In Isolation Thoughts 2

Sunday 15th November 2020

Hymn: Trust and Obey

Bible Reading:  Acts 10.23-48


In our last thoughts from Acts 10, we saw two men who were worlds apart, one was a Jewish Christian the other a Gentile Roman Soldier. Both were challenged by the Holy Spirit to come together, but before that could happen, there had to be preparation. We now come to the moment when their worlds united and God was seen in action. From this passage, I want us to consider three questions:

Why am I here?

What can I say?

What should I do?

These questions will enable us to look at the outcomes from the incident which was a turning point in the history of the Christian Church as it was the beginning of the spread of the Gospel across all nations.

Why am I here?

The men had come to Peter from Cornelius and he had agreed to go with them to Caesarea to meet Cornelius. After introductions and a misunderstanding about Peter’s status, they all settled down. Peter was surprised at the size of the audience and reminded them that he should not be there, under Jewish Law, but God had sent him with a clear message that he should speak with the Gentiles, so why am I here?

Cornelius then explained about the vision he had; three days ago. “An angel had spoken to me, commending my works, and telling me to send to Joppa for a man called Peter. He even gave me the address of the house where you were staying. I did that and you are welcome here, thanks for coming. Now tell us what God has told you to tell us.”

Here we see the frank recall of the event which he experienced. This was all he could say, he did not embellish it in any way to make it more plausible. He stated clearly and concisely what had happened. Is this a lesson to us to stick with the facts of the gospel, we do not need to wrap it up in the hope it will be more attractive, do we sometimes make it so covered in tinsel that its message is hidden and lost. We need to present the truth and let the Holy Spirit do the work in the lives of others.

What can I say?

Peter now had an open floor; he could say what he liked to these assembled Gentiles. He had opened with the statement of his position as a Jew but had also pointed out that God had told him to come and speak to the Gentiles. That was clear in his mind, but what should he say to them? He told them the truth!

  • God is the God of all nations and not just the Jews. He responds to anyone who comes to Him, who fears Him and does right. God responds to anyone who calls to Him in faith, knowing He will answer.
  • He gives them credit for being aware of the message to the Jewish nation, the events that had recently happened in Jerusalem and the impact they had made on the world.
    • God had promised the Jewish nation peace through His Messiah, that person was Jesus Christ, who is Lord of Lords.
    • Jesus had come and preached through all Judea the message of hope and peace. This was building on the message of John, who preached repentance with baptism as the witness to the world of a changed life.
    • He was also known as Jesus of Nazareth, He did powerful actions, such as healing, this healing came to those who were under the power of the devil. He could do this because God had given Him power.
    • This was all true because it was witnessed by others as well as Peter.
    • The Jewish authorities did not appreciate who He was, so they killed Him. They persuaded the Roman Governor to crucify Him. He died!
    • It did not end there, God raised Him from the dead and He was alive and was seen by many witnesses. He was seen by us, the Disciples, He ate and drank with us, so there was no doubt He was alive.
    • We, His Disciples were given the command to tell others about Jesus, He was God’s judge for all men.
    • The final powerful statement was that this was promised in the OT prophets, with the statement that anyone who believes in Him will receive the forgiveness of their sins through Christ.

This reminds us to simply tell the message of the Gospel. We will see in our final section what impact there was on the crowd that had gathered in Cornelius’s house that day. The way Peter outlined the events built on previous knowledge, we should try and establish a starting point in our conversation that does not demean our listeners, yet at the same time, assume they know it all. Peter went back into history to give a foundation to the message. The showed simply what had happened, look how concise his description of the events of four gospels is given. They didn’t need the whole story at this point, the principles were sufficient. Tell the principles of the gospel, Jesus came, died, rose again and by that, we can have our sins forgiven. What a wonderful hope we have in Jesus.

What should I do?

They listened to all Peter said that day, it was enough. They believed in Jesus and that brought a change to their lives. The powerful intervention of the Holy Spirit caused them to start praising God, they had heard enough. They even had the power to speak in other languages, this was amazing. Even Peter was astonished that God had done this for Gentiles. They had received the Holy Spirit, just like the disciples at Pentecost. There was one more step for them, to witness to their newfound faith by being baptised. So they were baptised in the name of Jesus, a witness to their new life in Christ. Peter knew that God was in this situation, He had brought together the Jew and Gentile to be one in Christ. The message of the Gospel would now spread across the whole world, it had all opened up by the meeting of two men, one in Caesarea and the other in Joppa, God was moving in a Spirit Powered way to call all men to repent and be saved.

Do we look to see this reaction to the message of the Gospel in our day? We should, the basic elements are the concise message of Christ Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, we tell, and God supports with the intervention of the Holy Spirit. We must not despair, if nothing seems to happen, Peter had to start with history and bring it to the present, the promise had been given in the OT but was fulfilled in the NT. We need to keep on telling and allow God to sort out the outcome.

Hymn: My faith has found a resting place…




Page last updated: 14th November 2020 9:31 PM
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