Summary: This is a sermon dedicated to the Holy Spirit encounter that took place between Peter and Cornelius household.
Theme: World Changing Stories
Title: The Story that Changed Everything
Grace and peace from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I want to talk to you today about how to live a transformational life. That is to say how to live a life that not only has the ability to transform you but the world around you in a more positive and uplifting way.
Many believe that our passage in Acts this morning is one of the most important passages in the whole Bible. As you read this passage and begin to fully understand it, I believe that you will come to the conclusion that it has to be one of the top passages in the whole Bible.
It is a story that reveals a major shift that happened in human history. It reveals a change in how everyone is to be viewed and understood. It reveals a major modification in evangelism and it reveals a new revelation in what it means to be a Born Again Spirit filled Christ follower.
It is therefore an amazing transformational story.
Now, we all know that there are other stories that people have stated as being world changers; transformational in nature. But none of those other stories have been able to transform lives to the extent we find in our passage this morning.
Homer’s Odyssey is considered to be one of those stories that have been a world changer. When Natalie Haynes, a writer and broadcaster in the UK was asked why she believed that Homer’s Odyssey is such a powerful transformational story, she replied this way:
“Because it is one of the great foundational myths of Western culture, because it asks what it means to be a hero.”
She further stated: “because it has great female characters in it, as well as men, because it is full of gods and monsters and is properly epic, and because it forces us to question the assumptions we might have about quests, war, and the ever-current issue of what it means to return home.” (https://greekreporter.com/2018/06/01/critics-choose-homers-odyssey-as-worlds-most-influential-story/)
Other people have chosen other stories as world changers:
+Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852)
+Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
+1984 by George Orwell (1949)
And of course those who are more clued into movies and the like have said the same about the Citizen Kane, The Day After Tomorrow and Marvel’s Endgame Saga.
I guess the case can be made that all of those stories have greatly impacted our world. But the story that involves Cornelius and his family is one that has impacted more than our world. It is a story that has impacted all of creation. It is a story that impacted Heaven and Hell. It is a story that impacted things both in history and beyond history.
What is that story?
At its heart of the story of Cornelius is the story of Jesus. It is the story of Jesus’ Incarnation. It is the story of Jesus’ mission. It is the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is the story of Jesus’ Ascension and it is the story of Pentecost. It is the story of Full Salvation.
Let’s take a few moments and see just how this story has the supernatural power to impact our lives and all those lives around us.
I. Jesus’ story opens up for Us the very Presence of God
As you read this passage you become vividly aware of the reality that as Peter shares the story of Jesus the very presence of God becomes present. Peter’s words act like an open door that allows God’s Holy Presence to fill the atmosphere of Cornelius’ heart and home.
In fact, as you read the story in its entirety starting back at the beginning of Acts chapter 10 you see where the story is actually being orchestrated by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It is the Lord God Almighty who directs the actions of both Cornelius and the Apostle Peter. It is the Lord who sends an angel to talk to Cornelius in a vision. It is the Lord who directs Cornelius to then send for the Apostle Peter to come to his home. It is the Lord who tells Cornelius where he can find the Apostle Peter. And it is the Lord who even tells Cornelius what house to go to find the Apostle.
Then it is the Lord who begins to work on the Apostle Peter the following day. The Lord reveals to the Apostle Peter a whole new way of looking at everything. The Lord reveals to Peter that because of what was done on the cross things are no longer the same. What was once considered unholy and unclean can now be clean and holy.