Acts 10:23-48

Opening:

Let’s read our church’s mission statement together, it is on the screen:

 

Matthew 28:19-20:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

Notice that Jesus says that He will be with us. We are never making disciples alone. We are never going evangelizing alone. This is something that we cannot do alone. Back up though, back up. Look at a very important word. I want us to play a game, let’s find a very important word in this passage a word that has to do with the sermon today and really had to do with the sermon last week.

 

Can you guess the word? Anyone? Call it out?

Nations?

 

Yes, The Gospel crosses cultures.

That passage is our mission statement and the churches marching orders.

Next passage is on the screen, let’s read it together:

Acts:1:8:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 

Notice the last phrase of this passage? Do you notice that it says, “Ends of the earth?”

 

Today, we finish the longest narrative in the book of Acts. This passage is pivotal in this book. This passage is a passage where not just one, but actually several Greeks receive Christ as their Savior.  This is now showing that you do not have to be Jewish to be a Christian. This passage is now showing that the Gospel crosses cultural barriers. This is now showing that the Gospel transcends cultures. This is amazing.

 

Galatians 3:28:

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

Luke 9:23:

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

 

So, we see in all of these passages the emphasis on culture. It no longer mattered that one convert to Judaism. A mistake in historical missions was that they would try to convert the Native Americans to their form of culture as well as convert them to Christianity. Judson Taylor was devoted missionary to China in the 1800’s and he was actually criticized because he adopted Chinese attire. He wanted to identify with the people, rather than expect them to identify with him.

 

We see a repeated them here: The Gospel is for everyone, the Gospel transcends culture. The Gospel is not political, but a-political.

 

Yet, there is still too much racism in the church. Yea sure, we think it is all dead, don’t we, we think it is a moot issue, but it certainly isn’t. Okay, here are a few.

 

  •          We still have racism from African-Americans against white Americans.
  •          We still have racism from white Americans against African Americans.
  •          We have racism against Mexicans.
  •          We have racism against Asians.

o   In those listed above I am afraid to give example but I would site some of the arguments of immigration.

o   I do understand that we need to protect our borders but can we not do that while still being humane and Christian?

  •          I have heard some very racists comments from so called Christ followers so please do not deny it. Let’s deal with it today.

 

Let’s pray and then read the Scripture.

 

Pray: Lord Jesus Take care of our sin filled hearts, clean us up, only you can…

 

Please read with me Acts 10:23-48 and I intend to show you that now Peter introduces Cornelius and his companions to Jesus. They accept Christ. But most of all Gentiles, non-Jews are in the Kingdom. The Gospel is for everyone. Verse 35 is a Thesis.

 

Let’s read the passage, turn with me to Acts 10:23-48:

 

23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

Peter at Cornelius’s House

The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people,but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[a] and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

 

Now, let’s break it down and talk about it.

 

  1.                     In Verses 24-33 Cornelius shares how this came to pass and invites Peter to preach.
  2.        Cornelius saw an angel four days ago. (verse 30.)
  3.       The angel was in shining armor, verse 30. His giving has been remembered, verse 31, which connects with verse 2. Verse 33, He did not want to hear just anything but what Peter has been commanded to share by the Lord.
  4.                   In verses 34-43: Peter preaches the Gospel.
  5.        Peter preaches a Gospel version shorter than some of his other sermons.
  6.       Yet, this sermon focuses more on the life and ministry of Jesus.
  7.        This is similar to Mark’s Gospel. This makes sense as Mark’s Gospel is said to have been written off of Peter’s testimony.
  8.       Peter knew when to stop.
  9.                 Verses 44-48:
  10.        Verse 45: all the circumcised believers (all the Jews) were amazed. A testimony that God had opened the Gospel up (Gal. 3:28)   
  11.       The Spirit convicted them and they were baptized.

Close:

 

So, now we really do see the great commission coming to fruition. Do we still see it happening today? I pray it does.

Let’s read those Scriptures again.

Matthew 28:19-20:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

Acts:1:8:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 

Now, I talked about racism. Where do you need to change? Who do you not want in the Kingdom of God? God wants everyone in His Kingdom, everyone:

Acts 10:34-35: Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

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