Faithlife Sermons

Barriers to the Gospel

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The gospel impact and spread was two years in Jerusalem...
Persecution pushed it to the surrounding area of Judea and Samaria…
Those who were partial Jews at least
About 8 years after the persecution spread we see God stretch His church… Specifically their leader… Peter!
you will be my witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the ENDS OF THE EARTH!…
Why had they been so slow in getting to the last part? God does have His timing and plan, but this also could have been possibly due to a prejudice...
Known for pagan gods (then again the Jews had them too!)
Uncircumcised- a setting apart God established with Abraham
A different diet too…
That and several thousand years of separation...
Prejudices: We all have them to some extent…
some over race or skin color
some over status level or social standings
some over where you live, what you wear or how you dress, what political party you are with, or what music you listen to...
the list could go on and on… those people in your life you hold at arms length or further!
how comfortable would you be bringing the gospel to them?
how much personal drive would you have?
for the Jews this was the “Gentile”...
GENTILES= deep seeded barriers, prejudice, disdain, and differences...
Known for pagan gods (then again the Jews had them too!)
Different lifestyle practices and traditions, different holidays
Uncircumcised- a setting apart God established with Abraham
A different diet too…
That and several thousand years of separation...
God was bringing salvation to the Gentiles in a very powerful way!
Paul states in beautifully how this barrier was torn down and for what purpose…READ
Ephesians 2:14–18 NASB95
For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
Our passage today and Peter’s message preached is how God did this initially in His church through Peter and a man named Cornelius… his message begins in verse 28 but God begins working back in verse 1


A devout religious man
Prays to God and God fearing
Gives to the Jews
Follows the religious practices (times of prayer)
Knows of God but does not know Him… (verse 38)
No faith! Angel tells him to send for Peter… (God desires to use mankind to share the gospel with others)


Leader of the church
Respectable Jew following God’s law given to Moses
Praying to God… hungry
Kill eat the many kinds of animals in sheet… unclean
(NO!) God’s response… verse 15what God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.
Three times God repeats this… God wants this to be clear!
Guest arrive (gentiles) welcomes them in to eat… leaves next day with six other men.
Two day journey Peter had time to ponder these things and what God was doing…
When Christ stated in READ
John 10:16 NASB95
“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
Or when Christ stated in
Mark 7:14–23 NASB95
After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. “All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”
As he approached this gentiles home he was better understanding the heart of Christ concerning sheep
John 10:16 NASB95
“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

The Clear Message of Jesus!

There is a crowd there when Peter arrives… ready to hear! (God is the one who prepares and works in hearts) We need to open our mouths to declare the gospel (verse 34)
Peter’s opening remarks set the tone and understanding for both of his audiences (the six men with him, and the crowd that gathered) READ
Acts 10:28–29 NASB95
And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. “That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. So I ask for what reason you have sent for me.”
Cornelius explains why he brought Peter there for both crowds as well… READ
Acts 10:30–33 NASB95
Cornelius said, “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour; and behold, a man stood before me in shining garments, and he said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. ‘Therefore send to Joppa and invite Simon, who is also called Peter, to come to you; he is staying at the house of Simon the tanner by the sea.’ “So I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Peter with clarity explains and introduces the gentile crowd to Jesus… READ
Acts 10:34–43 NASB95
Opening his mouth, Peter said: I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. “The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)— you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. “We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. “God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. “And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”
NOTICE: what is present and absent in READ
Acts 10:44 NASB95
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.
Hearing the message
Understanding faith in Jesus Christ for forgiveness for sin
They are sealed with the Holy Spirit… as Paul speaks to in Ephesians.
No laying on of hands, no circumcision, no change in diet, no water baptism, no delay...
Receptive hearts of faith brought the Holy Spirit upon these gentiles who were hearing the gospel given to them!

Response of Faith

This event is the gentiles “Pentecost” so to speak… read on READ
Acts 10:45–48 NASB95
All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.
The Christian Jews see the same Holy Spirit come upon gentiles as had the Jews!!!
Seeing that the Holy Spirit was upon them, Peter ask them… who can refuse them to be baptized?!
Public testimony of the work of Jesus Christ (even in a gentile)
Look at the unity here… Peter stays with them for a few days
Dwelling with
Eating with
Socializing with
Jesus Christ bringing about a unified body of believers
Peter reports this to the Jews back home along with the six who went with him… he closes this way to them
Acts 11:17–18 NASB95
“Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
Who in your life has God brought, who is on a path to death because of sin, for you to “open your mouth” and share the wonderful gospel message that leads to life?
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