Summary: Acts chapter 10, 11 reveals to the world and to all generations that God will pour out His Holy Spirit on anyone who is devoted to God and His ways --whether they are Jewish, Italian, American or even Muslim. Peter showed that God is ready to pour out His
“Fly High” – Acts part 9
Thesis: Acts chapter 10, 11 reveals to the world and to all generations that God will pour out His Holy Spirit on anyone who is devoted to God and His ways --whether they are Jewish, Italian, American or even Muslim. Peter showed that God is ready to pour out His Holy Spirit on all who believe and it does not matter what the critics think or say-what matters is what God says!
Over the last few weeks we have been studying the Book of Acts. We have been digging in this book and discovering how God uses ordinary people. We see that God draws these people to Him and then fills them with the Holy Spirit. The primary focus of the book of acts is how the Holy Spirit empowers people to do ministry. How the Holy Spirit enables ordinary men and women to be witnesses for the Kingdom of the Lord. We see the Holy Spirit at work using people like Barnabas, Stephen, Philip, Simon, Philip’s daughter’s, Paul and today we are back to Peter and a new individual named Cornelius (A Gentile). For the first time in Acts we get a new twist to the story on the out pouring of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts.
The book of Acts demonstrates what happens to a person when they are filled with the Holy Spirit. If you recall prior to Pentecost the disciples had frequently got into trouble and seemed to be powerless in their witnessing role for Jesus. At the time of Jesus arrest one tried to stop the arrest by the power of the sword. His name was Peter! The others ran like mice running from a cat. Others scattered and hid for cover. The church of Acts was not represented well before the Day of Pentecost. It seemed as if the church was in big trouble because of its frequent failures but Jesus went to the cross and then rose again on the third day and commanded his followers to go to Jerusalem to wait for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
It’s interesting if you read the life of the apostles before the Day of Pentecost and then read about their lives after this pinnacle day because you must admit the group changes dramatically. Something happened!
So what was the difference? It was the Baptism in the Holy Spirit – It was the infilling from the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised. I honestly believe that the primary focus in the book of Acts is not the Apostles but it is actually the Holy Spirit. I believe Luke penned this book as the Lord directed to show the church and His followers that their power and ability to do ministry was linked with the Holy Spirit. The power to be a witness for Jesus would only come from the Holy Spirit’s enablement.
The book reveals that power does not come from our own strength or abilities but from the anointing and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts tells me that if I want to do marvelous and supernatural things for the Kingdom of God then I need to yield my life to the Holy Spirit. I need to allow the Holy Spirit to fill me and dwell in me so that I can be empowered by the Lord from the inside to do and fulfill His purpose for my life.
The key is I must make sure that my mindset is rooted in the Teaching of the Lord Jesus and not rooted in religious legalism. In our passage of Scripture we learn from the Life of Peter that we must have the right attitude and mindset to serve Jesus.
Video Illustration: Show Acts 10 from the Visual Bible to the congregation.
Scripture Text: Acts 10:1-48:
1At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
4Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
7When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.