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05 November 2023 // Acts 10:34-48

The Good News!                                                                                                            
Kyle Childress
Acts Chapter 10:34-48                                                                              
Anderson Baptist Church
SCRIPTURAL APPLICATION:  Read Acts Chapter 10:34-48. Watch/Listen to Nov 5 sermon.
Peter Preaches
            What he now knew. Vs. 34-35
            What they already knew. Vs. 36-38
            What they had witnessed. Vs. 39-41
            What he commanded them to do. Vs. 42-43
Holy Spirit Moves
            On the statement of salvation. Vs. 43-44
            The mystery was revealed. Vs. 45  Ephesians 3:1-6
People Respond
            They believed. Vs. 43-46
            They were baptized. Vs. 47-48
  • What did the message teach me about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit?
  • What did the message teach me about the human condition?
  • Is there anything I need to confess, repent, or be grateful for, because of this passage?
  • How do I need help in believing and applying this scripture to my life?
  • How can I encourage others with this passage?

Motivation to Go
A veteran pastor served for years in a small town in northern Montana. One day the Lord called him home to heaven, and it appeared his earthly sojourn was complete. As it turned out, however, he had been brought to glory a little earlier than the heavenly schedule had designed. After making the appropriate apologies, the Lord informed the pastor he would have to return to that dreary small town and continue to serve until the actual time of his home going arrived.

Upon this announcement, an argument ensued, with the pastor actually saying, “I won’t go!” and the Lord reminding him, “You must!” Finally the pastor said, “Well, Lord, I’ll go back to northern Montana if you’ll go with me.” After the Lord pondered the offer for several minutes he finally replied, “Well, I’ll go with you as far as Billings.”

Silly nonsense, of course, but descriptive of Peter’s early mood when that odious sheet came down. By the time the messengers arrived, he had dealt with his attitude and was quite motivated to go and accomplish whatever God wished of him. Furthermore, God went with him all the way to Caesarea and stayed with him every moment.

To be sure, the essence of this chapter, its theological epicenter, focuses on the proclamation of the gospel to Gentiles and their receipt of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, Peter’s role as the reluctant messenger offers us significant lessons as well. Peter’s first sermon upon beginning his address dealt with something he himself had just learned—God does not show favoritism. The specific context deals with the offer of salvation and the universal gospel, but the phrase extends itself into much more far-reaching aspects of Christian life.

God does not show favoritism … even though we often do. Every time we cater to wealthy people in a church and ignore those whose offerings do not enhance its ministry, we show favoritism (Jas. 2:1–9). Favoritism, says James, is sin, and one sin makes us as guilty as another no matter what artificial hierarchy of sin we may have constructed in the contemporary church.

Obviously, the opposite of positive favoritism is negative discrimination—on any basis. Solid evangelical Christians practice discrimination in ways far wider than race, age, or gender, though those common areas still present a minefield of failure. We discriminate when we don’t allow sound believers of other denominations to preach in the pulpits of our denomination. We discriminate when we fail to accept baptism by another group for membership in our congregation, even though that baptism may be the same mode we practice. We constantly favor those we like and avoid those we dislike, favor those who agree with us and shun those who disagree. God does not show favoritism, and we should post in front of every evangelical church, whatever its label, and hang on the walls of every Christian home, regardless of its location, a readable and attention-grabbing sign—“NO FAVORITISM ALLOWED!”[1]
A.  Word
Appearing some 330 times in the New Testament, the word logos is familiar to many people who have never studied Greek. John used it no fewer than sixty-five times in his writings, forty of those found in this Gospel. The noun refers to a message or pronouncement, either oral or written. John used it to refer to the Old Testament, or the words of Jesus, or to Jesus himself. Henry Blackaby spells it out: “Thus, the primary use of logos is to denote divine revelation in some form or another. John used the term in its most exalted sense when he personified logos to refer to Christ. The Logos eternally existed as God (the Son) and with God (the Father)—He was in fact the Creator (John 1:1–3)—but He became a human being (v. 14), Jesus of Nazareth, so that He could reveal the Father and His will for humanity (v. 18)” (Blackaby, p. 2).[2]

B.  World
Here is another Greek lesson, and this time the English word sounds exactly like its Greek ancestor. The universe is often called the “cosmos” from the Greek word kosmos. The ancient Greeks used this word to describe a building or a city or even a culture. This common word for “world” appears 188 times in the New Testament, often referring to the earth and its inhabitants, the sinful society alien to God’s truth. Hence we get the concept “worldliness.” Pastors often remind us that even Christians can be “worldly” in the sense that they can focus their attention on possessions and entertainment rather than God’s Word and the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The characteristic of the lost world is precisely the darkness we discussed above.
Boice puts it this way: “Why was it that the world did not know and recognize the Lord Jesus Christ when He was present? The first answer to that question is that the world did not want Him. We know from experience that if a man does not want to see a truth (or an injustice either, for that matter), he will not see it. So, in exactly the same way, men and women did not recognize the Lord Jesus Christ primarily because they did not want to recognize Him” (Boice, I, p. 73).

C.  Born of God
Non-Christians commonly associate the term born again with believers, but in actuality the word again does not describe the process adequately. John 1:13 talks about being “born of God” and John 3:3 about being “born again.” Both phrases refer to a second birth. Peter spoke twice of being born again, using the word anagennao (1 Pet. 1:3, 23), but John used only the word born without the prefix ana. Probably some of our modern grasp of the term comes from Chuck Colson’s testimony book entitled Born Again.
The evangelist George Whitefield once wrote to Benjamin Franklin, “As you have made a pretty considerable progress in the mysteries of electricity, I would now honestly recommend to your diligent unprejudiced pursuit and study the mysteries of the new birth.”[3]
  • Jesus commanded the disciple to preach the Gospel. How do we personally carry out that commandment in our own lives?
  • How do you know you have the Holy Spirit in your life? What are some ways he reveals himself to you?
  • The people of Caesarea ask Peter to stay for “some days”. They had a desire to hear more. Do we see that desire in our church? In our own life? How can we improve in this area?
[1] Kenneth O. Gangel, Acts, vol. 5, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 168–169.
[2] Kenneth O. Gangel, John, vol. 4, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 21.
[3] Kenneth O. Gangel, John, vol. 4, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 22–23.