Summary: We don’t know what we don’t know, but the Spirit of God knoweth all. We must learn to trust the spirit and be will to allow the "exceedingness" of God lead us beyond our current understanding.
As an introduction to our message this morning, I would like to read a larger than normal passage of scripture first that is found in Acts 10.
I want to read the majority of the story so please bare with me as we do then we will come back look at some important issues concerning it.
Read: Acts 10:1-34
This as we know is the event that opened the door for the gospel to be preached to the gentiles and for the gentiles to receive the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
The Prophet Isaiah prophesied saying:
19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
In the passage of scripture that we just read in the book of Acts this scripture in Isaiah has prophetic implications
A new thing was about to happen
A new thing was about to spring forth ¡V and boy did it spring forth
And it was being made know to God¡¦s people ¡V first with Peter, but if you read on in chapter 11 Peter then tells it to other leaders within this movement of God¡¦s Church.
There are several key points within the passage of scripture that I just read that I want to elaborate on, but before we do that I want to look at Peter for just a moment.
Peter was not some yahoo out there on the fringes of the current movement of Christianity
Peter was not some average Christian ¡V he was not a pew sitter ¡V and he wasn¡¦t born again the day before.
I want you to stop and think for a minute who Peter was:
„« This man not only walked with Jesus personally, but Jesus personally called him out.
„« He had the Word that he felt, touched, communicated with. (John 1)
„« How would you like a three year one-on-one education by the Word manifested in the flesh?
„« The things he learned was not some man¡¦s interpretation of what had been said before ¡V he got the Word first hand.
„« The things he knew ¡V the things he understood were not wrong ¡V what was imparted to him was straight from the throne room of God.
„« This is the man that spoke on the day of Pentecost and 3,000 were added to the Church
„« This is the man in Acts 3 that told the lame man, ¡§Silver and Gold have I none, but such as I have give I to thee¡¨ and the man stood up and walked who had been lame his whole life.
„« This is the man in Acts 5 had two people fall dead in front of him for lying
„« This is the man later in Acts 5 that was imprisoned but an Angel came in and walked right out of the prison.
„« This is the man also that in Acts 5 people laid the sick on the street in hopes that Peter¡¦s shadow would go over them so they would be healed.
This is Peter ¡V I want you to stop for just a moment and think about this man that had this encounter with God in Acts 10.
He was a spiritually mature ¡V powerhouse in the Kingdom of God.
So let¡¦s go back for just a moment and see if we can learn something from this great man of God ¡V in this great event that opened the door of the Spirit of God to the gentiles.
As we read Cornelius saw an angel that instructed him to send for Peter.
Peter is a Jew and Cornelius apparently is Italian or a Roman at that time.
While the men that Cornelius sent for Peter was coming Peter has a vision:
9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
„« This scripture right here gives us insight into Peter¡¦s Spiritual maturity ¡V his ability to know the voice of God.
In John 10 Jesus uses the illustration of a sheep and a shepherd and He says of the sheep: