Audio Available from May 19, 2013 - Acts 10:34-11:18 "Actively Involved... but Not in the Way"
In this 2nd half of the Peter / Cornelius story we pay particular attention to the character of Peter. We notice his comment in 11:17 "who was I to think that I could stand in God's way?" In pouring out the Spirit on unclean Gentiles, God was doing something way outside Peter's comfort zone! As the story unfolds we notice several indicators that reveal Peter to be an obedient follower of Jesus who is willing to step out of the way and let God do His supernatural and surprising work of bringing 'even the Gentiles' to faith. We identify 5 indicators - 1) prayer - Peter is going up to the roof to pray when God gives him the vision, 2) simple obedience - 'the Spirit said... Peter did' - it really is about hearing and doing, 3) faithful to his commission - Peter's sermon in Cornelius' house is a simple yet profound re-telling of the story of Jesus - Peter is simply bearing witness to what he has seen (see Acts 1:8), 4) willing to stay out of the way - the language of the end of Acts 10 tells us that as Peter is still speaking, God sends the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles and Peter responds - 'who can stand in the way of them also being baptized with water', 5) willing to defend his actions against opposition - we see this as Peter returns to Jerusalem to tell the story to the other Jewish believers there. We respond to this story by praising God that the Good News of Jesus reaches to the Gentiles and from there continues its global journey to all languages, peoples and nations! We also take a challenge from the example of Peter that we too might be willing participants in God's work without getting in the way!
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