First Baptist Church Laredo
Wednesday Night Bible Study - 7/8/2020 - Acts 10:34-11:18
  • Last week we looked at the gospel coming to the Gentiles, specifically to the family of Cornelius. In this lesson, we are going to look at the implications of the spread of the gospel to the Gentiles. Peter will recount what happened and defend Gentile salvation.

    1. Good News for Gentiles (Acts 10:34-43)

    After the preceeding events, Peter gave a evangelistic speech recounting redemptive history.
    Acts 10:34–43 CSB
    34 Peter began to speak: “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, 35 but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 You know the events that took place throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the devil, because God was with him. 39 We ourselves are witnesses of everything he did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, and yet they killed him by hanging him on a tree. 40 God raised up this man on the third day and caused him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us whom God appointed as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that through his name everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins.”

    A. Peter “discovered” a surprising truth: God does not show favoritism. (Acts 10:34-35)

    God doesn’t care what your skin color is or what nation you are from. God doesn’t care about your ethnicity. None of these human and wordly distinctions matter to him, nor should they matter to us. The only question for the individual is “What will you do with God’s offer of salvation?” “Will you accept Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins?”
    Jesus had already implied that salvation would come to the Gentiles.
    John 10:16 CSB
    16 But I have other sheep that are not from this sheep pen; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.
    John 12:32 CSB
    32 As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.”
    The Great Commission made it clear that the gospel was to be taken to everyone, but they still didn’t get it until God made it especially clear.

    B. Peter proclaimed the good news of peace. (Acts 10:36)

    Peace (shalom) is the basic message from God to his people. He would bring them peace. Peace might be thought as a synonym for salvation. Peace is present when God and man are reconciled.

    C. Peter summarized the ministry of Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:37-42)

    He mentioned Christ’s baptism, the miracles, and the good Jesus did on earth. The apostles had witnessed all that Jesus had done while he was on earth. He was crucified. He died and was buried, but rose from the dead on the third day. He was seen and he interacted with his followers. Finally, he commanded his followers to preach to the people and testify of him. Preaching is about proclaiming a message. The main message we preach is Jesus. Testify is about bearing witness in a court of law.

    D. Peter claimed that all prophets testify as to Jesus being the Messiah. (Acts 10:43)

    Also, don’t miss Peter’s assertion. Everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins. If you respond to the gospel by believing in Jesus, you will receive the forgiveness of your sins. While Peter was still speaking, something absolutely magnificent happened.

    2. Gentile Conversion and Baptism (Acts 10:44-48)

    Acts 10:44–48 CSB
    44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and declaring the greatness of God. Then Peter responded, 47 “Can anyone withhold water and prevent these people from being baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.

    A. Peter’s message is cut short as the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentile converts. (Acts 10:44)

    This is a unique event. The Holy Spirit came upon the Gentile believers before baptism. Later in Acts 11, Peter would connect the Holy Spirit coming on Gentiles with the way the Holy Spirit came upon the first followers of Jesus.

    B. Peter’s companions were “astonished” by the events. (Acts 10:45)

    In spite of all of God’s leading, the people who had accompanied Peter were surprised that Gentiles would be accepted by God.

    C. The Gentile converts manifested gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:46)

    Just like the first disciples, the Gentiles converts manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit by immediately proclaiming the greatness of God in other languages. Remember, the are in Caesarea which is a port town and a central city of commerce. People from all over would have been present in the town and they went out, just like on the day of Pentecost to proclaim God to the people in their native language. I like to think of this as the Gentile Pentecost.

    D. The Gentile converts are baptized. (Acts 10:47-48)

    Peter did not wait to baptize these new disciples. Peter was confident that this event was from God.

    3. Gentile Salvation Defended (Acts 11:1-18)

    You might be thinking that everyone would respond to such an amazing event with positivism and celebration. How amazing that God had extended salvation to the Gentiles. What an awesome God! Nope, it is was a complaint fest.
    Acts 11:1–3 CSB
    1 The apostles and the brothers and sisters who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2 When Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, 3 saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

    A. Peter returned to Jerusalem and faced criticism. (Acts 11:1-3)

    The news had spread about what had transpired. Everyone was talking about how the Gentiles had come to faith in Jesus. However, “those of the circumcision” were critical and complaining about Peter’s activity. “Those of the circumcision” is going to become a faction in the church which will cause division. They were a group of people who wanted to carry Jewish tradition into the church. Specifically, they wanted circumcision to be mandatory for all followers of Jesus. One problem, Jesus didn’t make it mandatory.
    We need to be careful as well that we do not make mandatory what God has not made mandatory.

    Do not make mandatory what God has not made mandatory.

    We need to be careful that we do not add things to the Scriptures. The Bible is our authority for faith and practice, not traditions. Traditions might be comforting to us, but they are not the mean of salvation.
    I think I am safe in saying, anyone who pioneers change will face criticism.
    • When styles of music we are unfamiliar with are presented in church, many protest, saying it is irreverent, without really trying hard to understand why the changes have been made. When Handel’s Messiah was first perfomed in England the style of music and the place it was performed (the concert hall) did not sit well with many.
    • William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, broke new ground for the church by going out to the poor, the alcoholics, and others considered undesirables in society. But respected and devout leaders of the church criticized him. Even the great evangelical politician the Earl of Shaftesbury, who was himself a champion of the rights of the poor, once announced that after much study he was convinced that the Salvation Army was clearly the Antichrist. Someone else even added that in his own studies, he learned that the “number” of William Booth’s name added up to 666!
    Ajith Fernando, Acts, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), 344–345.

    B. Peter explained everything that happened. (Acts 11:4-16)

    I am not going to read all of this because it is mainly a recounting of the preceeding events. A couple of notes about Peter’s recounting of the events.

    i. Peter had six brothers with him who could testify to the events.

    ii. Peter recalled Jesus’ promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the indicator of his abiding presence.

    The promise had been fulfilled among the Jews and now it was fulfilled among the Gentiles. This was truly the Gentile Pentecost.

    C. God’s work among the Gentiles was unmistakable. (Acts 11:17-18)

    Acts 11:17–18 CSB
    17 If, then, God gave them the same gift that he also gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder God?” 18 When they heard this they became silent. And they glorified God, saying, “So then, God has given repentance resulting in life even to the Gentiles.”
    For the time being, no one could object. However, we will hear from the circumcision party soon. They will be disturbed when they find out how many “Gentiles” were coming into the church.
      • Acts 10:34–43CSB

      • Acts 10:34–35CSB

      • John 10:16CSB

      • John 12:32CSB

      • Acts 10:36CSB

      • Acts 10:37–42CSB

      • Acts 10:43CSB

      • Acts 10:44–48CSB

      • Acts 10:44CSB

      • Acts 10:45CSB

      • Acts 10:46CSB

      • Acts 10:47–48CSB

      • Acts 11:1–3CSB

      • Acts 11:1–3CSB

      • Acts 11:4–16CSB

      • Acts 11:17–18CSB

      • Acts 11:17–18CSB

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