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Peter and the Gentiles

Chris Buttery
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  • July 11, 2015
    11:30 AM
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You've been enjoying the school quarterly Bible study got biblical missionaries haven't you. It's been a it's been a it's been a great study but. Let's be honest it's been a bit challenging to hasn't it. It's been a tad bit challenging and we're going to delve right in and we are studying about PETA. PETA and the Gentiles and so very intriguing let's look at the memory text here it's from accepted to those as thirty and thirty nine. This is from the New King James version which is the Bible and typically teach from and preach from and says Then Peter said to them repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off as many as the Lord our God will call that verse is extremely significant to today's lesson. What we're going to be looking at today especially with regard to Gentiles those that are not of faith. You see human beings like to divide group and categorize people which can lead us to viewing some as being inferior and some as being superior. While this attitude is pervasive in the world exhibited in prejudice exhibited in bigotry in areas of race class status gender and religion has the church and this is the question of the questions we're going to be tackling here this morning has the church in some quarters succumbed to the same spirit. Witnessed in lackluster efforts to share the gospel among certain people did the early church struggle with prejudice and if they did how did they break down the walls of separation that came up between them and others how did God get through to the Apostle Peter. So he could be used to share the gospel with the Gentiles because after all even after his conversion experience. He even struggled with a tad bit of prejudice and bigotry himself question. The bottom line question really is how can God get through to us if we find ourselves in the same position. Perhaps we might find ourselves in that position more readily than we think we might be so let's begin with the first question and that is how what do we know about Peter who is Peter we know Peter to be an apostle shortly after the baptism of Jesus and you can read about this in John chapter one versus forty to forty two. Andrew which was Peter's brother brought his brother Peter to Jesus. That's how Peter became acquainted with Jesus the Messiah his brother Andrew evangelize to him and brought him to Jesus and essentially that made PETA the first Christian convert I don't know if you ever thought about that very interesting later he became the first apostle to witness the Gospel to the Gentiles. But I'm getting ahead of myself here will get on to a little later. Peter responded to the call to accept Jesus as Messiah and he associated with him into mitten Lee at the beginning now nearly two years later. Jesus had told his disciples to permanent discipleship you remember reading their Matthew chapter four and verse twelve how he called them away from their occupation to be with him more permanently. They met with him associated with him intimately but nearly two years after that time they walked with him and more permanently and up Peter not only but also injury and they working partners James and John the sons of Zebedee the sons of thunder. Peter appears first in all four of the New Testament lists of the twelve disciples when the gospel writers list the twelve disciples Peter's name is always mention first and that's significant because Peter became. A strong leader for the early church we know he often took upon himself of the role of spokesman for the entire group on behalf of the group. I declare you to be the Christ the Son of God and the Peter was often known to take these leadership roles in in a commentary it was said this is being said this of Peter his ardor his eagerness his earnestness his courage his loyalty his vigor and organizing ability not no doubt worked all mocked him rather for leadership among the disciples from the very beginning. Peter was eminently a man of action is enthusiastic disposition was his strongest personal character trait and then the commentary commentator says he was a man of pronounced extremes and his strong personality was a source of marked virtues and serious defects. Peter had some problems with impetuous he was rash and didn't fully understand the work of Jesus the Messiah. We know Peter was a fisherman. We know Peter was married as a matter of fact Peter's wife's mother got sick and Jesus came to our home. He told her she got up so of the disciples and people flooded that house throughout that day to receive healing and teaching at the hand in the mouth of Jesus. So that's what we know about Peter. However even though he was impetuous and rash. However on that fateful evening when he denied geezers three times with better shame. He looked into that face of compassion into that. Those disappointed eyes of Jesus and His life would never be the same again. PETA became a changed man. Peter was converted in the fabulous book desire of ages great inspired commentary on the life of Jesus. Ellen White tells us before his fall. Peter was always speaking and advisedly anyone you know anyone like there from the impulse of the moment he was always. Ready to correct the lips are moving faster than the brain or at least or something like that he was always ready to correct others to express his mind before he had a clear comprehension of himself all what he had to say but the converted Peter was a very different from reading story. He retained his former fervor. I want you to notice he was still enthusiastic still vigorous still fervent he retained his form of fervor. But the grace of Christ regulated his zeal. She goes on to say he was no longer impetuous it was no longer self-confident and self exalted but he was calm self-possessed and teachable. You know it's amazing what God's grace will do when it gets a hold of a person and you can be sure that this didn't come easy for Peter was like he woke up the next morning and he was a just a completely different man his heart had certainly changed his motives and intentions it certainly changed because he it had repented and encountered Jesus you see and then there were some things he had to learn but boy he was more subdued. He was teachable calm and self-possessed we are told that's page eight hundred fifteen of desire of ages. Now Peter was eventually given authority and that's different from supremacy. He was given authority from Christ to feed the flock of God You remember the disciples after Jesus of risen from the dead they went out back to their former occupation they were fishing and Jesus appeared on the on the beach and there was a miracle that was wrought and Peter recognised it was Jesus chanting in Randy G.'s swam to Jesus actually can't run in the water can you. But he swam to Jesus and there Jesus in front of his disciples his friends are about six to eight of them account number exactly how many but there are about sixty eight of them there on that beach eating the cooked fish that Jesus had prepared for them. He looked at looked at Peter and asked Peter if he loved him three times the amount of times. Peter had. Jesus Jesus asked Peter three times do you love me and instead of saying Well of course I do you know I do. He was possessed he was calm. He was teachable. And in humility he declared. I love you and three times he responded that way through to those three questions and each time Jesus encouraged Peter to feed the flock of God The Lambs and the sheep the young and the not so young he became the first apostle to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles and some are going to say well you know how about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. While he was coming to Jerusalem to worship in the temple and that appears as though he he was of the Jewish persuasion essentially Peeta. Became the first apostle to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. But is a gentile but as a Gentile and gentle as technically a non Jew to the Jews a Gentile was a non Jew from a Jewish perspective the Gentiles were often seen as pagans who didn't know of the true God and during Jesus' time many Jews had taken pride in their cultural and religious heritage that they considered Gentiles as being on clean dogs and they were often referred to as the uncircumcised gentiles and the HOF Gentile Samaritans we've used as enemies to be shown. And you can read about that in John chapter four eighteen in Acts chapter ten which we'll get to in just a moment. Now Peter. Even though he was a leader and he did struggle with his bigotry from time to time was eventually victorious but was eventually victorious over it helped the early church along with the Apostle Paul who emerged to be the main apostle to the Gentiles eventually but Peter and Paul both helped the early church to understand the need to proclaim the gospel to all nations and all peoples as well as guide the church through the issues that threaten to divide it more get to that next chapter fifty. So that's Peter Peter from who he was to what he became in Jesus Christ and there's a lot we can learn about the conversion of Peter in his willingness to be used of God One lesson stands out immediately a changed person in the hand of God can be a powerful instrument. Can be a powerful instrument in bringing others to Jesus Christ and so if we are willing and we are trusting in the Lord and He has our hearts and our minds watch out sacrament or watch out wherever you are what viewing from when God gets ahold of us great and marvelous and wonderful things happen let's go over to Sunday. Let's talk about Pentecost because here where we're what we're witnessing here in accepted to the transition the life of Jesus. Yes and into the early days of the early church. Well those thing a transition in the in the Jewish economy how God is is going to reach the world you see Sunday. Peter at Pentecost. We're next chapter two So let's go over there throughout his ministry. You remember Jesus had made it very clear that the Gospel was to go to how many people. Has to go to all people that it wasn't be kept merely to the Jews as was so commonly believed by the people in Israel they pride themselves that the Gospel was for them and them alone and you guys you know were the you don't deserve it and all of that Jesus taught about that. John chapter for you. Member his encounter talked about this with the woman at the well the Samaritan woman and the witness to the folk there. Matthew Chapter twenty four verse fourteen. Jesus said this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to the Jews. In all the world for a witness to all nations and then the end will come in and accept the one and verse eight year and accept it to just go to accept a one in verse eight. What did Jesus say he said when we're going to go to Jerusalem Terry wait for the promise of my father but you shall receive power that word is due in the Greek which which we get our English word dynamite from the god gave them true power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem. He wasn't going to avoid his own people and in Judea and Samaria and then we're to the uttermost parts of the world and so Jesus taught that in fact in Jesus' teaching in his teaching and his practice his teaching and practice was predicted or rather was predicated on the Old Testament Scriptures which declared that the work of the Messiah was to bring light. The Truth and Light to the Gentiles and you can read about that in leaven. Forty two. So what Jesus was doing was nothing new. God's desire was always for everyone to come to a knowledge of the Gospel the truth about God and the truth about his son and the great sacrifice have been made to win mankind to two to them and to eternity you see. So this was nothing new. Yet Jesus had also made it evident that the disciples first labors was to be among the Israelites did you see that and accept a wonder say you were to go away Jerusalem and then where Judea and then to the half Jews the Samaritans. And then way down most parts of the world you see the disciples were to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem and when the day of Pentecost had come God used Peter to preach the Gospel to the visiting Jews of the diet. Thus paving the way for the Gospel to go to about fifteen nations. But remember remember the holy spirit falls upon the disciples they go out they preach the Gospel this is the feast of Pentecost Jews from all over the land have come to Jerusalem to celebrate in this in this festivity and so it's at the perfect time for God to pour out His Spirit and what is God do. He pours out his spirit upon his his people those up in the Upper Room who'd come together who prayed together who pressed together who studied God's word together confessed their faults and in God put out a Spirit upon them and they spoke in other tongues the tongues referred to here and to our languages why did God give his disciples his people the gift of tongues was a sign I could stand around. Talk to each other in a foreign language and pat each other back and say hey you're converted you ever see the Holy Spirit. Who was there Jews from the diaspora from where are the lands and they came to the celebrations there in Jerusalem the presentations would have been given in Hebrew they would have known he. But they didn't know Aramaic which was the language of the disciples in those in that region and so God equipped his disciples his followers with the gift of languages so that everyone who came heard what they were saying in their own native time their native language was a powerful miracle. What was the purpose of it to spread the gospel to spread the gospel you say to take the Gospel to those about fifty nations are listed here in Acts chapter two. And so God moved upon his disciples you see. God gives gifts to his church to you and to me for the proclamation of the Gospel we're talking about being missionaries home and in our community in our workplace and in our society and God gives us gifts so that we might be effective witnesses for him. That's the reason for gifts God gives gifts not as evidence of conversion. That's the fruit of the Spirit. That's evidence of conversion that's different from the gifts of the Spirit God doesn't give the gifts as evidence of conversion but that the work of God might go forward. That's why God gives His gifts. Let's go to accept a two and this reverses twenty two to twenty four. Peter is preaching God uses Peter in a powerful way. This is a different Peter than what you're reading about in the Gospels. This is a changed man this man is has come under the influence of the mighty working of the Holy Spirit and notice he's preaching Let's take a look at his sermon and what he says to those that have come and who are listening notice men of Israel hear these words Jesus of Nazareth a man attested by God to you by miracles one. And signs which God did for him in your midst. As you yourselves also know him being delivered by the determined purpose and for knowledge of God You have taken by lawless hands have crucified and put to death whom God raised up having loosed the pains of death because it was not possible that he should be held by it. Now someone has accepted two verses that he entered in and we've read it from memory text but I want someone to read it again. Who's got that axe to thirty eight and thirty nine all the way in the back here. Jan's got that we're going to come to you in just a moment. Jan. So Peter what is Peter preaching about here to those that have come. Those that have come for the celebration. Peter preaches preaches the certainty and the purpose of Christ's death and his resurrection and what does he say. There he said it was impossible that he should be held in the clasp of death. It was impossible. Why wasn't it possible. Why why did Peter say it wasn't possible for Jesus to be held in the grave or number one because of the sure word of prophecy. Because of the show where the prophecy goes on in Chapter two verses twenty five through twenty eight in quote scripture where God declares that Jesus wouldn't see his body would see corruption in the grave he'd be raised and so based upon the WOULD OF GOD. Peter said it was impossible not to reason because Christ was sinless couldn't stay in the grave didn't deserve to be down there and thirdly because Christ himself was the life giver can hold the life giver down can keep that the life giver than can keep him subject to death and so the third day Jesus Ray was raised from the dead notices go on to his twenty nine to thirty three in the we're going to come over to Janet just a second as Mina brother and let me speak freely to you. Of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried and his team is with us to this day. Therefore being a prophet and knowing that God has sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body according to the flesh. He would raise up the Christ to sit on the throne. He for seeing this spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ that his soul was not left in Hades nor had it is for. See corruption this Jesus God has raised up of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God and having received from the father the promise of the Holy Spirit. He poured out this which you now see and hear for David did not ascend into the heavens that he himself same so the Lord said to my lord said in my right hand till I make your enemies your foot stall is gone. Of US thirty six therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ talk about direct and aggressive evangelism. Peter total I was the name told it like it was and it had an effect. Peter exalted Christ and as the promised Christ and Jesus of the promise Christ and the promised Lord he exulted Christ the position of Christ and Lord and what happened. Folks were impressed the hearts were convicted and then. They asked what are we going to do. Jan has the answer at least he's going to read the answer. Then said he then replant and that everyone if you'll be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sand. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to end to your children. And to all who are far off as many as the Lord our God will call a man. Thank you for PETA reveals the sinners appropriate response to the conviction of sin. What are they two things. Repentance and water baptism. That's exactly right. Repent is a baptism and of note it's important that we know that the Holy Spirit is said to be available to how many to all look at the last verse as many as our Lord will call how many is a Lord calling to salvation. He's calling all is calling everybody to salvation you say including the Gentiles meaning that the Gospel was to go to all no matter their creed no matter their color a matter their religion no matter their persuasion a matter their gender and we need to remember too without the power. The working of the Holy Spirit any effort that we make toward leading people to Jesus is going to be fruitless. We need the Holy Spirit more than ever before. Live in such a diverse city in a diverse nation and we all live with diversity different people and we need to know how to reach this man and talk to that mind and the Holy Spirit impressing those hearts bringing to them. Conviction that they might be led to understand the truth about Jesus the preaching wasn't just theological it was theological but it was it was moved it was given and it was impressed upon the hearts by the Holy Spirit and God used that message and many people responded in the Bible says about three thousand people were baptized and the Lord added to that you read continue and accepted to the Lord added to the church they really such as would be saved. These are folks from all over people responding to the to the Gospel you see. So this was huge the Gospel pen across essentially paved the way for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles the Jews of the Diaspora were convicted they repented they were baptized. They joined the church and then they went back home and what do you think they did they sat on it now. They shared it. They shared the message of Peter shared they shared about Jesus they shared about what had happened in their lives. I gave their personal testimony you can be sure that people were impressed and the way was paved for the Gospel to go to the world is going to Mundo was going to let's talk about Peter and Cornelius. This is part one and will do. Part two or next chapter ten in Acts chapter ten Cornelius verse one. Let's read this next chapter ten and verse one. There was a certain man in Syria called that up by the Mediterranean northwest of Drucilla. Caesar recalled Cornelius a century and of what was called the Italian regiment. So this is an interesting story about. A gentile. Century and who became a follower of the true God follower of Jesus Christ. Cornelius was a Roman Officer the Bible says He was a century and he was a leader the one that was over one hundred soldiers and to be exact. He was in an in a coma what he was leaving our churches who were non Roman citizens these were free men who were working for the Roman government they were arches and they were in the military. Let's go on verse two so this man was was was important. This man was very important. He was a pagan but not entirely Look at verse to a devout man and who one who feared God with all his household who gave generously to the people and prayed to God always what was he or the Bible say he was well. Devout what else is aside he was a man who feed God What else did he do. Gave alms he was a generous man hospitable man. And thirdly or fourthly what else to say about him he was. Prayed to God continually that's exactly ride in the book Acts of the Apostles page one thirty three and says believing in God is the Creator of heaven and earth Cornelius revert revered him God as the creator acknowledging his. And sought his counsel in all the affairs of life. He was faithful to Jehovah in his home life and in his official duties. He directed the altar of God in his home for he did not attempt to carry out his plan or to bear his responsibilities without the help of God That's why he was a praying man that's why the Bible says he prayed to God continually interesting. This man was a pagan but he wasn't a pagan entirely. He was a worshipper of the true God. And yet he didn't know it all. He was still according to the Jews a Gentile he because he was uncircumcised and the story of Cornelius addresses one of the most divisive issues decisive issues rather facing the early church at that time. Can a gentile become a Christian without first becoming a Jew That's quite a process isn't it. Now it can give your life to Jesus. You got to become a Jew. First get circumcised men and then you can become a Christian that was the issue that was the argument. Cornelius was conversion along with his household has often been termed the Gentile Pentecost. It was HUGE his conversion was huge. So big in fact that Peter had to defend what had happened to some Jewish converts. When they cues Peter of boycotting standard Jewish practices go. Keep your finger there go to eleven was a good verses one through four notice. Now the Apostles and the brethren were in Judea they heard that the Gentiles would also receive the Word of God who they are referring to Cornelius and his family and when Peter came up to Jerusalem those of the circumcision did what contended with him. Now you would think you would think. Praise God these guys gave their life to Jesus. There was evidence of a conversion the Holy Spirit came upon them spoke another tongues. No they contended with Peter first to you saying you went Thank you. You went into to the uncircumcised men and you ate with them but Peter explained to them in order from the beginning and then he goes on to explain what happened. His vision and Cornelius his encounter with the angel and so on this jump down verses fifteen eighteen and as he began to speak the Holy Spirit fell on them and this is what happened after Peter was sharing the gospel of Jesus Holy Spirit fell on them at from as at the beginning when the Holy Spirit fell upon us. Then I remember the word of the Lord how he said John indeed baptized with water but you shall baptize with the Holy Spirit be baptized with the Holy Spirit. If therefore God gave them the same gift as he gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ who was I that I could withstand God when they heard these things they became silent and they calorifier god same thing. God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life. This was huge. Now someone's got verses three to six we're going to have you read the force of Chapter ten accepted ten versus three to six he's got that right over here when it comes to just a moment sister. Now this was so big you we have to just step back a little bit the argument was. Men you've got to be circumcised you've got to become a Jew before you become a Christian even Jewish converts were contending this they hadn't fully given up their traditions and their customs their heritage it was so rich and you can understand steeped hundreds of years. Thousands. So it was tough for them to give it up and yet they understood when they heard the testimony of Peter I understood this could get us continue reading accept attend those a story through six. We're going to have a good story that thank you. The son of isn't it. Evidently. Of the night and against God coming in to him is saying to him. Yes and when he looked on him he was afraid and said What is it and he said and to him that prayers and are come up for a memorial before. And now send men to job. And call out and sign whole certain names Peter. He Lars with one sign they ten holds houses by the sea he shall tell the what to do but you love this look at the lengths to which God is going to get this man Cornelius who understands truth to a degree to bring him greater truth to bring him the Gospel of Jesus Christ the great Lance it comes to him in a in a vision sends an angel with a message and then of course the vision comes to Peter God setting this whole divine appointment up the meeting between Peter and Cornelius and his household it's incredible what. God is doing God soaring can the alias a seek of the truth he believe the prophecies he was waiting for the Messiah to come. He didn't know that they had been told fulfilled in the life death and in the resurrection of Jesus. You see he desired to more fully understand the way of salvation. If you go to Acts eleven verse fourteen just read that with me. Peter is talking and he's telling the story. And he says who will tell you words by which you and all the household will be saved. This is the story that Peter is telling about the dream the vision that Cornelius had. Telling him to send your servants tell him to tell Peter to come and see me and why why should Peter come so that all in your household will be saved. That was what was on Cornelius his mind he wanted to be saved. He wanted to understand the truth of salvation even more. And so what did God do. Well good luck Cornelius all the best and done all that I can do not go to great measures to connect Cornelius to PETA and to the church. You see yet Cornelius did have a part to play he needed to send for Peter didn't. Truth acquired by personal effort is often valued and appreciated more the truth. That's trust upon us. And so has had a part to play in understanding and receiving and in accepting truth. Now here's a couple of questions first. Can a person be a follower of God who does not have a correct understanding on all things that the Bible says Cornelius a devout man God fearing man does God judge a person based on the degree of knowledge they have of the truth or upon the use made of the truth that they have does God judge a person based on the truth or they have all the use made of the truth that they have the use made of the truth that they have that's exactly right and what does this teach us then about how we interact with someone who does not believe like we do. Does this teach us is there room for harsh criticism. Or should we express disinterested love and compassion. Yeah that's the way to go. Isn't it all the time. Now sometimes and you know you know sometimes and I think some of us we get we get into this habit occasionally we get kind of fed up with certain provisions in society in the way certain people would dress and the tattoos and the this and we complain and we and we forget we forget we build up these barriers. That's them this is us we go to the church where holy people of God with a remnant lets them and we and this happens sometimes subconsciously build up these barriers and God wants those barriers torn down. He wants the same people through the eyes of Jesus. These people whatever they look I wherever they're from whatever their background whatever they're going through there are much his children as you and I. Desires all to be say all to be so there is no room for harsh criticism. We should express disinterested love and compassion Amen Let's go to choose day when to do. Part two of the story we're not done with it yet. Going to move right along. Look at me a verse six in chapter ten. And they'll send to Joppa center Simon his surname is Peter his lodging with Simon a tanner whose house is by the sea he will tell you what you must do and it's interesting here that the angel didn't share the gospel with Cornelius. But instead he directs Cornelius to Peter who will then end up doing while claiming the gospel of God and love what it says in Acts of the puzzles page one thirty four thus God gave evidence of his regard for the gospel ministry and for his organized church. So when when when God was thinking to win. Cornelius he was going to win him into a vacuum. He was going to win into what the church to the church so he connected in with Peter it's the same with Philip and the queen Candace's of Ethiopia is treasure it was the same with Paul Saul and I us. God always is seeking to connect people who are learning the truth with his people who have the truth. That's how God operates and so that's. It's a big thing because when I walk my walk and I do my thing during the week that means I have to be aware that God is seeking to connect people out there with me and with you. He's seeking to connect them with you because I can't reach him. All I'm certain I can even try to attempt to do that. Some people won't respond to my ministry but they were respond to yours far better than mine. I mean when I look we leave here we're going to be more aware of how God's working and what God's doing in other people's lives and be ready to be used by him. You see she goes on to say the angel was not commission to tell Cornelius the story of the Cross a man subject even as it's a chair in himself to human frailties and temptations was to be the one to tell him of the crucified and risen Savior. So that's God's plan. He doesn't use an angels he uses you and me because we understand what it means to be tempted we understand what it means to fall. We know what it means to get back up and look to Jesus and hold onto his hand with the best candidates for leading people to Jesus the best. All right. There's so much we can look at here versus twenty four to twenty six. We won't remember Peter responds responded to the Cole of God to go to Caesar Urrea Cornelius was overwhelmed to meet PETA in so much the bat he bowed in reverential worship and Peter was not put off by that neither was he flattered and invited Cornelius to recognize him as a man like himself then versus twenty seven twenty nine PETA first explains to Cornelius and his household the Jewish custom. That he can't mingle with Gentiles and the emphasizes that he responded without objection. Peter also acknowledges in those verses that he had been taught. I valuable lesson that he should call no man was twenty eight. No man on clean that's right now versus thirty five to forty three. Peter preaches Christ to the family preaches Christ to the family preaches about his life he preaches about his miracles he preaches about his betrayal his crucifixion his burial his resurrection his ascension and his work in Heaven is man's representative an advocate he share within the gospel the. Not just a part of it. He gave him everything. Peter presented Jesus as the sinners only hope took on the alias and his family and they responded and again in verse forty three. Peter acknowledged again testifies to the truth that the gospel is to go to who still go to everybody to go to all to him all the prophets witness that through his name Jesus name. Whoever believes in him will receive remission of sins gospels got to go to everybody that a matter what they look like where they've come from what school they go to what job they have what political party. They are affiliated with and I just got to stop and pause here for just a moment. You know the climb is going a little tense and hot Republican debates one just had a Democrat debate coming up and several others. People are going to start taking sides and we're going to look at people and view them. Through different lenses. Potentially because I think politically different than you and me and we build up those barriers they go. God Once I was torn they're keeping First things first. It doesn't matter who's elected politician Jesus is still king. I should say president of the United States but God is King of the universe. Amen amen. So we so we're told we're told here that no man is common or unclean in verse thirty four and thirty five want to jump back to Peter opens his mouth he says in a truth I perceive that God shows no partiality but in every nation whoever fears him and works righteousness is accepted by him the same day the NIST church primarily thought his mission field originally was from the East Coast to the west coast and in one thousand nine hundred four the first official missionary John never mangers was sent to Switzerland and he primarily worked in most of the cases for Christians. It was until the eighteen nineties that the administration began to send missionaries to foreign lands people of other religions and and so sometimes it takes us all a while. To recognize and realize there's a great number of people to be reached and everybody is invited to receive Jesus and God wants to use you and I to be that vessel to lead them and to share with them. Jesus. Whoever. Someone's got Revelation chapter twenty two verse seventeen. We're going to come to you in just a moment relation twenty two seventeen I want to read John three sixteen For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but perish but have everlasting life Revelation twenty two those seventeen Thank you. And the spirit and the bride say Come let him hear you say count and let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely. Whoever thank you very much. Again it's whoever the call is for how many people. Everybody everybody even those that might not like you and you may not like them for everybody. God is seeking to tear down the walls of partition you see now in verses forty four and forty eight of Chapter ten the Holy Spirit. They receive the message of of Peeta Holy Spirit poured out upon can alias in his household and as manifested in the gift of speaking in tongues or languages. Now the purpose was to convince Peter's Jewish companions he took six people with him because he was concerned that when he went back and he reported what happened. They wouldn't believe him and you know what do you do in mingling with the Gentiles Peter. So he took six witnesses with him. They couldn't believe the ears in their eyes and so they are speaking in tongues was really to convince his Jewish companions of Peter's vision and that the Gospel was to go to everybody including the Gentiles. Well let's talk about Peter's vision because this this vision that came to Peter impacted Peter in a huge way what was the of this was the event it sensually that change Peter's attitude toward the gentiles you read there it's always record and accepted ten verses nine through twenty one and it relates the story of a vision that God gave Peter he was in Joppa he was in Simon's place he was a tenor and that we probably should brush. Over that will breeze by that quickly. It's a detail that helps us see that Peter wasn't entirely bigoted and prejudiced because tenors were technically repulsive to the Jews because they handle dead bodies and the body wastes in the process of doing the tanning However Peeta still needed some time to grow and was about to be given an opportunity to do so. So in verses nine through sixteen. Peter saw in vision a great sheep descending from down to the earth and ahead on it. Multiple unclean creatures creatures prohibited by God to ingest to eat. He heard the voice and you can read that all of it is eleven Jeromey fourteen he heard the voice of Jesus commanding him to eat them. But Peter protested seeking to be obedient to his heritage and to God's commands. So Jesus proceeded to tell Peter not to declare something God to cleanse common or and claim and this happened how many times three times three times indicating that it was a very important message. Peter who who was known as Peter by Jonah. Peter Jonah Peter the son of Jonah it's interesting. Peter and Jonah are very similar. We talked about Jonah a few weeks back. Both were cold from where. Both were called from Joppa both are reluctant both initially protest. Both or to convince them God intervened in supernatural ways you know Jonah was followed by the great fish he was there for three nights God had to reveal the vision the dream the vision to Peter how many times three times. That's right. Both are told to get up and go in both cases the Gentiles believe in interest only in both cases the conversion experience the conversion experience generated hostile reaction. Jonah. It was Jonah who was the one that gave the hostile reaction in this case it was the Jewish converts that were hostile to what had happened there with Cornelius and his household. And then in verses seventeen through twenty one of chapter ten God provided the answer to Peter's question concerning the vision because Peter didn't fully understand it when Cornelius the servant showed up to take him to this God fearing man. Peter realized that Jesus was in inviting him to eat unclean food at all but calling Peter to put away his prejudice. Don't call any man common or unclean The lesson is clear all people are acceptable to God He loves us each equally no matter our background or our present standing now we have a question. Richard. You have a question past presidents often asked if Cornelius was already a God fearing man. Then why did Peter need to witness time. And wasn't there a risk there would reject greater light does jeopardize his position with God And having said that. Why do we need to witness to people of other face is not God judging them by what they do it's a light that they have received and not the amount of light. How would you address that. Good question. Because a lot of questions you have a good question. Very good question. Well first of all who was the one that arranged the meeting between Cornelius and Peter. So it was good enough for God is good enough for who for you and for me it's good enough for each one of us. You say second Have you ever been in a room and I had one window and you knew there was a great view outside and you can't see it because of that one window. You say. How much can you see outside not much when you open the door you discover there's a whole lot more to appreciate God is not content with people having a one window experience with him he's not content you see and his truth is not designed to curse people is designed to be a blessing. So why on earth would God's people withhold more truth wonderful truth truth will set people free. Why would anyone withhold a blessing from people when they can discover more of God's truth last. The story highlights a very important point. Well people are acceptable to God Not all religions or faiths but all religions or faiths we need to remember that believing a lie is harmful and the enemy of God and man can use that to lead a person to be lost. Eternally here while the Christian faith is superior. I'm going to say that just for someone's benefit while the Christian faith is superior to other faiths. This doesn't make the followers of Jesus superior or better than anyone a life of disinterested love for someone is more effective in winning someone to Jesus than merely arguing the truth. God doesn't see all religions the same God and see all Christian faiths the same he's called a remnant that bears the truth to lead people to understand in full appreciation of his truth. Not so that they can live a miserable life so that they can be richly blessed you say so I hope that helps answer the question here. Well time is running now we're going to get to Thursday we got one minute to talk about. Chapter fifteen of Acts the success of the mission of the Gentiles raised some very important questions for the early Church regarding what Jewish requirements would be expected of gentile converts the main focus was circumcision of men as it represented compliance with all the Jewish requirements should male converts to be be circumcised before they're welcomed into the church that was an issue some Jewish converts thought it was imperative. If you read accepted fifteen verse one they believed it was essential for salvation. They believed it was essential for salvation the issue became significant enough for a conference to be held to resolve the matter. So there wouldn't be a distraction and hinder the church from its mission so what happened at the Jerusalem Council that helps settle the important issue. Well I'm going to give you four things that happened in about twenty seconds number one. Peter reminded the listeners and I'm going to you can read these when you go home. X. fifteen verses seven through nine Peter reminds Alyssa's of what he witnessed in Cornelius his household as the. Each of them upon accepting the Gospel receive the Holy Spirit. Just as those in the upper room had received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Remember their reception of the Holy Spirit came as as from a from a bang a command that Jesus gave to tarry in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father and the outpouring the spirit. Just as in the case of Kony Liz's family and it was a partial fulfillment of prophecy. So it wasn't just a pragmatic solution that Peter was offering but it was also a biblical solution. Number two. Peter goes on in verses verse eleven. Peter reminds those gathered for the council that salvation is through Jesus alone. Not by works at teaching handed to them by Jesus and the Old Testament prophets so again the solution is well biblical Thirdly the council was given the opportunity to listen to the working among the Gentiles apart from Jewish traditional requirements which gave evidence that the work of God was moving beyond the borders of Israel just as God had desired long ago and you read that in verse twelve. So again it was a testament of what was happening but based upon what God desired from the Old Testament. Again it was a biblical solution. And number four Jesus reminds the listeners about what God had told his people in Old Testament times about calling the Gentiles to himself he read that in vs thirteen to twenty one. Affirming Peter's testimony and that of Poland Barnabas from the Word of God God's servants essentially help solve the problem. They are the early church from the Bible and it was confirmed by the testimony of the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Gentiles and that's how problems are resolved through the working of the Holy Spirit and through instruction and counsel from the Word of God. Well there's a lot we can talk about and we've learned a lot from Peter's ministry just through the study in this week and we've we've got we've got some work to do that way. We've got a world to win by the grace of God and may. And this is the less of the Tycho I may we always view people through the eyes of Jesus saying people what they can become as transformed by the grace of God Would you join me in doing people that want to help people with the lenses of Jesus this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. 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