Summary: God has an instant message of love that He wants to send to everyone.
You’ve Got Mail!
Intro: Most people like to check the mail. It is especially nice when you receive a personal letter from a friend, sharing things that only friends would share. There are always important bills and other business-related things that we need to keep track of. Then there is the junk mail pile. I notice that a lot of people leave their junk mail in the Post Office trash so they don’t have to deal with it at home. What classifies as junk mail? Usually, somebody is either trying to sell you something you don’t need or convince you of something you don’t believe. Most of us have no interest in junk mail, because we don’t want to be bothered by what somebody else thinks we should do with our time or money.
-Email works pretty much the same way. We can get important email messages from friends and family members. Sometimes they pass messages on to us from somebody else – funny stories or warnings about the latest internet scams. Some of these are okay, but it is really nice when someone just wants to talk and communicate with you on a personal level. Most internet services provide a great feature: When you are on-line and someone sends you a message, you hear a chime and a voice comes through your computer that says something like, “You’ve got mail!” Pretty cool, huh? It’s old news to some of you, because it has been around several years now. But it is still kind of fun to know when somebody is sending you a message.
-God has spoken to mankind throughout history. He has used creation, nature, prophets, teachers, preachers, writers, direct revelation, visions, dreams, events, and so on. God has spoken to mankind so that we would get to know who He is and what He wants to do in our lives. God has something to say to each one of us everyday. In fact, if you listen closely, you just might hear a little voice that says, “You’ve got mail!” God has specific messages for each of us, if we will just open our mail and read it each day. However, He also has a message that He wants to send to everyone on this earth. Some people treat it like junk mail and either throw it away or delete it. Some adjust their spam settings so that God’s message cannot get through all the filters they have set up. I’d like to talk about this message from God for a few minutes this morning.
Prop: God has an instant message of love that He wants to send to everyone.
Interrogative: What is the message that God wants every person to hear?
TS: Here is the message from God to you! Let me read some excerpts from your mail that tell us some important things God wants you to know about His Son.
I. Jesus Was Sent into Your World by God (36-38)
-In. v.36 we find out that Cornelius has been reading someone else’s mail. Peter said, “You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached-- 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.”
-Cornelius had apparently studied the OT Scriptures and knew that God was going to send a Messiah to save Israel. It is quite possible that he was aware of some of the prophecies that linked the Messiah to the Gentiles. One such prophecy comes from Isaiah 49:6, where God says, “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Cornelius had heard about Jesus, His teachings, and miracles. Yet he did not yet know Him, and he was not certain whether He was the One God had promised to send.
-V.38 says that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. Even as you look at the OT, you see that kings and leaders were anointed with oil in preparation for a task God was calling them to do. King David was anointed as king of Israel. Oil typically represents the Holy Spirit. We can do nothing significant without the help of God the Holy Spirit. I think that is one reason the Bible tells us that God anointed Jesus with the HS and power, so we would know that we too must receive the Spirit’s help to live our lives for God.
-Now, why did God send Jesus into our world? Most of us could probably answer that, but let’s see what God’s message says about it. John 3:16 says that He gave His Son because He loved us. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.”