The Gospel message that Jesus Christ is the universal Lord & Ruler, is on the brink of breaking in to new territory – breaking out & going global with Cornelius, a Gentile centurion, as the first Gentile convert.
This whole section is designed to show us that God is committed to the global advance of his Gospel. And he wants us to have confidence that it is God’s goal that his Gospel should go global.
Acts 10 records one of the single greatest turning point in the history of the world.
Jesus’ Work & Jesus' Man (Acts 9:32-43)
First, these 2 miracles (9:32-35), then (9:36-43), demonstrates the ongoing work of Jesus, which are done in the following manner:
- They are done in the NAME of Jesus (Acts 9:34)
- They are done after the MANNER of Jesus
- They are done with the WORDS of Jesus (I say to you, take up mat & walk)
- They are done to the GLORY of Jesus
Jesus’ work points out that Peter is Jesus’ man.
These incidents are specifically designed to establish Peter’s credentials at this key moment in the history of the church, as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about to go global. These 2 miracles are mirrors, copies of the miracles of Jesus Christ – the dead raised, the paraplegic gets up off his mat.
Peter is the apostle to whom the Lord Jesus says: “I give you the keys of the kingdom”.
God’s grace knows no boundaries (Acts 10:1-35)
The unmistakable point is that God shows no partiality, anyone from any nation who fears God & does what is right, turning to the Lord Jesus, is acceptable to him. There is no one, no one, outside the bounds of God’s grace and, as a person comes to the Lord Jesus, fearing God and doing what is right, they are equal: no second class, no caste, pride, racial prejudice, hatred.
In order to show this really is of God, the point is made by:
Divine intervention (angel, vision, voice, Spirit – Acts 10:3-19),
Deliberate repetition (3 times Acts 10:16) and
Apostolic authentication (Peter’s name mentioned over 10 times Acts 10:3-46).
God’s grace knows boundaries because Christ’s work knows no limits.
Peter records for us in Ac 10:36-43 the essential message of the Christian faith, the well-attested facts of the Christian faith, the God-given meaning of the Christian faith and the global application of the Christian faith.
This is the Gentile Pentecost. What the Jews received in Acts 2, is now received fully & absolutely by the Gentiles. They are complete insiders.
The essential message of the Christian faith is there in (Acts 10:36).
Expressing the Christian faith in just 4 words: “Jesus Christ is Lord”, 5 words in Acts 10:36: “he is Lord of all” and 9 words summary: “Peace through Jesus Christ, he is Lord of all”. Peace is available for you with the one who is Lord of all – the essential message.
The well-attested facts (v34 – 41).
Firstly, it concerns the man of history, Jesus of Nazareth – a specific person, not a mystical figure made up in somebody’s mind. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth Acts 10:38.
Secondly, it relates to his public work (v38-39) …
Thirdly, witnesses of everything he did ….
Fourthly, it focuses on his death (v39).
Fifthly, it concerns his resurrection (v40-41).
The God-given meaning (Acts 10:42-43):
What the Christian faith means? JUDGMENT!
We’re going to face God in judgment. That’s what Jesus commanded the apostles to preach– he’s judge of the living & the dead.
God’s grace knows no bounds because Christ’s works knows no limits.
Therefore, anyone, anywhere, from every nation, who turns to Christ, receives peace, from Jesus Christ, with God. Jesus is Lord of all.
The Global application (Acts 10:44-48)
The Gentiles receive the Spirit just as the Jews received the Spirit back in Acts 2. This is the Gentile Pentecost; to receive the Spirit is to have God living in your heart.
People from every nation – Gentiles – are baptized, having received the Holy Spirit. God himself has come to live in their hearts: in the heart of a Gentile dog, who is considered to be unclean. God has broken into the heart because:
He’s Lord of all. He offers peace to all, forgiveness is available to all. He is judge of all.
The message of Acts 10 is: God’s grace knows no boundaries.
It will affect whom I mix with, to whom I open my home for the sake of the Gospel, who I consider to be an acceptable person to extend an invitation to … , or I’m ready to speak to, where I’m prepared to live, what I’m going to do with my life, if God’s grace knows no bounds, Christ’s work knows no limits.
As a group of people united by Jesus’ Gospel that has no walls, and has forgiven anybody anything, do we still communicate the presence of walls still to others?
There is a culture of spiritual self-confidence that gets inside the church. It leads to a pretence that “we are good”, a performance of “we are good” and a looking down on other people when the whole thing is about sinners who are forgiven. .
We need to remember that Jesus’ death has to do with sinners who are forgiven and was needed for me & for you. They are better than the animal sacrifices and there are no exceptions.
Hallmarks of a Genuine True Christian (Acts 11:1-18)
In Acts 11, as the Gospel is about to go global, and the hallmarks of a true Christian are given.
Acts 11:1-3 Peter reports the first Gentile convert with the circumcision party insisting that to be a true Christian, you have to be circumcised. Peter was criticized for having done what no pious Jew had ever done before – gone into a Gentile house and offered friendship with God (forgiveness & peace with God) through the Lord Jesus Christ to a whole new people group.
3 different ways of describing exactly the same event:
Acts 11:1 Received the word
Acts 10:47; 11:15-17 Received the Spirit
Acts 11:18 Granted repentance unto life
The author Dr Luke charts the Christian Gospel going from a small Jewish group in Israel, and now the first major Gentile convert, Cornelius, shown us in Acts 10 that the offer of God’s grace knows no boundaries – anybody is offered the grace of God – also shown the extent of Christ’s work knows no limit – Christ’s work is to offer salvation to anybody from any background.