Chapter Nine — Part Five: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 10/25/2021Foundation Scriptures:
a. Acts 9:29 AMPC — Preaching freely and confidently and boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and discussed with and disputed against the Hellenists (the Grecian Jews), but they were seeking to slay him.
b. The Greek speaking Jews were especially offended by Paul’s conversion and preaching of the Gospel, since he was once one of them.
c. When the Grecians had no answer for his persuasive arguments, they opted to silence him by force.
d. Acts 9:30 AMPC — And when the brethren found it out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus [his home town].
e. Again, Paul’s life was saved before his enemies had a chance to kill him.
f. He went back to his hometown of Tarsus.
2. Peace and Rest.
a. Acts 9:31 AMPC — So the church throughout the whole of Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was edified [growing in wisdom, virtue, and piety] and walking in the respect and reverential fear of the Lord and in the consolation and exhortation of the Holy Spirit, continued to increase and was multiplied.
b. The Church throughout the regions of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a period of peace—of rest from persecution—and continued to increase and multiply.
c. One reason for this, was that it had been mainly the Jews who persecuted the Church up to that point.
d. And now Jews were more focused on their own persecution from the Romans, which was rising at that time.
e. The believers were being edified—growing and being strengthened spiritually.
f. They walked in the reverential fear of the Lord—in holiness, submission, and obedience to the Lord.
g. Therefore, the comfort of the Holy Spirit was available to them.
h. This is how we, too, are to conduct our lives.
3. Miracle in Lydda.
a. Acts 9:32 AMPC — Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he went down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.
b. Peter went here and there, pastoring the churches in these areas.
c. Lydda was about 30 miles west of Jerusalem and 10 miles east of Joppa.
d. Acts 9:33-34 AMPC — There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedfast for eight years and was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [now] makes you whole. Get up and make your bed! And immediately [Aeneas] stood up.
e. In Lydda, he ministered to Aeneas, who was instantly healed after eight years of paralysis.
f. This was a normal New Testament healing.
g. Acts 9:35-36 AMPC — Then all the inhabitants of Lydda and the plain of Sharon saw [what had happened to] him and they turned to the Lord.
h. This was a fulfillment of Isaiah 65:10, “And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks…”
i. It is possible that Aeneas was well known in that community, because all the inhabitants in the whole area were impacted by the testimony of his healing.
j. When believers believe the Word of God and operate in the gifts, people are powerfully healed.
k. The natural result is that multitudes are convinced by the miracles and willingly embrace Jesus Christ.
4. Resurrection in Joppa.
a. Joppa was a seaport on the Mediterranean about 40 miles west of Jerusalem.
b. Acts 9:36 AMPC — Now there was at Joppa a disciple [a woman] named [in Aramaic] Tabitha, which [in Greek] means Dorcas. She was abounding in good deeds and acts of charity.
c. Tabitha in Aramaic and Dorcas in Greek both mean “antelope” or “gazelle.”
d. She was a virtuous woman and a committed convert of Christ—faithfully working, giving, and serving.
e. Acts 9:37-38 AMPC — About that time she fell sick and died, and when they had cleansed her, they laid [her] in an upper room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa [however], the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him begging him, Do come to us without delay.
f. She died, but they did not immediately bury her—they washed her body and laid her in an upper room.
g. The disciples called for Peter—no doubt hoping for a resurrection.
h. Acts 9:39 AMPC — So Peter [immediately] rose and accompanied them. And when he had arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood around him, crying and displaying undershirts (tunics) and [other] garments such as Dorcas was accustomed to make while she was with them.
i. Acts 9:40 AMPC — But Peter put them all out [of the room] and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, Tabitha, get up! And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she raised herself and sat upright.
j. Peter learned from Jesus—he put everyone out of the room before he began to pray.
k. First, Peter knelt to pray, and following the leading of the Lord, he commanded her to get up.
l. He gave the same command to “get up” to the living and the dead and both were raised up!
m. Acts 9:41 AMPC — And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling in God’s people and the widows, he presented her to them alive.
n. This is the first mention of a resurrection by one of the apostles.
o. It requires the operation of the gifts of faith, miracles, and healing.
5. Revival in Joppa.
a. Acts 9:42 AMPC — And this became known throughout all Joppa, and many came to believe on the Lord [to adhere to and trust in and rely on Him as the Christ and as their Savior].
b. Again, this powerful testimony caused many more to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
c. Acts 9:43 AMPC — And Peter remained in Joppa for considerable time with a certain Simon a tanner.
d. Peter remained at Simon’s house in Joppa for a considerable time (many days)—a season of approximately three years.
e. A tanner was an ordinary tradesman—and held in contempt by the Jews, because they dealt in animal hides, both clean and unclean.
f. Peter rode the wave of revival that began when Tabitha was raised from the dead and continued to pastor and minister in that region until the Holy Spirit led him elsewhere.