Summary: When we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit amazing things will happen.
"Peter, Jew Got Some Splaining To Do!"
Text: Acts 11:1-18
1. Illustration: For those that are old enough to remember it, or even if your not, you may have seen old re-runs of the I Love Lucy Show. It was a show about a big time Cuban bandleader named Ricky Richardo and his scheming, red-head wife Lucy. Lucy would always come up with some scheme to do an act in one of Ricky's shows or something else she really wanted to do. It always seemed to backfire on her and when Ricky found out he would always say in his Cuban accent, "Lucy, jew got some splaining to do!"
2. Well, in some respects Peter found himself in a similar predicament when he returned to Jerusalem following his experience at the house of Cornelius.
3. From this event in the life of Peter we find...
A. Sometimes We Get In The Way
B. If We Follow The Leading Of The Spirit
C. We Will See Miracles
4. Let's all stand together as we read Acts 11:1-18
Proposition: When we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit amazing things will happen.
Transition: The unfortunate reality is that in the Church...
I. Sometimes We Get In The Way (1-3).
A. Jewish Believers Criticized Him
1. Sometimes we as Christians are not noted for our out of the box thinking. We get stuck in our ways and become allergic to change.
2. This is what Peter encountered when he returned from the house of Cornelius. Instead of rejoicing over the fact that this entire house of people had come to faith in Jesus and baptized in the Holy Spirit, they were more concerned about where Peter went and with whom he ate. Peter would soon find out that rumors travel quickly even without social media.
3. In the beginning of this chapter Luke tells us, "Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God."
A. Most Jewish believers thought that God offered salvation only to the Jews because God had given his law to them (Exodus 19–20).
B. A group in Jerusalem believed that Gentiles could be saved, but only if they followed all the Jewish laws and traditions—in essence, if they became Jews before they became Christians (Barton 510).
C. The Gentiles at the house of Cornelius "received the word of God."
D. This means they welcomed it, acknowledging its truth and accepting its message of repentance, forgiveness, and salvation.
E. This was striking news, and to some of the Jews was probably not good news.
F. Such news travels fast and reached the apostles and the rest of the believers in Jerusalem before Peter returned!
4. So after doing what he should have done in following the leading of the Holy Spirit, Peter gets back to Jerusalem find opposition. In vv2-3 it says, "But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. 3 “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said."
A. When he arrived, "the Jewish believers" were ready for him.
B. Immediately they "criticized him" severely (and passed judgment on him) for entering the "home of Gentiles" (which they considered defiling) and, even worse, eating their nonkosher food.
C. Just how upset these Jewish believers were is shown by their use of a very derogatory slang word for Gentile, (lit.) "foreskinned" (Gk. akrobustian).
D. It is quite probable they were also upset because they feared that Peter's action might turn the unconverted Jews against them and bring to an end the period of peace they had been enjoying.
E. Besides rejecting Peter, they were more concerned about themselves than about the spread of the gospel.
F. They forgot also that God's call to repentance was "'Come, all you who are thirsty'" (Isa. 55:1), not only "every Jew who is thirsty" (Horton, Acts: A Logion Press Commentary, 209).
G. They were more concerned about laws and customs than people.
B. Seven Last Words
1. The last seven words of a dying church are:
2. When we get stuck in our ways we are in danger of missing God.
A. Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
B. God doesn't care about the color of the carpet.
C. God doesn't care about whether we sing traditional or contemporary.
D. God doesn't care whether you wear a suit or jeans.
E. God does care about whether we are listening to his voice.
F. God does care about whether we are living by His Word.