Summary: Acts 10 is an amazing epic of God at work. This is part 1 of The Launching of The Gospel. Part 2 is "The Barrier Broken"
“Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. 36 “The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)— 37 you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. 38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 “We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. 40 “God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 “And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”
This section taken from the latter verses of Acts chapter 10 consists of Peter’s sermon to the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, resident of Caesarea by the sea and devoted God-fearer. According to the Lord’s instruction sent through an angel, this commander of a battalion has asked Peter to come and bring a word to Cornelius and his immediate and extended family and friends, with whom he has filled his house for this occasion.
I’m going to treat this more fully in part two of what I have labeled, ‘The Launching of the Gospel – The Barrier Broken’. Now I have to pause here and explain that by this title I certainly do not mean to imply that this event recorded in Acts 10 was the first instance of the Gospel going out.
That has been happening ever since the women came fresh and excited from the empty tomb to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen.
I only chose this term ‘launching’ because of the way this whole scene was set up and what the results were; which we will study in part 2, when we look at the entirety of chapter 10 and even touch in chapter 11 before we’re finished.
Today I want to keep to this sermon that Peter preached in the home of this Gentile, and I want to expound on what it was Peter taught about Jesus, and I want us to observe that the information he set forth in this brief message is foundationally the message of every called and sent preacher of the Gospel.
I will basically be picking out terms and phrases that Peter used as he went along and give some amplification to the references he made and the meaning behind his well-chosen words.
I want to begin at verse 38, giving assurance that I will talk about the opening comments of Peter’s sermon in part 2. Having said that however, and before we look at verse 38, I do want to draw your attention to verse 36, as I feel this is the key verse of this entire passage.
“He has sent His word to the sons of Israel by giving us the good news of peace through Jesus Christ – He is Lord of us all”.
When Peter said that God had sent His word, he used the same Greek word that is used throughout the New Testament, which is ‘logos’. John employed it in the first chapter of his Gospel when he said “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”.
The word, logos, generally refers to revelation of knowledge. The word that comes from God brings the revelation of the will of God. In some cases this word is used to refer to the sum of God’s utterances, such as when we call the Bible the word of God.
In Vine’s Dictionary of New Testament words, we read “Logos’, the word, the personal manifestation, not a part of the Divine Nature, but of the whole Deity.” And that is a reference to Jesus Christ; the personal manifestation of the fullness of God.
The word sent from God is complete. The Word, capital ‘w’, to whom John referred in his first chapter, is the complete revelation of God to mankind in the Person of Christ.