Sermon: The Gentile Pentecost (part 3) (Acts 10:30-48)

The Gentile Pentecost (part 3)

Acts 10:30-48

Introduction

We pick up our account of Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10:30-48.  We jump into the story somewhat in mid stride.  Peter has arrived at the home of the Roman Centurion, Cornelius.  He has learned by direct revelation from God that he is to no longer consider any ethnic group to be unclean.

Peter asks Cornelius why he sent for him?  I think we could sum up the centurion’s answer like this…Peter, you want to know why I sent for you?  Because there is coming a day of judgment and I am undone.

TT- To Jesus all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Most people really don’t think much about God’s wrath….

Acts 10:30-48 (ESV)
30 And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing
31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’
33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,
35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),
37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed:
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,
40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,
41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.
46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

1. We Must Hear All God Has for Us

30 And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing
31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’
33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Cornelius is recounting his vision which took place four days prior to Peter’s arrival.  God had heard his prayers, and remembered all his deeds of worship.  Even though he was doing many good things and was being faithful with the light God had given him, he still was outside of God’s grace and without Christ.  He needed more revelation in order to be saved.

God had given this man some light and Cornelius was faithful to the degree God had revealed Himself to him and now it was time for Cornelius to receive salvation through Jesus Christ.

First and foremost we must see that God was moving and God was taking the initiative in the salvation of this man and his family.  God is always the first Mover in salvation.
John 3:8 (ESV)
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
The wind of salvation was beginning to blow.  It blew very hard on the Day of Pentecost…

Acts 2:1-4 (ESV)
1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Do you remember what happened?  Peter went out and preached a sermon centered on Jesus Christ and 3000 souls were plucked from the fire and set on solid ground.  He told them how they had sinned and even went so far as to blame them for Jesus’ crucifixion and they were cut to their soul and cried out what must we do!  It was what must we do to escape God’s wrath?
Then Peter explained that the remedy for their condition of being God’s enemy is to trust Christ and be saved.  Run to the remedy…Jesus Christ.
33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Cornelius and his family and friends are gathered to hear what God has for them.  What else was it that they needed to hear?

2.  All God Has for Us is in Jesus Christ

A. Peter’s Conclusion

34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,
35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
God is at work in all ethnic people groups.  He is extending His grace to His people.  Within those groups and within certain individuals whom God has chosen He has begun a work which is preliminary steps on His part to lead these people all the way home.  The first step is that God opens their eyes to who He is.  It may not be complete at this point but it is truthful.  When this happens the proper response is the fear of God.  We have been told already a couple of times that our friend Cornelius is one who fears God.
Proverbs 1:7 (ESV)
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
A person who is lost and darkened by sin has no fear of God.  However, when God begins His work, there will be a level of fear.  Fear of judgment because we now have some level of understanding that there will one day be a reckoning between God and all who are outside of His kingdom.

You see, God sent an ambassador ahead of His judgment to give warning.  Jesus preached repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.  In God’s goodness, He sent Jesus Christ before He sends judgment.  Turn to the Lord all who are sin sick and He will offer pardon.      
Step one is that God sparks within the human heart an ember of the fear of God.  The person then will begin to act in accordance with the amount of revelation God has granted him.

I have seen this firsthand as I’m sure some of you have too.  There was a man I met at work and began to witness to.   Initially, he was very vulgar in language and deed.  As we discussed God’s commandments and God’s provisions in Christ, his heart began to melt a little bit.  He began to speak differently.  He began to care about what God thought of him.  He began to see that there was coming a day of reckoning in which he would have to give an account to God for his sin.

At that point God was beginning to awaken him, stirring his heart toward Christ.  He was beginning to see his sin and beginning to fear God.  It would be a few years later, God would finish the task and he was converted.

This man, like Cornelius needed to hear the entire revelation of God…

B. Peter’s Second Pentecost Sermon

36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),
37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed:
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,
40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,
41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
This is so packed for of truth that in our time today it would be impossible to explore everything.  There are at least ______things I want to bring to your attention.

Jesus is Lord of peace and Lord of all.  Verse 36-Jesus is God’s Messenger of peace.  There is judgment coming but God offers a truce to His enemies through Jesus Christ.  Please understand, if you are outside of Christ you are God’s enemy.  The Bible makes that abundantly clear.   Jesus was sent ahead to reconcile God’s enemies to Him before judgment comes.  He is entirely and completely over all things.  Notice with me the tension between these statements.

So far there is no tension…He is God’s emissary of peace, anointed with the Spirit and with Power…so far so good.

Jesus overpowers the devil.

He is Lord of all…and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Messenger of God’s peace, and Peter accurately describes how Jesus did it,  He went around doing good, healing by overpowering the devil.  Jesus is stronger than Satan.  And God was with Him.  Again no tension here, everything seems to be moving in the same direction.

Here’s where things get a little confusing, at least on the surface.

He is Lord of all…Anointed by the Holy Spirit with power…God is with Him…He went about doing good…overpowering the devil…healing those sick…and yet, He was put to death!

It is not possible for the Lord of all, empowered by God, anointed by the Spirit, power over the devil to be put to death.  This is impossible.  All the things Peter says about Jesus are true and yet He was put to death by man.  Lord of all means Lord of all.  He is Lord of all who hung Him on the cross, He is Lord of those evil Jews and Gentiles who hung Him there, He is Lord of the metal that made up the spikes they drove, He is Lord of the wood fibers that made up the cross, He is Lord of the oxygen they breathed while nailing Him there, He is Lord of every event and every minute detail that God coordinated to make the crucifixion happen.  He is LORD!

Please understand unless God controlled all the events there would not have been a crucifixion.  This is what Peter is explaining to all the Gentiles present in the house.

Isaiah 53:10 (ESV)
10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
There is only one possible solution to this tension and that is Jesus is Lord of all as Peter says and He was crucified by a divine act.  God, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit were ultimately responsible for the Son’s death on the cross.  To believe anything else is to call Peter a liar.
In spite of all the good Jesus did He was killed…but God also had a further plan.  The cross was not the end of God’s plan.  It continued to also include the resurrection.

40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,
41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
Peter, further explains that the risen Lord of all is also Lord of the judgment.

42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
Beloved, Jesus is not to be taken lightly.  He is the judge.  If your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life you will be welcomed home, if not you will wake up in torment and punishment…
Notice something else, even though He is Lord of the judgment, He is also the source of God’s forgiveness.
43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
I must explain what, believing in Jesus means.  It means to believe so strongly that you entrust Jesus with your life.  He is Lord of all including Lord of you and me.  Believing in Him is believe these truths about Him or in other words believing everything about Jesus that is true and you are submitting to Him as Lord.  You see to believe He is Lord is to act on that belief.  To believe in Jesus means we believe everything God reveals to be true and we believe it so strongly we change our lives to submit to His authority and Lordship.
Have you received forgiveness through His name?  Are you a Christian based on what the Bible teaches or have you invented something to try to convince yourself that you’re alright with God?
C. When Christ is Preached the Holy Spirit Moves

44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.
46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

The Holy Spirit was poured out just like at the first Pentecost.  When He is poured out on Cornelius and his family, they begin showing visibly that they have received the gift of the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues of different languages, just as the disciples did in Act 2.  Jews were turning to Christ and now Gentiles are turning to Christ and the visible manifestation was speaking different languages.

When Christ is proclaimed the Holy Spirit moves.

Because the Spirit was manifested on all who were there, they were immediately baptized.

Cornelius and his family and friends heard all that God was revealing to them through Peter.  They heard and believed every word.  That day the Gospel triumphed over sin and darkness.  There would be one household who would paint the blood of Christ on their doorposts and be spared from the wrath of God.

The same God moved, The Father began the plan, the Son purchased the plan and the Holy Spirit brought it to pass.  Now it is very clear Jews and Gentiles both come to God through the blood of Christ.
That we would have our own occasions to say of folk very different from ourselves, what Augustine used to say of his friend Alypius, “we are washed in the same blood!”

I pray God would lead you to someone who needs to place their trust in Jesus Christ.

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