Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“A Spirit Empowered Message for All”
January 14, 2018
Acts 10:1-16, 34-48
The story of Cornelius God at work in fulfilling the Great Commission (from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth). It also represents God’s heart for man’s salvation, not limiting the sacrifice of Christ to the Jews. (See 2 Peter 2:9).
The story of God’s intervention into the life of Cornelius is grace portrayed.
Peter’s vision calls believers to take the Gospel to everyone regardless of their station or situation in life. Remember God looks not on the outward appearance of a man, but on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) Race does not mean rank.
Note the progression in this story …. Conviction, conversion, and confession of faith (baptism).
“in another tongue” – throughout the book of Acts tongues serves to evidence the New Covenant of God with man; it was an introductory sign of something new in God’s relationship with man. Tongues was either someone speaking in a language unknown to them or someone understanding a language that was unknown to them, or a combination of both; someone spoke and someone understood.
God cultivates a Gentile’s heart to receive the gospel (Acts 10:1-8).
God sees the activities of man. Nothing you do, good or bad, is hidden from the view of God.
Point of Emphasis … Even though Cornelius prayed to Jehovah God, and did charitable acts, he was not redeemed (Religion and goods works are not redemptive). How is this story similar to the story of Nicodemus (John 3:1-16)? See Titus 3:5-7.
Challenge: Don’t do good works to be saved, but because you are saved … may what you do outwardly reveal who you are inwardly.
“Cornelius” – God is personally acquainted with you needs.
While this is not the point of this passage (verse 4), as believers, we should treat our deeds, works, charitable activities as offerings to the Lord… showing what we do we do for the glory of God.
Note the unconditional obedience of Cornelius to do what he was instructed
God condemns His people’s sense of superiority (Acts 10:9-16).
God uses this illustration to rebuke Peter’s religious zeal, religion over righteousness (God told Peter what to do; Peter refused citing religious preference.
God’s love is unconditional … without merit … man comes to God with nothing to offer, only something to receive.
Effective witness requires we see people as those whom God loves unconditionally.
God is no respecter of persons.
How does this story apply to James 2:1-10 and the church today?
God calls His people to welcome all who believe the gospel (Acts 10:34-48).
Just like Cornelius, what people need to hear is the story of Jesus (See Romans 1:16) “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Remember – the success of your witness is not determined by the result, but rather you obedience to do what God has said to do. (Leave the results to God). You never fail unless you fail to do.
(36) Jesus came to bring peace between God and man, and man and man.
Real faith cannot exist apart from believing in the sacrificial atonement of Christ as the Son of God, His resurrection from the dead, and commitment to Christ of one’s life (Romans 10:9-13).
“We are witnesses…” – and so are we today as the children of God set free from the tyranny of Satan and the bonds of sin and death.
Verse 42 is Peter’s rewording of Matthew 28:18-20.
Questions – When does the Holy Spirit come to indwell believers? (At the moment of salvation). How do you answer those who say, “if you haven’t spoken in tongues you are not redeemed?”
While baptism is not essential FOR salvation, it is essential TO salvation. Why should a believer be baptized if it is not to be saved?
Theological Theme: God is not a respecter of persons, but offers to “whosoever will” His gift of salvation.
Christological/Christ Connection: We are one in Christ regardless of ethnicity; those trusting Christ are one family.
Missional Application: Do not show favoritism but share the Gospel with all people.