June 5, 2022
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Background (Acts 10:1,2)
A. Last Week We Met Cornelius - We learned a lot about this man:
1. A Centurion – a Captain over 100 men
2. An Italian – a Roman from Italy
3. A Gentile (Not a Jew)
4. Living in Caesarea (about 28 miles / 46 km north of Joppa where Peter was at the time)
5. Devout Worshiper of God
6. Lost – unsaved
B. Cornelius had a Vision from God (Acts 10:3-6)
1. An angel appears and tell him, “You need to send for a preacher and hear what he says”
2. And so he does – sent three of his men to go find Peter down in Joppa
C. Peter Also Has a Vision from God (Acts 10:9-16)
1. A table-cloth, like an upside-down parachute, starts descending out of the sky, and floats down to Peter full of every kind of animal and bird and bugs – some good animals, and some unhealthy, and unclean animals
2. God tells Peter to get up, kill something and eat it
3. But Peter says, No way! There are unclean, unhealthy animals in there that he would never even touch
4. Yet the voice from heaven said, ALL those animals and birds and bugs have now been cleansed!
5. Peter watches this happen three times, and has no idea what it means!
6. Ans just then, 3 men appear at the gate and call for Peter to come with them to Caessaria to meet Cornelius
7. Peter agrees to go… by faith!
D. What Was God Doing?
1. Throughout this entire event, we are watching God at work, doing two big things:
2. Getting the Soul-Winner [Peter] to Go – he reluctantly agrees
3. And Getting a Sinner [Cornelius] Saved
4. These are God’s most important work today!
A. Cornelius and His Family are Assembled Together (Acts 10,24-33)
1. A House Church is Born (Acts 10:24,27)
a. Acts 10:24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
b. Acts 10:27 And as he [PETER] talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
c. Cornelius had sent for a preacher of the Gospel, and was waiting for him [PETER] to come
d. And in expectation of what Peter would say, he called together/gathered together his entire family (wife, children, aunts, uncles, and his near friends)
e. They were an assembly of people waiting to hear what God says to do!
f. This is what church is!
2. Peter Corrects Wrong Worship (Acts 10:25,26)
a. Acts 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
b. Cornelius was a very powerful authority in the land, but he felt someone like Peter, who actually KNEW Jesus, and could preach from the word of God, was above him – and was worthy of WORSHIP
c. THAT was normal in that day, and even now! (PHOTOS)
1) All of Rome worshipped the Emperor
2) People today fall down and worship the Pope, and Rock Stars and Movie Stars
3) And so many people worship statues and angels
4) And in the near future, they will do it to ALIENS when they start appearing – and they will!
d. So, Peter corrects Cornelius’ wrong worship
1) Acts 10:26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
2) Peter says clearly, he is JUST LIKE CORNELIUS
a) A wicked, sinful, ungodly man
b) He had doubted Jesus, argued with Him, denied even knowing Him when under pressure and persecution
c) He was not above anybody
d) And neither are we – no matter how good a person may seem!
And Thankfully, Cornelius accepted
As you and I should too, when we are NOT doing things the Bible way!
f. Worshipping HUMANS is absolutely WRONG!
1) Respect is one thing – worship is another, and it belongs ONLY to God
2) Revelation 19:9,10 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
3) Revelation 22:8,9 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
g. A Bible believing Church is NOT about anyone but Jesus
1) Church is not about Peter, even though he IS an apostle
2) It is not about the people gathered in a church. Church is not about YOU!
3) It is not about our country, or our politics, or the climate
4) It is about Jesus!
a) We gather here for ONE thing - to honour HIM
b) And learn about HIM
c) And worship HIM only!
d) Always learning to listen to Him, and follow Him, and walk with Him
h. Any religion or church that is so focused on all the people gathered together (JOEL OLSTEEN), or on the leader / the speaker, or on miracles… is a false church and needs to be abandoned!
3. Peter Admits Wrong Doctrine (Acts 10:27,28)
a. Acts 10:27,28 And as he [PETER] talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
b. Peter Admits that God was Teaching HIM – showing Him that Cross of Christ had changed so many things in the culture of the Jews
1) The dietary laws were no longer valid
2) The laws of separation from all other nations and cultures was no longer in effect
3) He had to learn these things, and accept them in the New Testament
c. ALL of us need to be corrected, and taught, and moulded into Christ-likeness
1) Does God ever show you ANYTHING as you read through His word?
2) Does God ever show you anything when you hear preaching?
3) If you never get corrected, rebuked, embarrassed by what this Book says, then you have a problem
d. By-the-way, My job is to teach you, yes, but also to reprove you, rebuke you, and exhort [URGE] you to live for God and not the world any longer
1) 2Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2) 2Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
3) 2Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
e. I wish priests would admit wrong doctrine when they discover what the Bible says
f. And I wish a lot of youtube addicted Christians would admit to believing wrong doctrine
g. At least PETER admitted it
4. Peter asks, “So, Why Am I Here?” (Acts 10:29)
a. Acts 10:29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying [ARGUING], as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
b. He doesn’t yet know what God is doing – and neither do I when I study and prepare for a Sunday
1) I have no idea what everyone has been through, and what God has been doing in everyone’s lives
2) So, when I open this Book, and God teaches me, do not think for a minute that I am speaking with you in mind – I am just preaching what God taught me!
c. But at least Peter is ready to speak the Gospel when asked to
5. Cornelius Reviews the Last Few Days and Invites Peter to Preach (Acts 10:30-33)
a. Acts 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
b. Acts 10:31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms [GIVING TO ISRAEL]are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
c. Acts 10:32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
d. Acts 10:33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
e. Cornelius really worships God doesn’t he?
1) He has been Fasting – that’s a good thing
2) Praying – another good thing
3) Giving away his money to the needs of the Jewish people - wow
4) Willing to do whatever the Lord tells him to do from the Bible – spot on!
f. THAT is how WE ought to live!
g. It is a shame that many lost people worship God better than born again Christians!
6. Before we go any further, let me open your understanding about what is going on…
a. Peter had no idea what he was walking into.
1) So when he's standing there in front of that crowd of people that are all Gentiles, he's got a bunch of Jewish brethren behind him who are watching him like a Hawk. They're wondering what he's going to say.
2) Is he going to say these Gentiles need to come to Jerusalem and get approved as Jews so that they can believe on Jesus?
3) Is he going to lift up and honour the law and make sure every one of them is a keeper of the law.
4) What is Peter going to do?
b. I don't think Peter knew what he was going to do. I don't think Peter knew how he was going to give Cornelius the Gospel. I think he had to just stumble through these things he was about to say
c. But here is a great truth about giving the gospel.
d. Number one, Know the Gospel yourself
1) Know what it means
2) Know what happened to you when you believed it
3) Just make sure you have EXPERIENCED it yourself
e. Number two, Open your mouth – just say SOMETHING about sin, Jesus, heaven, hell
f. Number three, trust that the Holy Spirit of God will give you the words to say
1) The Holy Spirit will guide you and give you words to say when you're giving the gospel.
2) Matthew 10:19,20 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
3) Because THAT'S his domain. That is WHY He is in you!
4) You may flub up and say things backwards, but so what… preaching the Gospel is HIS area of expertise, not yours
5) Don’t try and be really polished and professional at preaching and teaching the gospel – just declare it
6) I have one problem when talking about the Gospel – and so do you – just starting!
B. Peter Summarises the Gospel – there is a lot here! (Acts 10:34-48) So, What do people need to hear? How does Peter summarize the glorious Gospel?
1. God is not interested in your nationality (Acts 10:34)
a. Not when it comes to salvation of a soul – your soul has no colour
b. Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
c. The Jews actually believed that their Jewishness, their nationality, their race, was all they needed to be welcome in the kingdom of God – to be accepted by God
d. The Jews believed the Gentiles were completely rejected by God, and incapable of being saved – because they just not part of the elect!
e. But Peter is figuring out that a person’s nationality, race, skin colour, means nothing to God when it comes to salvation and getting into the kingdom of God
f. God doesn’t see your outside – He only sees your soul!
2. God is looking at the HEART of every man, woman and child, not their race (Acts 10:35)
a. Acts 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
b. This is a powerful Scripture
c. Accepted means:
1) Not that he or she is saved
2) But when a person, any person, fears God, and does righteous works…
3) That person is showing that they are seeking Him
a) Not self-righteous works
b) And not flippant about God
c) But tired of their sins, and seriously seeking to find God, and know Him
4) God has shown that they have God’s attention
d. So, Do you fear God?
1) It is a good thing to do – most people USED to naturally fear God
2) But they don’t now
3) Do you know why most people do not care about what this Bible says? Why most people do not race up here to talk with me about their soul, and their sin? Why so many young people laugh and mock and turn away from church and the Bible and Christianity?
4) Do you know why so many people are liars, and are thieves, and crooks, and perverted, and unstable?
5) It is because they do not fear God
a) Think He is a fairy tale
b) They think He is a joke, a myth, just a way that people long ago made up to control the masses
6) They think they can live just fine without God
7) Well, how’s it working out folks? Try and tell me this world is okay! That this world with all its millions of surveillance CCTV’s is better off without Biblical morality, and the fear of facing Almighty God at the moment of death?
8) Ladies and gentlemen, there are THREE things every parent MUST teach their children – and it is not Reading, Writing and Rithmatic…
a) That the God of this Bible is God Almighty – that He is awesome, that He is right, that HE made everything, not an accident
b) That He must be feared above everything else – and everyone else
c) And that He loves His creation… enough to die for it
d) We often focus on the last point, but not the first two
e. Do you strive to do righteous works? Or do you love your sin?
1) Why is it that most people are comfortable with their sins?
a) With their rudeness, and their bullying, and their anger and their lying?
b) It is because they don’t think anything matters
c) “Do as thou wilt” is their motto – do what YOU want!
2) The western world stopped pushing our culture from doing our best a long time ago – from looking our best
a) And look what we got! People who are covered in tattoos, and wear torn clothes
b) My generation was pushed to dress nice, not dress down consantly
3) There is nothing wrong with pushing people to do the right things
a) You expect it of politicians, and doctors, and rich people – do the right thing
b) We need to expect it of ourselves, and our kids
4) God saves sinners, yes, but God can’t save someone who loves their sin
5) People need to become tired of their sin – really tired, if they want to get saved
3. You Need to Know About Jesus (Acts 10:36-43) – This is what the entire world needs
a. You don’t have to have been a Jew…
b. You don’t need to have been living back then, in Israel
c. You can learn all about Jesus from the word of God – the record of the life of Christ
1) Acts 10:36,37 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
2) This is not fairy tale or fable or moral story
3) It is the Gospel story, that everyone heard, including Gentiles!
d. Jesus alone made peace between Almighty God and us sinners
1) Mary didn’t bring peace, neither did saints, angels, or ourselves and our best efforts
2) Just Jesus saves!
e. He is unlike any man before or after Him (Acts 10:38)
1) He is Lord of All - Sovereign Lord of all people, nations and cultures
a) Peter explaiend that Jesus is Lord over Rome and it massive empire
b) He is Lord of Israel
c) Jesus is Lord over all
2) Jesus had great abilities and power – unlike any other Man who ever lived
a) He was Specially Anointed by God – as the promised Messiah
b) He was anointed with the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit of God
c) Empowered by God to do the impossible
d) Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
3) He did good – to everyone – lepers, deaf, blind, dead, sinners, and saints
4) He healed and did miracles that PROVED He was the Messiah
5) All because God was with Him
f. We were there (Acts 10:39-41) – Peter could vouch for everything he was telling them
1) Acts 10:39-41 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
2) We watched the way Jesus lived, and heard Him speak
3) We watched Him die on that tree
4) And then we met Him alive again three days later – more than 500 of us saw Him
5) We ate and drank with Him after His brutal murder and burial
6) We are witnesses of his resurrected life and are proof of what Jesus can do
a) Angry, fighting fishermen and carpenters, and political zelotes, were transformed into godly husbands and preachers of the Gospel
b) Once fearful and ashamed, but now full of courage and passion to tell the world
Why do You Need to Know
Because God has made Jesus the ultimate Judge (Acts 10:42)
a. Acts 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
b. This is the big moment
c. Peter WARNS that the Messiah is the judge of every man woman and child on the earth
1) The quick – living
2) And the dead – already gone
3) In other words, EVERYONE will be judged by Jesus Christ one day
5. The entire Old Testament points to Jesus (Acts 10:43)
a. Not to Moses, or to David, or to some prophet – all pointed to JESUS!
b. And to one great truth about Him
c. That all who fully believe in Jesus… in what He did, why He did it, with all their heart
d. All their sins are remitted – removed – forgiven! Like hearing the words, your cancer is in remission – on its way out!
e. Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
f. THAT was good news to Cornelius and all His house!
C. Instant Salvation, Followed by Baptism (Acts 10:44-48)
1. There was a spiritual reaction to the preaching of the cross (Acts 10:44-46)
a. BELIEF – Ephesians 2:8,9
b. Cornelius got born again – instantly saved from his sins – invisible, but instant
c. Peter didn’t have to do anything excpet trust God to work on Cornelius’ heart
d. A good rule of thumb is that we must always Let GOD do the work in the heart of people
2. And God gave a sign – a proof that these Gentiles were just as saved as the Jews
a. Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
b. What is the big deal?
c. The Jews / the circumcised believers would never have believed Cornelius and his family and neighbours had gotten saved without the sign
d. Acts 10:45,46 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.
e. The sign of the filling of the Holy Spirit – the same proof that THEY had gotten saved back on the Day of Pentacost in Acts 2:1-6
1) Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2) Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3) Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4) Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5) Act 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6) Act 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
f. Ladies and gentlemen – we don’t need the gift of tongues to prove we are saved now. That gift is finished. But the presence of the Spirit of God in you WILL affect your life
3. Then, Comes Baptism (Acts 10:47-48)
a. Acts 10:47,48 …Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
b. NOW It’s Time to get Baptized – not before, like when a baby, or AT the moment of believing, but AFTER YOU BELIEVE
c. You do NOT get baptized to become saved
d. You do NOT get baptized to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit – Cornelius already had Him
e. You get baptized only AFTER you repent and believe – it is a sign of you and your family’s commitment to following the Lord Jesus now! THAT IS ALL!
f. Don’t think for one minute that your baby baptism did anything for you
g. And don’t think you need to be baptized to be accepted by God
h. You need to be just like Cornelius and his entire household, and react spiritually to what you have just heard today, and believe in Jesus with all your heart
i. And THEN get baptized, and live all out for Jesus Christ!
III. Application and Conclusion
A. The Purpose of Speaking in Tongues…
1. As a sign / as evidence to Israel – for only a short time
a. It was a sign to unbelieving Jews that born again Jews were honoured by God and were filled with the promised Holy spirit of God
b. And secondly, a sign that the Gentles are saved just as well as the believing Jews
c. They didn’t receive a lesser or different gift – they received the Spirit of God
2. And that is it!
B. Two great works of God take place every day of our lives
1. On the heart of the Christian to go and care about the lost – to go to people you don’t love and don’t want to talk to…
2. And on the heart / mind of the lost to care about their soul enough to listen to the Gospel
3. BOTH are works of God
4. I think much of the battle in soul-winning is not with the lost – it is just getting us to go.
a. No one has to have all the answers.
b. You do not have to have the perfect, successful life
c. You and I and every Christian needs to just GO, and speak what this Book says
5. Why? Because there are Cornelius' out there who are desperately looking for God and they cannot find him without a guide, without a witness, without a soul-winner.
6. Remember… God saves sinful people through the foolishness of preaching! Not the preciseness of preaching! Just preach!
C. And dear friend, if you are like Cornelius, and not saved… you need to take God seriously enough to believe Jesus is the answer to your soul’s need! And get saved!