Faithlife Sermons

Who Am I?

Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

God on the move

God lifted the food barrier and the culture barrier so the gospel could be proclaimed to all people
Cornelius worshiped how he knew, but that wasn’t going to be good enough
Why didn’t the angel just tell him the gospel? Because God designed the gospel to be proclaimed by us
Main Point: We do not determine who is worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God on the move

Cornelius
In Caesarea
Jews were a minority there, hated people of Caesarea
Italian Cohort
A Gentile of all Gentiles
Who Feared God
Wasn’t “saved”, but worshipped God how he knew....which wasn’t enough
- he needed Jesus Christ
Doesn’t really make sense. Being Roman and part of the military, he shouldn’t be a God-fearing man
Sends two servants and a soldier to find Peter
Peter
Was currently in Joppa from those two miracles he had just accomplished through Christ
He’s on a rooftop praying
An active prayer life will always yield great fruit for Christ
Sheet full of animals
“What God has made clean, do not call common.”
“inwardly perplexed” - verse 17
His entire upbringing, the entire Jewish culture, the entire OT was full of commands not to eat certain unclean animals.
They were a nation set apart
They acted differently because they were God’s people
But God isn’t communicating just new food laws, as we’ll get to.
But as Peter is figuring this out, or trying to, the two servants and soldier show up, and Peter is told to meet them and go with them, and so the next day they head to Caesarea.
The Realization
Peter, standing on the threshold of a Gentiles household, psyching himself up “They aren’t unclean, they aren’t unclean, they aren’t unclean”
Not just Cornelius, the house is packed with gentiles!
Peter says, “Why am I here?”
Cornelius responds, “We are here to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
I.e.....the Gospel

All Are Worthy

We are often guilty of trying to predict or determine who is worthy of the gospel, aren’t we?
But what we see in this passage is again, a reminder that all are worthy.
Verse 34-35
it’s possible to neglect mission in pursuit of “personal holiness”
This is what the struggle Peter is facing…forsaking the “personal holiness” that he had been taught since a little boy
Will he be able to lay down his view of personal holiness, his upbringing, his way of life, and walk in the true light of the gospel of Jesus?
That’s what is really at stake here for Peter, and that’s what is at stake for us daily, and that’s what has been at stake for many people over the years.
Ghandi
See, Christians have struggled with the idea that all people are created equally forever.
We are told in the NT that the gospel is for both Jews and Gentiles. We are told that Jesus came for the sick and sinful
At one point in his life he was captivated by God’s Word, particularly the gospels. He couldn’t stop reading them. And he actually decided he wanted to become a Christian. So he dressed up, went to the nearest church, walked through the doors, and was told, “You aren’t welcome here, go worship with your own people”.
Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ. If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.
And let me be honest with you all, I struggle with this immensely. This idea of having to “look” the right Christian way that my world view is centered around…even at the expense of the gospel
And I’m quick to say I don’t show partiality, but in reality, I do, all the time.
Do you?
examples of:
Those people down the street (or in my class) who are weird
homosexuality - let me be really honest with you, but I really struggle with homosexuality. I mean really do, and I think it’s important for you to hear that from me to you.
I need the grace of Jesus daily in my life to work through these struggles
Redeemer Modesto
wine in New Zealand
See y’all, we’ve got a society right now that is hurting.
At one point in his life he was captivated by God’s Word, particularly the gospels. He couldn’t stop reading them. And he actually decided he wanted to become a Christian. So he dressed up, went to the nearest church, walked through the doors, and was told, “You aren’t welcome here, go worship with your own people”.
Racial Justice - we, believers, Gospel preaching churches, should be leading the charge on these issues because we are reading a text right now, tonight, that tells us we should be!
Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ. If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.
Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ. If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.
we are to be willing to lay down some of our pre-determined viewpoints in light of sharing the gospel
But, we do not forsake the gospel
39-41
Snowmobile
But if I would
Verse 44-48

The Uproar

Verse 34 - God shows no partiality
Verse 43 -
Now, this is fantastic news for us today, because the truth is, if Peter hadn’t obeyed God, if Peter hadn’t laid down some of his pre-conceived viewpoints…and no one else had taken up the mantle, we would not have the gospel, we would not be believers, do you realize that?
And remember, Jesus had said, “to the ends of the earth”, which if you look at it logically, the gospel was going to have to get out of the jewish race at some point...
But look at chapter 11, verse 1-3
Do you see the automatic response?
How dare you? How could you? You talked to “them”? You ate with “them”?
But I ask you, is not this the response we sometimes have when we see believers talking with “those people”
Isn’t this the response our churches sometimes have when we associate with “those people”
God is making it perfectly clear here, there is no distinction among men, the gospel is for all people.
And Peter responds to this critique by telling them the story of the sheet with the unclean animals coming from heaven, and then notice verse 17
Read verse 17

Application

And so I want you to challenge yourself tonight, to look honestly at yourself as even I have done.
Where am I guilty of standing in God’s way?
Are there any people I inwardly withold the gospel from, whether it be because of skin color, nationality, personality, or because of a type of sin they are commiting?
And if you think of anything, as we close in prayer, I want you to repent of that...
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