SERIES: The Book of Acts

TEXT: Acts 10

MESSAGE: “The Gospel for the Outsider”

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“In order to convert Gentile Cornelius and to show the Jewish Christians the gospel was for everyone without distinction, God had to first “convert” Peter.” – Tony Merida

How does God make room for the outsider? In three ways—By…(1. Revealing Indwelling Sin 2. Shattering Social Divides 3. Embracing His Children)

      1. Revealing Indwelling Sin (v. 12-18)

In it (the vision) were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven. 17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate 18 and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there.

The propensity to discriminate is a result of humanity’s sinful fallen nature. People discriminate against others based on age, appearance, ancestry, affluence, and achievements…we must understand that prejudice in its many forms is evil, and we must repent of it. Further, we must keep repenting of the tendency to discriminate because it is deeply ingrained in many of us—even without realizing it. Even the apostle Peter had to struggle to overcome the sin of showing partiality.” — Tony Merida

      2. Shattering Social Divides (v. 25-28; 34-37)

25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean…34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed…”

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” — Genesis 1:26

The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” — Psalm 145:9

     3. Embracing His Children (v. 42-45)

42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.”

Acts 11:17 —  “If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”

TAKEAWAYS: What can we learn from today’s text?

  • Ask God to reveal your blindspots
  • Seek God’s way even when it’s not popular
  • Embrace God’s Vision For His Church

“Somewhere in Alabama, there’s a shuttered church that used to thrive. But it could not see the difference between the kingdom of God and southern culture, between the body of Christ and the White Citizens Council. The gospel, however, moved on without it and, as in the rest of the world, the mission is carried out by people who would have been excluded by that church in its heyday. As a matter of fact, most of the gathered crowd around the throne in Revelation 5 would have been excluded from membership, as would have the dark-skinned, non-English-speaking Middle Easterner sitting on the throne in the midst of the scene. You might say he was already excluded a long time ago.” — Russell Moore

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. — Revelation 22:17