Oh, children, I am drawing a garden full of flowers. Purple, purple, purple, I love purple flowers…a garden full of purple flowers.. Nice? No… God created flowers in many colors, so … That’s right.
God made you and me, we are different. God loves you only, loves me only, loves him only,,, God loves all. This reminds me of last Sunday’s message, Pastor Sidney shared how God showed Peter a vision instructing him that God has made unclean and impure thing clean and pure. Also God told him 3 men from Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, who were gentiles were about to come. Peter obeyed God’s instruction.
We will start in Acts 10 verse 23 to continue the message of ‘Salvation is for All’ part II. Peter invited the three men to spend the night there and they would get up in the morning and begin travelling to Joppa. We see Peter’s immediate obedience to God’s instructions by allowing Gentiles to stay with him.
Peter got up in the morning and prepared to travel with Cornelius’ men. Peter took 6 Jewish believers along with him on this journey as it described in Acts 11:12.
12 The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house.
Let’s look what is going on in Caesarea in Acts 10:24. Cornelius has been preparing for Peter’s visit with great expectation. (Felt: Cornelius) It doesn’t say this in the Bible but I imagine Cornelius sending out invitations to his family and friends to come to his house to meet Peter the man God told him to send for.
He probably had food prepared and people sat together in his house talking together waiting for Peter’s arrival. It is possible that Cornelius shared with his guests how God sent an angel to give him the message. The people in Cornelius’ home must have been curious and excited to see what was going to take place when this man Peter came to visit.
Peter finally arrives in Caesarea and goes to Cornelius’ house. Cornelius must have been watching out his window for any sign of Peter. When he sees his two servants and soldier he sent, along with a group of other men heading toward his house he goes out and meets them.
Cornelius led Peter into his house where all his invited guests were gathered. As Peter looked around the room he saw a house filled with Gentiles. Peter says in Acts 10:28, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.”
Peter was being obedient to God’s instructions to him. It would have been very strange for Peter to enter a Gentile’s home and not explain what he was doing there. Everyone knew that Jews did not associate with Gentiles because they believed Gentiles were unclean and ungodly.
Peter asked Cornelius, “Why have you sent for me?” Cornelius told Peter about the message God gave him from an angel. He pointed to all the family and friends in the room and said, “We are all here before God to hear all the things that God has for you to say.”
As a Jewish believer, Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit. As he hears Cornelius’ explanation and sees all the Gentiles in his house he understands that God does not show favoritism. Cornelius was a Gentile who feared God, that means Cornelius though was not a Jew, he knows God and honors God.
But Cornelius did not know the message of salvation, he did not know all had sins, only through Jesus, he could be saved from his sins and because of Jesus, our Savior, he could be pleased in front of God. God had sent Peter to share the Good News with Cornelius because it was God’s plan all along to save all people from their sins.
Peter shares the Good News with Cornelius and all his guests. Let’s Read Acts 10:36-38 with Daniel.
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.
Thank you , __Daniel
Peter gives a clear message of how God saves people from their sins. _Daniel__, please continue to finish Acts 10:39-43.
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.”
God is always at work in people’s lives. God’s Word is powerful and when the Good News about Jesus is shared with others the Holy Spirit works in their hearts. They have a choice to accept or reject what the Holy Spirit is asking them to do.
If they accept their sins are forgiven and the Holy Spirit comes into their heart. If they reject they are still lost and separated from God and cannot live with Him in heaven when they die.
As Peter is speaking the Good News to Cornelius and his guests the Holy Spirit is working in their hearts. They agreed in their hearts that what he was saying was true. They believed that Jesus was the Savior and they wanted to be saved from their sins.
Let’s look at Acts 10:44 together
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
Yes, the Holy Spirit came upon all of them and they spoke in different languages and praised God from verse 46
46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
Does this event sound very familiar? Yes, the first time the Holy Spirit came upon people who believe was on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. It was Jewish people who first received the Holy Spirit. At Cornelius’ house it is the first time that Gentiles received the Holy Spirit.
God had broken down all barriers and showed Peter and the 6 Jewish men that had traveled with him that God’s plan was not just to rescue the Jewish people from their sin but it was also His plan to rescue all people everywhere from their sins if they believed in Jesus. Peter could see that God has saved these Gentiles from their sins just as He had done for himself. He knew that God had saved them and said that they should be baptized.
Peter and Cornelius both obeyed the instructions that God had given them. As a result Peter was a part of God’s plan to bring the Good News to the Gentiles. Cornelius and all his invited guests received the Gift of Salvation. They both experienced joy unspeakable because they obeyed God.
If we are followers of Jesus we should obey God’s instructions to us. We may not fully understand God’s plan but it is not our responsibility to understand. We can trust that God is working out His plans to use our lives to bring the Good News to those in our lives who do not know Him.
Peter was confused at first, but God clearly told him ‘Salvation is for all’ for Jewish people, and also for Gentiles. Yes, even though we are not Jewish people, salvation is for us too, isn’t it? When we gather here to praise God to pray in Jesus’ name, it’s the evidence that God loves us, God loves Jewish people, and all the rest of the world so much by sending Jesus to die for all who are all sinners.
Let’s pray that we will be sensitive to hear God’s voice and willing to obey to share the good news and whatever He asks us to do.
Dear God you are our creator, and God of all. Your plan and thought are always higher, and deeper, and better than ours. Our God is merciful and full of loving kindness, you never show favoritism. Please create in us a heart to honor you like Cornelius, to carry out a loving caring action obediently like Cornelius by inviting people to get to know the good news. We pray in the Lord Jesus’ name, Amen.