“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes… He will glorify Me.” (John 16:14)
"While Peter was still speaking these words (exalting Jesus) the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message." Here we see that as Peter glorifies Jesus, the Holy Spirit both saves (baptizes into the body of Christ – 1 Cor. 12:12-14) and fills (Eph. 5:18) – both for inward growth in Christlikeness – fruit of the Spirit (Gr. plêroô and its cognate plêrês) and outward manifestations of spiritual power – gifts of the Spirit (pimplêmi). "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes… He will glorify Me." (John 16:14) As we exalt Jesus Christ we invite the Holy Spirit to come to save and empower God's people. (See lesson 4 on Acts for more about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. http://www.kenboa.org/text_resources/teaching_letters/lens_mens_fellowship
Last week we saw how God brings the seeking heart (Cornelius) and the willing messenger (Peter) together for salvation. Here we see Peter's simple but powerful presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the saving and empowering ministry of the Holy Spirit. Let's look at the eight descriptions of Jesus which Peter proclaims to Cornelius and his family that brings salvation to these Gentiles and makes one new man (Jew and Gentile as one in Christ – Eph. 2:14-16) as Peter uses the keys of the kingdom (Matt. 16:18-19) to take the gospel (Acts 1:8) from Jerusalem, (Peter preaching in Acts 2), to Judea and Samaria (Peter laying hands on the Samaritan believers to receive the Holy Spirit – Acts 8) and now to the ends of the earth (Peter preaching the gospel to Cornelius, a Gentile, here in Acts 10).
1) Jesus, the only way to peace with God – 34 "Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, (Deut. 10:17) 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him (all who sincerely seek God will find Him (Jer. 29:13).36 The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ"…"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom. 5:1) Unrepentant mankind is an enemy of God and under His holy wrath (John 3:36) until he surrenders to God's terms of peace – the free pardon of sin through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, God the Son. Fallen man is not at peace with his neighbor because he is not at peace with himself because he is not at peace with God. There will not be "peace on earth good will to man" in the ultimate sense until Jesus the Prince of Peace returns and establishes His Kingdom on earth. (Revelation 20-22) "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way." (Psalm 2:12) Surrender to Him today and be at peace with God forever.
2) Jesus is "Lord of all" (v.36) – Only God Himself can die for the sins of man and Jesus Christ is God in a human body. The blood of bulls and goats were only a temporary means of salvation pointing to the blood of Christ as the only way to salvation. (Acts 4:12) There is no other god but the Triune God – One God, in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And He is Lord of all – the saved and the lost and one day every knee will bow to His Name, in heaven and on earth and under the earth (hell). (Phil. 2:10-11)
3) Jesus a Man (a human like us except without sin) was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power. "You yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. 38 You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power…" They had heard about Jesus but now they would come to know Him personally. And like Jesus the God Man, we are anointed with the Holy Spirit and power as we, as believers, depend on Him and submit to Him to "only do what we see the Father doing." (John 5:19; Eph. 5:18; Phil. 4:13)
4) Jesus, the God-Man is stronger than Satan – "He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." 14 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil- 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." (Heb. 2:14-18) "Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don't rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven." (Luke 10:19-20) "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." (1 John 5:20) Satan is real and has influence over all who reject Christ.
5) Jesus died for our sins – "We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross." Jesus' sinless life alone could not redeem us from our sins; the Spotless Lamb had to die. "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (Heb. 9:22) Jesus gave up His life, no one took it (John 10:18) according to God's predetermined plan before the foundation of the world (Acts 4:27-28; Rev. 13:8)
6) But God raised Him up " – 40 "God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead." Jesus is alive! Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, etc., are dead. His bodily resurrection both proved He is God (Deity) and assures us of eternal life in our resurrected body where we will eat and drink with our Lord at the ultimate banquet – the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Rev. 19:7) "The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David's family line, 4 and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 1:3-4) God will create a new heaven and a new earth and we will live forever with perfect, glorified bodies just like our Lord's. He is the first fruit of the new creation. (1 Cor. 15)
7) Jesus is the final Judge of all people – 42 "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead." (See John 5:22, 27; Acts 17:31; 2 Tim. 4:1; 1 Pet. 4:5) ["O that the Spirit would come and make this real to you! Every one of you will stand before Jesus Christ as your judge, just as surely as I am standing before you right now. No pinstriped power suits, no Visa cards, no medals, no make-up or cool pants or trendy shoes or stylish hair. Just the plain, get-up-in-the-morning, unimproved, sinful you. And Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, will decide where you spend eternity. And what he decides in that moment, you decide now. You will either be condemned justly for all your sins and sent to everlasting torment (Revelation 14:11; Also see Rev. 20:11-15), or you will be acquitted, pardoned, and received into everlasting joy. The difference? That's what Peter lifts up last (point 8) in his sermon before the Spirit falls. John Piper on Acts 10]
8) Jesus, God's Source of forgiveness for man's sins – "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." Jesus the Judge of all can be our Savior and Friend forever if we will confess our sins and need for His forgiveness which He purchased on the cross. There is only one unforgivable sin and that is to reject the Sin-bearer Jesus. "When he (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt, in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me." (John 16:8-9)
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also." Jesus said, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." Peter exalted Jesus, His life, death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit saved and filled these new Gentile believers just as He had done with the 120 at Pentecost. May we, like Peter, exalt Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord and soon coming King!
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND APPLICATION
1) Which of these 8 attributes of Jesus do you think unbelievers would be the most receptive to and which would they most react to?
2) Which of these 8 attributes of Jesus do you think believers least understand or benefit from? How about you?
3) In your day-to-day routine activities (at home, work, hobbies, shopping, etc.) how can you lift up Jesus in ways you may never have? How may some of these 8 attributes help you do that?
4) What is your main take away from the message and table discussion and how can you apply it to your life?