Summary: If we are obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit we will see great revival!
The Three R’s of Obedience
Text: Acts 10:9-33; 44-48
1. Illustration: A Fellow was sitting at a stop light. The lady in front of him was going through papers on the seat of her car, and when the light changed to green she did not obey its command - a green light is a commandment - NOT a suggestion. When the light turned to red, and she had still not moved, He began (with his windows up) screaming and beating on his steering wheel. His expressions of distress were interrupted by a policeman, gun drawn, tapping on his window. Against his protestations of, "You can’t arrest me for hollering in my car," the officer ordered him into the back seat of his patrol car. After about two hours in a holding cell, the arresting officer advised him he was free to go. He said, "I knew you couldn’t arrest me for what I was yelling in my own car. You haven’t heard the last of this." The officer replied, "I didn’t arrest you for shouting in your car. I was directly behind you at the light. I saw you screaming and beating your steering wheel, and I said to myself, "What a jerk. But there is nothing I can do to him for throwing a fit in his own car. Then I noticed the ’Cross’ hanging from your rear view mirror, the Jesus is Coming Soon’ bumper sticker, and the Fish symbol, and I thought you must have stolen the car."
2. Repeatedly in the first three chapters of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John, it "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29).
a. However, is the church listening to the voice of the Spirit?
b. If we are hearing His voice, are we responding to what He is telling us?
3. There are three things we must keep in mind when listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
a. The request of obedience asks us "do we hear what the Spirit is saying?"
b. The response of obedience asks us "are we doing what the Spirit tells us to do?"
c. The result of obedience tells us "if we obey the Spirit’s voice we will experience success."
Proposition: If we are obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit we will see great revival!
Transition: First, let us look at...
I. The Request of Obedience (9-16)
A. Rise, Peter; Kill and Eat
1. Read Acts 10:9-16
2. Peter was in Joppa staying at the house of Simon the Tanner, and about the "sixth hour," which is dinner time, he went up on the roof to pray.
a. The flat roofs of Palestine, approached by an outdoor flight of steps, were common places of prayer in biblical times.
b. It was a good place to pray during the daytime as it was separate from the activity of the house, and the sea breeze and an awning helped cool the place (Fernando, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Acts, 320).
3. Since it was dinner time, Peter became very hungry, and while he waited for the meal to be made, he saw a large sheet being let down from heaven with every kind of animal imagineable.
4. Suddenly a voice tells him "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
a. The voice he heard was the voice of the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit was telling him to do something that was again everything that Peter had been taught.
b. This command would be unacceptable for him as a Jew, as some of the animals were not kosher (Fernando, 320).
5. Therefore, Peter says "No way!"
a. He has never eaten anything unclean and wasn’t about to start now (Bruce, NICNT: The Book of Acts, 206).
b. Keep in mind that Peter is responding the way any good Jew would respond.
6. However, the Holy Spirit says to him and said "What God has cleansed you must not call common."
a. Just like with us, the education of Peter took some repetition, three times in this case.
b. However, the Spirit was revealing to him that the church was headed in a new direction, and if he was going to be obedient he needed to follow.
B. Comfort Zone
1. Illustration: Charles Finney noted this about obedience and sacrifice, “Revival is nothing more or less than a new obedience to God!”
2. What would have happened if Peter had not obeyed the voice of the Spirit that day?
a. The advance of the gospel would have stopped right there.
b. The billions of Gentiles who have claimed the name of Christ since then would have been excluded from the church.
3. In order for revival to take place, the Holy Spirit calls us out of our comfort zones.