Summary: THE LIFE OF A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST IS FULL OF CONSTANTS. THERE IS THE CONSTANT OF AN ABUNDANT LIFE. THERE IS THE CONSTANT THAT JESUS WILL NEVER LEAVES YOU OR FORSAKE YOU. THERE IS THE CONSTANT THAT WE ARE A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST JESUS.THERE IS THE CONST
EXPECTATIONS WHEN FOLLOWING CHRIST
INTRODUCTION: THE LIFE OF A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST IS FULL OF CONSTANTS. THERE IS THE CONSTANT OF AN ABUNDANT LIFE. THERE IS THE CONSTANT THAT JESUS WILL NEVER LEAVES YOU OR FORSAKE YOU. THERE IS THE CONSTANT THAT WE ARE A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST JESUS.THERE IS THE CONSTANT THAT WE ARE A COMPLETED WORK IN CHRIST. THESE ARE IMMUTABLE; REMAINING WITH US THROUGHOUT OUR CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE. THEN THERE ARE THOSE THINGS THAT ARE EXPECTATIONS. THESE EXPECTATIONS POP UP ON US, AND I THINK ARE DEPENDENT ON WHAT WE ARE DOING FOR CHRIST, NOT WHAT WE ARE IN CHRIST. IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT WE ARE DOING WILL ULTIMATE LEAD US INTO THINGS WE SHOULD EXPECT.
HERE IN THIS PASSAGE WE HAVE PETER. AN APOSTLE THAT GOD HAS BEEN WORKING THROUGH AND IN. RECENTLY, PETER HAS BEEN IN THE PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION. WE HAVE ALLUDED TO THAT IN PAST MESSAGE – HIS TRIP TO THE SAMARITAN VILLAGE TO VALIDATE THE WORK OF PHILIP, HIS RESIDENCE WITH SIMEON THE TANNER, HIS VISION OF THE SHEET FROM HEAVEN WITH THE DECLARATION OF GOD REGARDING WHAT IS CLEAN AND UNCLEAN.
PETER IS ON FIRE FOR JESUS RIGHT NOW, AND THAT SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENT IS GOING TO BRINGS SITUATIONS IN HIS LIFE (EXPECTATIONS) THAT HE WILL NEED TO IDENTIFY AND DEAL WITH APPROPRIATELY IF HE IS TO MAINTAIN HIS ZEAL FOR THE THINGS OF CHRIST!
TRANSITION: GUESS WHAT, SOME 2,000 YEARS LATER WE FACE THE SAME EXPECTATIONS – IE: THINGS WE CAN EXPECT BASED ON WHAT WE ARE DOING FOR GOD, NOT WHAT WE ARE IN CHRIST!. SO, LETS LOOK AT A FEW OF THEM THAT WE FIND IN THE PASSAGE BEFORE US.
I. THE SUBTLE ATTACK OF PRIDE – 10:25
Acts 10:25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.
a. THIS PERHAPS IS A UNIVERSAL EXPECTATION FOR BELIEVERS
b. NOTICE THAT IT IS THE FIRST THING THAT PETER ENCOUNTERS. ANY WONDER?
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 (MSG) First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
i. PRIDE IS DEFINED AS -- a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority.
ii. ANYONE SEE HOW PRIDE COULD GET IN THE WAY OF LIVING ALIFE FOR CHRIST?
iii. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS ALL ABOUT WHAT GOD DID FOR US.
iv. ANY ACTIVITY NEEDS TO BE A RESPONSE TO THE AWESOME WORK OF CHRIST IN OUR LIVES, NOT THE LOOK WHAT I CAN DO OR AM DOING, ….
c. TO HIS CREDIT, PETER DEALS WITH THIS ISSUE QUICKLY, AND CORRECTLY
i. PETER MADE HIM GET UP
1. CORNELIUS FELL DOWN AT THE FEET OF PETER IN AN ACT OF WORSHIP.
2. WHY? MAYBE BECAUSE OF THE VISIT OF THE ANGEL.
3. WHAT A TEMPTATION THIS HAD TO BE FOR PETER – A MAN OF POWER, INFLUENCE, AND AUTHORITY WAS WORSHIPING HIM
a. TEMPTATION HERE FOR PERSONAL GAIN.
b. TEMPTATION HERE FOR SELF-ELEVATION AND IMPORTANCE
4. PERHAPS PETER UNDERSTOOD THE DANGER OF PRIDE
a. “GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN”
b. “THOUGH EVERYONE ELSE FORSAKES YOU, I WILL NEVER DO THAT.”
ii. PETER ACKNOWLEDGED HIS EQUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CORNELIUS
1. I AM NOT SURE HOW BIG A PROBLEM THIS IS FOR THE PRESENT DAY CHURCH, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO BE REMINDED OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST – THE RELATIONSHIP WE ALL HAVE WITH HIM.
2. IN GOD’S KINGDOM THE IS NO “ONE UPMANSHIP”.
a. WE ALL CAME TO CHRIST THE SAME WAY
i. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
b. AND WE ALL GET INTO HEAVEN THE SAME WAY
i. WE RECEIVE REWARDS FOR WHAT WE HAVE OR HAVE NOT DONE FOR CHRIST AS A BELIEVER
1. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
ii. WE RECEIVE THOSE REWARDS AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST