaning difficult to clarify by reason (ration.) Admiration meaning deemed to be. This mixture of indescribable, difficult to ration, and deemed to be, created an earnest look (stare.) The crowd with the stare is referred to as "Men of Israel". Men defined as male but sometimes not gender but maturity. More relevant, the common consensus was a mixed crowd of both people of law and grace. What's known was the crowd marveled and was referred to as people who delivered Jesus to Pilate, denied the Holy One and Truth (Jesus), and killed the Prince of Life - Jesus (Acts:3:13-15.)
Second point established: The people (crowd) acknowledged the man's healing in the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:16-18 - The people deemed the healing "beyond doubt" because of visibly eyewitnessing the healing provides confirmation. However, they turned the circumstance by acknowledging not to talk or proclaim the healing in the name of Jesus. Why? Not because they did not really acknowledge the healing rather than they did not want a "Jesus ministry" to be distributed and widely spread to others. This contradiction equates to their "not being honest to themselves" about the healing.
Third point established: The people contradict themselves regarding the healing.
Did the healing happen? Yes Was the healing acknowledged? Yes Was the healing denied? Yes.
Now, lets build from the above three fundamental points (scriptually supported) from a conceptual structure perspective unveiling additional truths such as honesty, dishonesty, insecurity, confession, non-confession, inferior complex, and ignorance. The conceptual structure perspective is the relationship between ideas-themes in relation to it's structure. In doing so, it shows the general ideas-themes derived or inferred (concluded by evidence) from specific occurrences. Pertaining to this lesson, the specific occurrences have been derived-inferred by given text pregnant with the above truths (honesty, dishonesty, insecurity, confession, non-confession, inferior complex, and ignorance.) Sometimes in conceptual structure, the language is not literal but figurative and symbolic. Figurative is when the ideas-themes are explained in the context. Symbolic is when the ideas-themes are explained in the context and somewhere else in scripture. In this lesson, the ideas-themes are within the context without the literal wordings of (honest, dishonest, insecurity, confession, non-confession, and inferior complex.) Importantly, the ideas-themes are without allegory meaning the ideas-themes exist in narratives not literal, however, possess concrete existence (meaning the ideas-themes do exist in reality.) The themes-ideas are literally explained elsewhere in scripture (for example: the word 'honest' has the same meaning but has literal language pertaining to reports and meditations in Acts 6:3 and Philippians 4:8.) Honest is defined as personal assurance-confidence substantiated by supporting evidence, proof. It's also defined as showing qualities of moral character such as: confidence, magnanimity (avoiding resentment, avoiding revenge, unselfish, and so forth.) Honest is commonly understood as "speaking the truth" which is also a moral quality character. It's antonym dishonest is defined as lack of personal assurance-confidence, to resent, to revenge, to be selfish, to not speak the truth, and so forth.) In relation to Peter and John, they maintained personal confidence within themselves regarding the lame man's healing (no denial.) Even the people (crowd) breifly maintained personal confidence within themselves regarding the healing (in the name of Jesus) before their decision to not speak or proclaim (deny) the healing. Their lack of confidence, selfishness, revenge, and resentment towards Jesus in Peter and John's ministry was a reflection of their insecurity. Insecurity is defined as not firm, not fixed, unsteady, and lack of confidence. The crowds contradiction of acknowledging the healing then denying the healing identified them as being not firm, not fix, unsteady, and lack of confidence towards regarding Jesus in Peter and John. Honest is confidence-security and dishonest is lack of confidence-insecurity, both exegetically evidenced in the given text but not in literal language.
In Acts 3:17, the people's ill intended mentality and behavior towards Jesus through Peter and John's ministry was due to ignorance. Wrap your mind around this unveiling to greater see their ignorance: The bible illustrates the crowd confessed (acknowledged-admitted to) both acknowledging and denying the lame man's healing. Confession is crucial. Why? Because confession expresses personal assurance-confidence moving towards Jesus, fellowship with God through Christ Jesus (Rm 10:9; 1Jn 1:9.) Non-confession expresses personal lack of assurance-confidence that moves away from Jesus, separation from God through Christ Jesus (2Jn 1:7.) Unclean (spiritual and carnal) and clean (spiritual and not carnal) occurrences have been in enmity throughout history: Edenic Dispensation, Ante-Diluvian Dispensation, Post-Diluvian Dispensation, to the present Ecclesiastical Dispensation (Gen 3:15; Lk 23:12; Rm 8:2; Eph 2:15-16; Jas 4:4) including the exampled confession verse non-confession of Jesus being distributed and widely spread (in this text's Ecclesiastical Dispensation.) There was opportunity for confession. They (the crowd) were provided opportunities such as: Old Testament prophecies, fulfilled New Testament teachings, Jesus incarnated, and vessels such as Peter and John that continued Jesus's messages and works. Keep this in mind, non-confessions actually confessed (proselytes at the time and the upcoming Saul to Paul conversion.) They were given alternatives, however, they chose dishonesty, insecurity, and non-confession. Their ignarance in Acts 3:17 can be defined as: Their choice to be dishonest, insecure, and non-confession created enmity with Jesus in Peter and John's ministry that falsely justified their attemts to hinder the distribution and wide spread of the gospel. Christopher Hall writes the problem of choice as: "A basic problem of fallen will is that it does not love good. In other words, more is involved in choice to obey than choice. I will exercise my will to choose in line with my feelings, loves and desires, and if I love the wrong things, I will consistently choose the wrong things. Peter Brown explains that 'an act of choice is not just a matter of knowing what to choose: it is a matter in which loving and feeling are involved. And in men, this capacity to know and to feel is a single, involved whole has been intimately dislocated'. As Augustine puts it: The understanding flies on ahead, and there follows, oh, so slowly, and sometimes not all all, our weaken human capacity for feelings". Bryan M. Litfin writes regarding Augustine:" Our heart is restless, until it rests in you". He was describing the fundamental spiritual longing which may try to satisfy in inferior ways, but which God alone can satisfy. Augustine discovered what the Supertramp never did: That real peace only comes from knowing God through Christ Jesus.
Again, the crowd was given the opportunity to be satified by God, through Christ Jesus.
Inferior is defined as low or lower in equality, value, or estimation. Inferior complex is defind as a persistent sense of inadequacy or tendency of self diminishment. Peter and John did not posses an inferior complex (proven in previous scriptures in this lesson.) However, the crowd had an inferior complex (proven in previous scriptures in this lesson.) Their inadequacy was manifested through their insecurity and their self diminishment manifested as their decay-perishment moving away from Jesus reflecting their dishonesty, insecurity, and non-confession. Also, inferior complex is reflected through doctrine. The Old Testmament was the inferior covenant. In the Ecclesiastical Dispensation (this text), the New Covenant was and still is the superior covenant (Heb 2:1-4; 7:12; 8;9;10;11;12.) Their adherence only to the Old Testament was an inferior way. The crowds satisfaction regarding hindering the distribution and wide spread of the gospel and disregarding the fulfillment of the New Covenant was a direct reflection of Augustines statement previously mentioned: Satisfaction in inferior ways but God alone can truly satisfy (again, they were given opportunities.) Ignorance, confession, and inferior complex are exegetically evidenced in the given text without literal language.
Lastly, I have provided exegetical evidence regarding the unveiling of rooted issues. The ability to answer the following question pertaining this specific text: Why were the people (the crowd) admitting, then not admitting, and attempting to hinder Jesus's movement through Peter and John? Dishonesty, insecurity, lack of confession, and inferior complex was the answer. Honesty, confidence, confession, and no inferior complex created stability and non hinderence (as seen in Peter and John.) It was the difference between "not being honest within themselves"(the crowd) and"being honest within themselves" (Peter and John) and how there are effects (as evidenced in this lesson) regarding being honest or dishonest within yourself. Hopefully, this lesson provides evidence that allows us to understand the reality of existing rooted issues such as ( honesty, dishonesty, confidence, insecurity, confession, non-confession, inferior complex, non-iferior complex, and ignorance identified in this particular lesson) in relation to circumstances today. I exhort you all in the spirit of self-help to "choose to help yourself by being honest to yourself as God is always honest to you".
Charles L. Robinson Jr.