Accepting the message
Accepting the message.
It is a proven fact that a hungry person will eat. Hunger is a driving force. Hunger has even driven some to cannibalism.
God told Amos that a famine would be coming, not of bread and water, but of hearing the word of God. The famine would be so severe that the people would wander from sea to sea and from North to East, searching for the word of the Lord, but they would not find it.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus proclaimed “blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
There is no doubt that Cornelius and his households were hungry for the truth. God had Cornelius send for Peter, so the glorious message of Jesus Christ could be delivered.
Too often in this modern society, many give the signal that they are not very hungry for God, His word, or His Spirit. For some it is hard to be hungry for God when they are full on candy coated idolatry, glazed envy, chocolate covered self ambition, and golden fried lewdness.
- We must purge ourselves-Detoxify ourselves.
We must pull up to the table of God, even if we are in the midst of our enemy, with our hearts opened to the Holy Spirit, and expect to be filled with all that God has provided on His heavenly menu.
- They heard the word. Verses 34, 35, 36
Romans 10:17 tells us “consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of God.” NIV
It is extremely important to know the Spirit of God does not live in you until you have heard the word and accepted the word through confession of our sin.
If the whole wide world would take the time and listen to the true word they would realize that the gospel is universal.
Jesus instructed the disciples to “go into the entire world and preach the gospel to all creation.” This message is for every tongue, every nation and no one is to be left out or over looked.
- They believed. Verse 45
Not only did Cornelius and his household believe, but so did the religious who came with Peter, they were astonished because the gift of the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles the same way He fell on the Jews on the day of Pentecost.
When Peter defended his actions before the religious at Jerusalem he stated “If therefore God gave them the same gift that He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I should withstand God?”
Mark records Jesus statement when He said “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whosoever does not believe will be condemned.”
- They received. Verse 46
Right in the middle of Peter’s message the Holy Spirit fell. For the Gentiles to speak in tongues, it served as a sign to Peter and the Jews that the Gentiles were saved. These new converts broke out in magnifying God.
Mark 16:17, 18
- They were baptized. Verse 48
Spiritual baptism places us in the body of Christ. Baptism means to dip or immerse. These new converts were not saved by baptism, we are saved by grace through a living faith in Jesus but they were baptized so they could identify with Christ. This identification serves as outward obedience and evidence that we are saved.
The believer’s death to sin is the burial of the old life and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior.
If Jesus prayed, fasted, was baptized, led by the Spirit then who are we not to do the same?
So listen to the order:
They heard the word.
They believed on Christ.
They received the Spirit.
They were baptized.
Have you accepted the message of Jesus Christ and applied it to your heart and life?
Jesus said “If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on the earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before my Father in heaven. But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32, 33 NLT