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Summary: HE TEXT BEFORE US TODAY DEALS WITH THE RECOUNTING OF THE ACTIVITIES OF PETER WHILE HE WAS IN THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS. WORD OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED HAD MADE IT ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM, AND HAD CAUSED A STIR AMONG THE MEMBERS. PETER NOW TAK

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CLEARLY SEEING THE WILL OF GOD

ACTS 11:1-18 THE APOSTLES AND THE BROTHERS THROUGHOUT JUDEA HEARD THAT THE GENTILES ALSO HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD. 2 SO WHEN PETER WENT UP TO JERUSALEM, THE CIRCUMCISED BELIEVERS CRITICIZED HIM 3 AND SAID, "YOU WENT INTO THE HOUSE OF UNCIRCUMCISED MEN AND ATE WITH THEM." 4 PETER BEGAN AND EXPLAINED EVERYTHING TO THEM PRECISELY AS IT HAD HAPPENED: 5 "I WAS IN THE CITY OF JOPPA PRAYING, AND IN A TRANCE I SAW A VISION. I SAW SOMETHING LIKE A LARGE SHEET BEING LET DOWN FROM HEAVEN BY ITS FOUR CORNERS, AND IT CAME DOWN TO WHERE I WAS. 6 I LOOKED INTO IT AND SAW FOUR-FOOTED ANIMALS OF THE EARTH, WILD BEASTS, REPTILES, AND BIRDS OF THE AIR. 7 THEN I HEARD A VOICE TELLING ME, 'GET UP, PETER. KILL AND EAT.' 8 "I REPLIED, 'SURELY NOT, LORD! NOTHING IMPURE OR UNCLEAN HAS EVER ENTERED MY MOUTH.' 9 "THE VOICE SPOKE FROM HEAVEN A SECOND TIME, 'DO NOT CALL ANYTHING IMPURE THAT GOD HAS MADE CLEAN.' 10 THIS HAPPENED THREE TIMES, AND THEN IT WAS ALL PULLED UP TO HEAVEN AGAIN. 11 "RIGHT THEN THREE MEN WHO HAD BEEN SENT TO ME FROM CAESAREA STOPPED AT THE HOUSE WHERE I WAS STAYING. 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. 13 HE TOLD US HOW HE HAD SEEN AN ANGEL APPEAR IN HIS HOUSE AND SAY, 'SEND TO JOPPA FOR SIMON WHO IS CALLED PETER. 14 HE WILL BRING YOU A MESSAGE THROUGH WHICH YOU AND ALL YOUR HOUSEHOLD WILL BE SAVED.' 15 "AS I BEGAN TO SPEAK, THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME ON THEM AS HE HAD COME ON US AT THE BEGINNING.

16 THEN I REMEMBERED WHAT THE LORD HAD SAID: 'JOHN BAPTIZED WITH WATER, BUT YOU WILL BE BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.' 17 SO IF GOD GAVE THEM THE SAME GIFT AS HE GAVE US, WHO BELIEVED IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO WAS I TO THINK THAT I COULD OPPOSE GOD?" 18 WHEN THEY HEARD THIS, THEY HAD NO FURTHER OBJECTIONS AND PRAISED GOD, SAYING, "SO THEN, GOD HAS GRANTED EVEN THE GENTILES REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE."

PROPOSITION: THE CHRISTIAN WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO DISCERN AND INTERACT WITH GOD’S WILL IS A CHRISTIAN WHO IS MISSING THE BLESSING OF OBEDIENCE.

INTRODUCTION: THE TEXT BEFORE US TODAY DEALS WITH THE RECOUNTING OF THE ACTIVITIES OF PETER WHILE HE WAS IN THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS. WORD OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED HAD MADE IT ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM, AND HAD CAUSED A STIR AMONGST THE MEMBERS. PETER NOW TAKES THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLAIN WHAT HAS HAPPENED, AND USES THE CONTEXT OF GOD’S WILL AS HIS FOUNDATIONAL TRUTH.

TRANSITION: WHAT I TRUST WE WILL SEE IS THAT THIS PASSAGE IN GENERAL, AND THE ACTIVITY OF PETER SPECIFICALLY REVEAL TO US VALUABLE PRINCIPLES IN DISCERNING GOD’S WILL FOR OUR LIVES, AND GOD’S DIRECTION IN OUR LIVES.

I. THE BIGGEST HINDRANCES TO GOD’S WILL

a. HINDRANCE NUMBER ONE – UNBENDING LEADERSHIP

i. BY THIS I MEAN THOSE WHO ARE IN LEADERSHIP IN THE CHURCH.

ii. ONCE IN LEADERSHIP, THERE HAS BEEN A SETTLING OF THEIR WAYS TO THE EXTENT THAT THERE IS AN UNWILLINGNESS AND EVEN A FEAR OF CHANGE.


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