Writings on Christianity

Acts 10 Sermon Outline (IMPARTIAL GOD)

Here are the notes for the sermon I preached on Acts 10 “Impartial God” at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville, Illinois on 8/13/23. Audio here.

Impartial God (Acts 10)

INTRO: Imagine we split into two groups: Cubs fans or White Sox fans; Unfair Ice Cream distribution
      -This is called partiality or favoritism.
                  –God shows no partiality: impartial & saves all kinds of people (Jews, Gentiles, Black, White, Rich, Poor)
                              -This is a beautiful quality of God and leads us to worship Him!

-Book of Acts tells us about the establishment and expansion of God’s kingdom on Earth
      -Jesus is the king who brought God’s kingdom to Earth, and who died and rose again
                  -Commissioned his apostles to lead his church and preach the gospel
                              -Promised they would his witnesses an ever-expanding area (Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, ends of Earth)
                                          -Promised the H.S. would come and empower them for ministry
      -So far, in ch 1-9 we have seen much of this happen
                  -H.S. poured out on day of Pentecost and church expands from 120 to thousands
                              -Persecution, leading to scattering of Christians but also increased evangelization.
                                          -Church is expanding and even the Samaritans have become Christians
TODAY: we see the first clear example of Gentiles—non-Jews—becoming Christians.
      -We also see Peter instructed in the wonderful truth that God is impartial: no favoritism and fair to all.
                  -God call all kinds of people into his kingdom and all are saved same way: by faith in Jesus.

Main IDEA: If we are to rightly understand God, we must see that He is an impartial God.
      -God saves all kinds of people, and that is good news!

1 Visions and Messengers (1-27)
This section is organized by visions from God, messengers, and a meeting between Paul and Cornelius.
-VISION 1: Cornelius Has a Vision from God (1-8)
      -Cornelius Introduced (1-2)

                  -Corenelius was a Centurion: Roman solider responsible for 100 soldiers
                  -Godly: a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.

      -A Vision from God and Instruction (3-6)
                  -God speaks to Cornelius in a vision: saw clearly in a vision an angel of God
                  -God instructs Cornelius: send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter
                              -Cornelius Obeys God and Sends Messengers to Peter (7-8)

-VISION 2: Peter’s Has a Vision from God (9-23a)
      -Peter’s Vision (9-18)
                  -On the rooftop praying while Cornelius’ men were approach the city (9)
                  -Vision of a sheet with all kinds of creatures—both ceremonially clean & unclean—descending (12)
                              -Jews considered some foods clean & others unclean (common): bacon, shellfish
                  -Peter instructed to kill and eat, but refused as he knows he should not eat ceremonially unclean food (13-14)
                  -God tells Peter that he has made them clean (15)
                              -Vision is repeated 3 times to help Peter know it is true and is to be trusted (16)
-Initially Peter was “inwardly perplexed” (17)
                              -At this very moment Cornelius’ men arrive (17b-18)

      -Peter Instructed (19-23a)
                  -Peter told by the Spirit: go with the messengers from Cornelius because “I have sent them” (19-20)
                  -Peter invited them to stay with him (21-23a)

-MEETING: Peter and Cornelius Meet (9:23b-27)
      -Peter travels with the messengers to meet Cornelius (23b-24)
                  -Cornelius is waiting—expectantly—with a group of “relatives and close friends”

       -Peter and Cornelius Awkward Initial Encounter (25-26)
                  -Cornelius ‘fell down and worshiped’ Peter, but Peter lifts him up
                              -Reminds us of John (Revelation 22:8)
SUMMARIZING Comment and observation

-God is at work in Cornelius: preparing him to hear the gospel
      -Same is true today!
-God is at work in Peter: revealing the truth that God is impartial and saves all kinds of people (not just Jews)
      -Same is true today! God is helping believers grow in their knowledge of Him.

2 Peter Proclaims the Gospel of an Impartial God (28-43)
Peter explains his new understanding of God as impartial who saves all who believe in Jesus
-Peter’s New Understanding of God (28-33)
            -God has Shown Peter that He has GRACE for ALL KINDS of People: He is IMPARTIAL (28-29)
                  -Peter’s initial hesitancy to associate with Gentiles (28)
                  -God has “shown” Peter not to “call any person common or unclean” (28)
-This is the conclusion of the vision God gave Peter: foods (and other dividing marks) no more
                                          -3 Part division of OT Law (Civil, Ceremonial, Moral)
                                                      -Jesus has fulfilled civil and ceremonial, but moral law continues for believers.
                  -Because of this new understanding of God’s impartial grace, Peter arrived without objection (29a).
                              -Peter’s QUESTION: “Why did you send for me?”      -Cornelius Gives a Recap then an Invitation to Preach! (30-33)
                  -Sometimes these moments do come, and we too should take them.

-Peter Proclaims the Gospel (34-43)
      -Opening Statement about God’s Lack of Partiality (34-35)
                  -Key: “God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
                              -“partiality”=Showing an unfair bias toward one group of people over another
                                                      -Eph 6:9; James 2:1                              

                                                                  -God saves all kinds of people!
      -Jesus Christ PROCLAIMED (36-43)
                  -Gospel is about Jesus (36-37)
Message of Jesus is “good news of peace”: peace w/God and each other(Col 1:21-22)
                                          -Apart from Jesus, with cannot have peace with God or peace inside
                              -“Lord of all”=Jesus is the true lord of all, king of kings.
                                          –“You yourselves know what happened…” Peter is assuming Gentiles have some literacy w/gospel story
-Jesus PROCLAIMED (38-43)
                  –LIFE (38-39a)
                              -Anointed with “Holy Spirit and power” (38a)
                              -“doing good and healing all oppressed by the devil” (38b)
                                          -Peter is a witness of what Jesus accomplished (39)                  –DEATH (39b)
                              -Jesus died on a cross “put him to death by hanging him on a tree,”
-God raised him on 3rd day and appeared to his disciples
                                          –“ate and drank with him after he rose from dead”=NO GHOST!
                              -Peter and apostles “commanded…to preachActs 1:8; Matt 28:18-20
                                                      -Our task too!
-Jesus is the promised one: “To him all the prophets bear witness
                              -“EVERYONE who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
                                          -No partiality, but open to everyone who believes
                                          -WONDER & GLORY of Forgiveness of sin
                                                      -THROUGH FAITH: “believes in Him
: Our neighbors greatest need is to have forgiveness of sin.
      -Gospel IS: God loves you and sent Jesus to die for you. Believe on Jesus and have your sins forgiven!

3. God’s Impartial Grace Experienced (44-48)
-Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles (44)-Amazement and Evidence of H.S. Poured Out (45-46a)
-Jewish Christians (believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter) were amazed
REASON: “gift of Holy Spirit poured out even on the Gentiles”
PROOF: “For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God.
                                          -Just like what happened in Acts 2 (Pentecost)
 -Right Response to Saving Faith: Baptism (46b-48)
-Baptism is for those who are Christians.
                  –NOTE: “who have received the Holy Spirit”
                              -All Christian have H.S., and happens at conversion.
      -Peter “remain[s] for some days
                  -Peter has come to grasp the beautiful impartial grace of God and fellowships with gentile Christians.

*APPLICATION: 1 Delighting in God’s impartial grace. 2 Proclaim Jesus to all people!

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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