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Sermon Notes 7/17/2022: Outpouring of The Holy Spirit on The Gentiles

Gentile Outpouring

Whenever the gospel is preached and the power of the Holy Spirit is poured out, lives are changed

On the day of Pentecost we saw the Holy Spirit fall on the 120 witnesses in the upper room

Last week we saw how the Holy Spirit fell upon the believers in Samaria

Peter and John saw through the evidence of speaking in tongues that the Holy Spirit was received and given to the believers in Samaria

Today we find ourselves in Acts chapter 10

This will be another major event in the life of the early church

Throughout Jewish history the Jews always viewed the gentiles as unclean

But today we will see that the Lord will reveal that not only has the way of salvation been opened to the gentiles but they are able to receive The Holy Spirit as well

Acts 10

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

1)The Lord has prepared The heart of Cornelius to receive

a) He is a centurion in the Italian Regiment

b) He is a gentile

c) He and his family are known as devout and those who fear God

d) He had a reverential fear of God

e) He demonstrated godly character by giving generously to the poor

f) He had not yet come to know Christ personally

g) In prayer his heart and mind are prepared to receive a message from an angel sent by God

h) The angel sent gives him specific instructions

i) He is to send for Simon Peter

j) God has prepared the heart of Cornelius to receive not only the gospel, but the coming of The Holy Spirit

k) When God desires to do anything in our lives He will always prepare our hearts ahead of time

9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

· God is preparing the heart of Peter to minister to gentiles

o The Jews would often pray during the hours of 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm

o It is in prayer that Peter encounters a vision from the Lord by being placed in a trance

§ The difference between a dream and a vision from God is one happens while we are asleep and the other happens while we are awake

o We must remember Peter is a Jew and therefore lives according to Jewish dietary laws

§ Leviticus 20:25 25 “ ‘You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground—those that I have set apart as unclean for you.

o But Jesus had also said this during his earthly ministry

§ Matthew 15:11 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

o The Lord had to communicate to Peter this way for Peter to Understand

o God says to Peter Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

o Peter hears this three times from God and God is showing Peter that this has been established by the Lord

o But ultimately would prepare Peter to go to the home of Cornelius

o God understood that Peter would hesitate and be resistant to go to the home of a Gentile

o But through this vision the Lord is showing Peter that he is not to call something unclean that God has made clean

o When a person comes to saving faith their sins are washed away

o There life is prepared to receive The Holy Spirit

17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”

22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along.

· The Holy Spirit gives Peter specific instructions

o As Peter meditates and reflects on the vision he has just received The Holy Spirit speaks to him

o The Holy Spirit gives specific instructions concerning the men who have arrived

§ Without the Holy Spirit the purposes of God are not accomplished

§ It is the Holy Spirit who guides us one step and decision at a time

§ The Holy Spirit makes it clear that He is the one who has sent them

o Peter inquires as to why they have come

§ They once again speak about Cornelius being a devout and God fearing man

§ He is greatly respected by the Jewish people

§ Cornelius is the perfect candidate for God to move in his life

§ It is not his educational level nor his background

§ He has a heart that fears the Living God and is hungry for God

o Because of the vision and the encounter with The Holy Spirit Peter invites these gentile men into the home he is staying in

§ Without the preparation and assistance of The Holy Spirit we would be lost

o We see Peter has not gone alone but some of the Jewish believers have accompanied him

§ They will be eye witnesses to what God is about to do in the lives of these gentiles

24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.

· Cornelius has gathered his family and close friends

o There hearts are prepared by The Holy Spirit to receive the gospel

§ Cornelius falls at the feet of Peter but Peter rightly tells him to stand up

§ We must remember that Cornelius as a gentile was immersed in a culture that worshipped many gods

o Peter points out that it is against the Jewish law to associate or visit with a gentile

§ But Peter has come to understand the purpose of the vision

§ What God calls clean and has made clean cannot be called unclean

o Cornelius shares his encounter with the angel

o His heart and those with him are ready to receive the gospel and all Peter has to share

§ When God calls us to minister He goes before us

§ He prepares hearts

§ We don’t save anyone

§ We don’t baptize anyone in The Holy Spirit

§ But for anyone to receive anything from God their heart must be willing and it must be prepared

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

· Peter preaches the gospel

o This account of the gospel follows Mark’s gospel that begins with the ministry of John The Baptist

o Many believe Mark’s gospel is the eye witness account of Peter

o Peter proclaims all that Christ did

o Peter makes a key statement I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right

o Sometimes we may wonder what does it mean to proclaim the gospel

§ Peter recounts the baptism of Jesus by John

§ Peter speaks of Jesus being anointed and the miracles He preformed through the power of The Holy Spirit

§ He speaks of Jesus death and resurrection

§ He also speaks of the eye witnesses that God had chosen who saw the Living Christ after His resurrection

§ Where the door is open for Cornelius and those with him to The Holy Spirit is when Peter says that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

o When a person comes to saving faith in Christ their heart is open to The Holy Spirit

§ Faith leads to salvation

§ Faith leads to forgiveness

§ The sins of Cornelius and the gentiles with him are washed away

§ This is why the proclamation of the gospel is so important

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

· The Holy Spirit falls upon these gentile believers

o While Peter is speaking and proclaiming the gospel

§ No one laid hands on these believers

§ As the Holy Spirit falls upon them they speak in tongues

§ It is an outward sign of an inward reality

§ They are baptized in The Holy Spirit

§ This was the gentile Pentecost

§ The eye witnesses with Peter see this for themselves

o They received The Holy Spirit before ever being water baptized

o This event opened the door for the gospel to continue to go forth not only for the Jews and Samaritans, but now for the gentiles as well

God’s desire is to empower us for ministry

Today many of us who are in this room would be considered gentiles

Our gender, race, and background cannot keep us from what God has for us

To receive what God has and all He desires to do we must desire it

We must hunger after Him

Cornelius and those with him were prepared in advance because they feared the Living God

They were devout

Today as we open the altars for those who need prayer may we simply respond and desire to all that the Holy Spirit wants to do

But again it is important to see that when people are baptized in The Holy Spirit that they physically speak in tongues

Some will disagree that these two things are connected, but there is a clear relationship that the Holy Spirit highlights in the book of Acts

The focus of the book of Acts is the work of The Holy Spirit in the lives of the early believers

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