csibiblestudy


WHEN ONLY CHRIST MATTERS
November 5, 2012, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book

Peter’s Changed Life (23- 29)

 We live in a world that is unfair and shows partiality.  As Christians, we serve a God who is fair and impartial.  So we either stick to our prejudice and rebel against God’s standards or we yield our lives to Him so that He can transform us.  Peter allowed God to change him and his prejudices against Gentiles as seen in this passage.

  1.  Peter’s Hospitaliy (23)-  Peter did two things that were completely opposite of his traditions and prior beliefs.  First he took non-Jews into his home and allowed them to stay overnight and then after travelling with these men, he stayed as a guest with a Gentile.  God had transformed him in a remarkable way.
  2. Peter’s Humility (24-26)- When Peter entered into the home of Cornelius, the centurion bowed at his feet to worship him.  Notice Peter’s immediate response.  Instead of accepting the praise and enjoying it, Peter told Cornelius, “stand up, I am just a man like you”.  To us we only see a man refusing to be worship, but read the part “I myself also am a man”.  Peter was confessing that they were the same, both men.  Quite the statement for a man who previously considered Gentiles as “dogs”.  When Jesus comes, things are different.
  3. Peter’s Honesty (27-29)- Peter starts off telling the large group which had gathered to hear him about the change that God had made in his life.  He recalled his past beliefs and what Christ had done to change those beliefs.  He now came to them, accepting them as equals and desiring to see God work in their lives.

Cornelius’ Response-  Cornelius told of his journey to this point and what God had done to set this up.  He saw the hand of God in all this and had filled the room full of hungry, enthusiastic, winnable people who were ready to hear and response to the gospel message.

 Peter’s Preaching Exalted Jesus and the Spirit Came

Biblically preaching is proclaiming a message which exalts Jesus Christ.  As we focus on Jesus Christ, we welcome Him to our worship and at this time the Holy Spirit sees an opportunity to come, glorify God and let His presence and power be evident.  The Holy Spirit looks for these opportunities because He is here to magnify Jesus Christ.  So when we life up the Lord Jesus Christ, we are creating a worship that invites the Holy Spirit to take control.  If we seek God’s power, then Jesus has to be the focus of our life, both in our thoughts and actions.

How Peter Exalted Jesus

Peter, in this sermon, made Jesus Christ the center of every word he spoke.  He put the Lord as the focal point of the service by making sure that the message was full of revealed truth.

The first truth is that Jesus brings True Peace to those of us who are rebellious against God.

Look at the part, “preaching peace by Jesus Christ.  God is seen as the Peacemaker through Jesus Christ.  Compare verse 36 with verse 43.  God is offering terms of peace through Jesus Christ in verse 36 and in verse 43 God offers forgiveness through Jesus.  We have True Peace with God only when His anger over our sins is covered by the blood of Jesus and replaced with the peace of God.  The only way this can happen is the True Peace we desire can only come through a personal relationship with the Peacemaker, Jesus Christ.

The second truth is the Jesus Christ is the Lord of all.  Notice the end of verse 36, “He is Lord of all”.  Peter lifts up Jesus as the Lord of all before Cornelius and his family.  We need to show others that Jesus is Lord of all of our lives by completely and totally turning our entire lives over to Him.  The great thing about this liberating message is the Messenger.  God sent good news of peace by Jesus Christ, the Lord of all.  This shows the importance of this truth.  God didn’t trust this message to anyone but His Son.  Jesus is Lord of all!  Not just Lord of the Jews, or Lord of the Gentiles, but Lord of all.  Lord of humans and spiritual beings.  Jesus is Lord of all the universe and Lord of all that is in it.  Jesus is pictured here as the focal point of everything.  He is seen as being Supreme over every part of His creation.  No wonder that God the Holy Spirit saw this as an opportunity to glorify Christ Jesus.  Our attention had been turned to the fact that Jesus was Lord of ALL!

The third point was that Jesus was a man, anointed with the Holy Spirit and with God’s power. 

Peter lifts up Jesus as a man anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power.It is tremendously important to say the awesome fact that Jesus—the Lord of all—was 100% man. That’s the point of Peter’s identifying him as “Jesus of Nazareth.” He had a hometown. He was known by friends and kinsmen there. He worked in the carpenter’s shop. The Lord of all had become a human like you and me (only without sin).  As a man, Jesus had chosen to limit his powers as God.  He demonstrated what God could do through a life anointed with the Holy Spirit.  One of the promises that Jesus made to us was that He would send a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to permanently indwell all who become the sons of God through faith.  The same power that enabled Jesus to have an extraordinary ministry is the same power that fills and controls us when we allow Him.  Verse 38 ends “for God was with him”.  While on earth Jesus, as a Man, relied upon God, the Holy Spirit, to provide the necessary power for Him to faithfully obey God.

The fourth point in the sermon was that Jesus, as a Man, empowered by the Holy Spirit was, and is, more powerful than sin and Satan

Peter points out that because of the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was more than a match for Satan.  Jesus walked in harmony with God.  The power of the Holy Spirit was a present intimacy because God was with Him.  When Jesus acted, the Father acted, because they were intimate with each other.  Because of the presence and power of God, Jesus acted in a way that was God.   The Bible teaches that Jesus was tempted outwardly by the devil just like we are, but that He always conquered the outward temptation to sin, through intimate fellowship with God.  The power of sin was broken by the presence of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ life.  The miracles and good that Jesus did was by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus rescues those who are oppressed and tormented and tempted by Satan.  Peter proclaims this truth because he wanted Cornelius and all that were with him to have this same overcoming power within them.

The fifth point in Peter’s sermon was that Jesus, who was a good man, without sin, was killed in spite of His sinless life. 

Peter tells the story of how Jesus came from heaven to this earth, clothed with a human body, and lived a life in complete obedience to God’s command and was sinless and then died a death in which He paid for the sin of sinners.

Jesus was killed in spite of the fact that he was God’s Peacemaker, in spite of the fact that he was Lord of all, in spite of the fact that he was anointed by the Holy Spirit and power and was stronger than sin and the devil and that God was with him.

Why did this sinless One die?  There can be only one logical explanation.  God allowed Jesus to die as the payment for man’s sin.  God was intervening in the life of sinful man, allowing a perfect and sinless sacrifice to be offered.  God was at work!

The sixth point is the turning point.  While it was essential that Jesus die for our sin, the transforming event was the resurrection. 

Peter proclaims that Jesus is alive from the dead because God raised him from the dead after three days.  God supernaturally stepped in and resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead.  His payment for sin was accepted by God and He now is alive, able to offer to man everlasting life.  Today, there is salvation in no other name, and He is Lord of all.

Peter also states that God also gave evidence of the resurrection.  Over 500 people saw the resurrected Lord on at least 10 different occasions.  They ate and drank with Him, proving that the resurrected body was flesh and bones and a digestive track.  He wasn’t a ghost or a spiritual being, He has a body that has been resurrected and glorified.  Jesus is ALIVE.

Peter’s seventh point is that the resurrected Jesus has been ordained of God to be the final Judge of all, both dead and alive.  Everyone will appear before Jesus to be judged. 

We all will stand before Jesus Christ as our final judge.  Some will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and will be judged for the faithful service we have offered as worship to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Others will stand before Jesus Christ and give an explanation for why they rejected Jesus as their personal sacrifice and Savior.  They will have to explain why they forfeited the right to a personal relationship with God, just to continue with their sinful and selfish life in spite of the knowledge that Jesus had died in their place to pay the price for their sin.  Because of their rejection of Jesus as the payment for their sin, they will be cast into everlasting torment, regardless of the good deeds they may have done.

Where you spend eternity is dependent on what you do with Jesus Christ while on this earth.

The final point in Peter’s sermon to this group gathered by Cornelius is that Jesus Christ is the source of God’s complete and final forgiveness of our sins. 

Peter presents Jesus Christ as the only source of God’s forgiveness for our sins.  Today, you can meet Jesus as the forgiver of all your sins.  Peter starts the sermon by showing that Jesus is the Peacemaker and he ends the sermon by introducing Jesus as the Peacemaker.  By God’s grace, we all can receive salvation by faith through Jesus Christ.  Because of our belief,  we were given the authority to become the sons of God.  This trust will result in us being clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and becoming a son of God.  We receive an inheritance and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  He uses us as His instrument, doing good works by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We can overcome Satan, self, and sin through the power given us through the Holy Spirit.  Our sins are forever blotting out, covered by the blood of Jesus and removed from us forever.

The final five verses tell us the results of Peter proclamation.

  1.  The Holy Ghost came upon them.
  2. Jewish Christians were amazed, because Gentiles Christians were being added to the church as equals with them.
  3. The Gentile Christians demonstrated the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the same way that the Jewish Christians did in Acts 2, magnifying God.
  4. The Gentile Christians were baptized with the same baptism as the Jewish believers.
  5. The Gentile Christians were obedient and asked Paul to stay, so they could be taught and grow.

 

 

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