First Baptist Church of San Bruno
Sunday July 26 - God Can Make A Way
In Christ Alone

Verse 1

In Christ alone my hope is found;

He is my light, my strength, my song;

This cornerstone, this solid ground,

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.


What heights of love, what depths of peace,

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

My comforter, my all in all—

Here in the love of Christ I stand.


Verse 2

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,

Fullness of God in helpless babe!

This gift of love and righteousness,

Scorned by the ones He came to save.


Till on that cross as Jesus died,

The wrath of God was satisfied;

For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—

Here in the death of Christ I live.


Verse 3

There in the ground His body lay,

Light of the world by darkness slain;

Then bursting forth in glorious day,

Up from the grave He rose again!


And as He stands in victory,

Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;

For I am His and He is mine—

Bought with the precious blood of Christ.


Verse 4

No guilt in life, no fear in death—

This is the pow’r of Christ in me;

From life’s first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny.


No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,

Can ever pluck me from His hand;

Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

Softly And Tenderly

Verse 1

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,

Calling for you and for me.

See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,

Watching for you and for me.


Chorus

Come home; come home.

You who are weary, come home.

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,

Calling, "O sinner, come home!"


Verse 2

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,

Pleading for you and for me?

Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,

Mercies for you and for me?


Verse 3

Time is now fleeting; the moments are passing,

Passing from you and from me.

Shadows are gathering; death's night is coming,

Coming for you and for me.


Verse 4

O for the wonderful love He has promised,

Promised for you and for me!

Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,

Pardon for you and for me.

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

Verse 1

I have decided to follow Jesus,

I have decided to follow Jesus,

I have decided to follow Jesus,

No turning back, no turning back.


Verse 2

The world behind me, the cross before me;

The world behind me, the cross before me;

The world behind me, the cross before me;

No turning back, no turning back.


Verse 3

Tho' none go with me, still I will follow,

Tho' none go with me, still I will follow,

Tho' none go with me, still I will follow,

No turning back, no turning back.


Verse 4

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?

No turning back, no turning back.

      • John 16:33NIV2011

  • In Christ Alone
  • Softly And Tenderly
  • Acts 9:43–10:8 ESV
    And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner. At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
    The verses we are looking at today may be some of the most important scriptures we have in our Bibles. At lease for us here in San Bruno...
    But before we learn why, we need to look back...
    Way back.
    Something happened a long long time ago that has effected every person on ever square inch of this planet and beyond.
    Genesis 3:1–24 ESV
    Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
    Through Adam and Eve’s rebellion, all people, of all nationalities, every tongue, ever skin color, now lives in sin and is born separated from God because of this.
    All people. All people.
    And there is absolutely nothing humans can do about this.
    The only one who can do anything about it is God.
    Throughout the rest of Genesis, we see God intervening on the behalf of humanity. Some people perish, some are saved, some are chosen...
    In the midst of this, what God is doing from Adam’s seed is making a way back… In Luke we see...
    from Adam
    to Seth,
    to Enos
    to Cainan
    to Mahalaleel
    to Jared
    To Enoch
    to Methuselah,
    to Lamech
    to Noah
    and then ten more generations all the way to a man named Abraham
    Genesis 12:1–3 ESV
    Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
    Abraham is the father of the Jewish People
    A people blessed by God who are meant to be a blessing to others.
    We read in Genesis 22 that God tests Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac.
    Abraham obeys.
    On the way to the sacrificial site, Isaac asks Abraham. “daddy, where is the lamb?”
    Abraham says, “don’t worry son, God will provide us with a lamb.”
    Once they arrive, Abraham binds Isaac.
    And just before he cuts his sons throat, God stops him.
    Genesis 22:13–18 ESV
    And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
    God says to Abraham “in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed...”
    After this point we see the development of a called out people called the Jews. Directly descended from this man Abraham.
    God calls out this people to be reunited with him in covenant relationship via the Law and his promise for a future redeemer...
    Jesus
    We’ve been reading about the incredible effects upon the Jewish people due to the life, death, resurrection, establishment of the church, and the ascension of Jesus.
    In fact, the first verse we read, Acts 9:43, shows just how Jesus’ fulfilling the law and dying for sinners effected the Jewish Christian community. In that Peter, the leader of the Jerusalem Church, on his missions journey, stays with a man who’s profession is a “tanner”.
    Acts 9:43 ESV
    And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.
    A tanner is someone who works with leather. He dries out dead carcasses.
    The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Acts of the Apostles 2. Raising Tabitha/Dorcas in Joppa (9:36–43)

    Tanners were considered unclean by more scrupulous Jews because of their contact with the hides of dead animals.

    This one verse indicates a change of pace. It foreshadows the coming events. Gentiles, like you and me, are about to be brought into the family of God. The most unclean are about to be made clean.
    A Jew, tasked with bringing people near to God’s presence, is staying “many days” with someone who would be barred from going into the temple courts. Simon, the tanner, has a Jewish name. He is a ceremonial unclean Jew. And by staying with this tanner, Simon, Peter, is also making himself ceremonially unclean. Meaning, he would also be barred from entering into the courts. He isn’t clean. According to the Law, he can’t enter God’s presence either.
    This verse is transitioning us into the part in Acts where God is about to break down every barrier, every ceremonial and ethnic barrier that prevents sinners from knowing him personally.
    Without this part of this true story, we wouldn’t be here today...
    Here we are seeing God initiating the fulfilment of this amazing, beautiful, gracious promise he made to Abraham.
    God is about to bridge the gap...
    Sermon In One Sentence
    God provided and provides salvation to all people who truly desire to return to Him
    You see, this amazing section shows us that its not just Jewish people who are invited to salvation through Jesus Christ. It’s now available to ALL people. From every tribe, every tongue. Clean or unclean. All are welcome through the door of Jesus.
    Working backwards
    In verses 5-8, we see that, for all people...

    Jesus Is The Only Way Back To God

    It’s important that we emphasize this right now. We have to look at the implications of what happens in verses 5-8.
    Acts 10:5–8 ESV
    And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
    “And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter.”
    This is after the angel has appeared and informed him as to why God has taken notice of Cornelius.
    Notice that the angelic being doesn’t say “guess what! You’re going to heaven!” “God really likes you Cornelius… He’s decided you are A-okay”.
    He says, “Get Peter here!”
    Why? 2 reasons.
    1. Cornelius can’t be saved without the gospel of Jesus Christ. Someone needs to preach it to him.
    This is the main thrust of this point I’m trying to make. You can’t be saved without responding to the gospel with faith and repentance. Jesus is the ONLY way back to God.
    Romans 10:14-15
    Romans 10:14–15 ESV
    How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
    Perhaps you may be remembering that Philip is supposed to be in Caesarea… Your right!
    Well why couldn’t Philip preach to Cornelius? That leads me to the second reason...
    2. Peter needed to see with his own eyes that the Gentiles were being grafted into the family of God through faith in Christ.
    We are going to learn a lot more about that next week.
    But for now, remember this: This episode is illustrating for us that both Cornelius and Peter needed conversion.
    Cornelius needed to be converted to Christ
    Peter needed his views about Jewish exclusivity converted.
    Jesus isn’t just the only way back to God for the Jews.
    Jesus is also the only way back to God for Gentiles… All People.
    All people have hope now! Though Jesus.
    “He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
    Simon get’s coordinates for Peter’s location.
    “Hey Spirit, give me directions to the Apostle Peter.”
    There is also the unique fact of Simon’s profession inserted into these coordinates.
    Remember: the fact that Peter is staying with Simon, a tanner, is very important and provide a bit of foreshadowing regarding what God is about to do and show to Peter.
    The unclean are about to be given a way to be made clean.
    Outside ceremonial realities will not hinder God from saving people.
    “When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.”
    Here we see just how Cornelius understood the importance of the command that the angel gave him.
    1. He chooses someone, who likely holds the same religious convictions that he does. “a devout soldier.”
    2. He chooses servants who are very close to him. “those who attended him” illustrates servants that were always with him meant to serve him in all his affairs.
    3. He tells them exactly what happened to him. In fact the text says he “related everything to them
    4. And then he sends them to do what the Angel told him to have them do.
    Cornelius knows that when God gives a command, it’s for a reason.
    The reason for this has spiritual and eternal implications.
    Cornelius doesn’t know what Peter is supposed to say or do. Yet, he still sends for him.
    He’s about to learn that Jesus is the way he will be reunited with his creator.
    Jesus is the only way back to God.
    I want you to understand this: From the moment Genesis 3 happened, God intended make a way for all people to get back to him. Not just Jews. Not just middle easterners. Not just white people. Or black people. But All People.
    But, God doesn’t just flip a switch and say “you know what, I’m gonna bring all people back to me without dealing with their sin, without faith. You know what… Love Wins, as one heretical book would tell you.
    If that were the case, then what’s the point in sharing the Gospel?
    Whats the point in telling Cornelius “send for Peter”?
    Why would Paul say “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?”
    Beloved, Jesus is the only way back to God.
    Don’t believe what the world tells you:
    That everyone is good and is going to heaven
    That a good God won’t punish sinners with hell.
    The whole reason we need to be saved from our sin and hell is because God is good.
    We aren’t!
    Instead, believe what this book says. Take it seriously when the angel says “go get Peter!”
    Some might accuse us of hate by saying they need Jesus.
    But they neglect to notice that God has made a way for ALL people to get back to him.

    Jesus Is The Only Way Back To God

    In verses 1-4, we see that, for all people...

    A True Craving For God Will Be Satisfied

    Craving… what does that make you think of?
    When your craving popcorn, you want popcorn.
    Let’s say you’re craving homemade popcorn with real butter. Will a microwave popcorn satisfy?
    If you’ve ever had homemade popcorn with real butter then you would emphatically say with me “NO!”
    When you hunger for the real thing, imposters won’t cut it.
    I believe this text shows us that Cornelius had a true craving for God. Not some imaginary God. Not Allah, Krishna, Shiva, or any God. He wanted the true God.
    These verses encourage me to believe that if there is someone, who truly wants the truth, who really wants to know God, even if it will shatter every ideal, belief, or conviction they had, God coordinate for them to hear the Gospel.
    Abraham has a story like that. I love Abe’s testimony.
    Many people have testimonies like that.
    Acts 10:1–4 ESV
    At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.
    “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort,”
    Luke gives us a window into who Cornelius is.
    He’s a Roman.
    He’s a leader.
    Likely a very regimented and responsible man.
    We don’t necessarily need to discuss what the Italian Cohort was. Just imagine a respected army general.
    “a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.”
    Here is the most important information about Cornelius:
    1. He was devout - Think Piety: dedicated to your religious ideals. Sincere about your affections towards God.
    But they weren’t just sincerely devout towards any God.
    2. He and his family “feared God” - Luke uses this term to refer to the God of Israel. YHWH.
    Revered. Understood that there is a real God who who is ruler and creator over all of creation.
    Psalm 19:1-3
    Psalm 19:1–3 ESV
    The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
    Romans 1:19
    Romans 1:19 ESV
    For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
    Cornelius had a proper response to what God has revealed in all creation.
    He didn’t just believe something about God, he also showed it with his actions.
    3. “He gave alms generously to the people” -
    His knowledge and love for God led him to love his neighbor.
    4. And “he prayed continually to God.”
    Humble dependence on God and humble praise of God.
    He was someone who was truly hungry for God. He wanted to know God. He wanted to relate with God.
    “ About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.”
    We see here that God is not oblivious to Cornelius’ sincerity and desire to know God and experience God.
    God delights in this.
    “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.”
    “memorial” - Meaning, it has brought about God “remembering” him. Paying attention to him.
    Cornelius is attempting to draw near to God. Like truly do it.
    Perhaps Cornelius thinks he can earn favor with God. I don’t know.
    Whatever this is, it has caught God’s attention. And God is going to bring about a means for Cornelius to hear the gospel.
    God responds to Cornelius’ hunger to know Him and relate to him with orchestrating the means by which Cornelius can access God unhindered.
    Cornelius is going to get the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    I know a lot of people bring up objections to our faith like this:
    “What about the person living in a unreached area who doesn’t have access to a preacher?”
    GOTCHA!!
    Really, these people are not sympathizing with the unreached person. They are essentially challenging God’s character.
    They’re saying “The Gospel may be true, but God is evil because he sends “innocent” people to hell and doesn’t give them a chance to respond to Jesus.
    Beloved, that is a big fat myth!!
    There are no innocent people
    Most people who hear the gospel hate it. And so will most unreached people.
    If someone really really really wants to know God and they are willing to embrace the truth no matter where it takes them, God will make a way! Just look at this story!
    There are tons of people who’ve had this happen to them.
    Muslims, Hindu’s, all sorts of people report amazing things like this happening to them!
    If someone is ripe for the harvest, God will send a messenger!
    But guess what this means...
    He might want to send you!

    A True Craving For God Will Be Satisfied

    How does God satisfy it:
    He hears and sees the cry.
    He sends people like you!
    Conclusion
    Main Idea (Sermon in a Sentence)
    God provided and provides salvation to all people who truly desire to return to Him
    Jesus is the only way back to God.
    A true craving for God will be satisfied.
    This whole episode illustrates these two points in the context of God realizing the promise he made to Abraham thousands of years ago!
    You and I have the immense privilege of being connected to God through Jesus.
    Is God prompting you to connect Him to someone? Is there someone you need to share the Gospel with?
    Remember, people can be sincere about their piety… But unless that piety collides with Jesus, that person is still completely separated from God. They need Jesus.
    You need Jesus.
    Have you connected to God through Jesus?
      • Acts 9:43–10:8ESV

      • Genesis 3:1–24ESV

      • Genesis 12:1–3ESV

      • Genesis 22:13–18ESV

      • Acts 9:43ESV

      • Acts 10:5–8ESV

      • Romans 10:14–15ESV

      • Acts 10:1–4ESV

      • Psalm 19:1–3ESV

      • Romans 1:19ESV

  • I Have Decided To Follow Jesus
      • John 16:33NIV2011

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