Father, give me such a sense of your reality that I will not be surprised when You reveal Yourself in power.
Read Acts 10:34-48
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“There can be no doubt that the chief evidence (of the fullness of the Spirit) is moral not miraculous, and lies in the Spirit’s fruits, not the Spirit’s gifts” (John Stott).
Peter preaches masterly sermons. Here he recounts his own spiritual and theological journey—the journey that made him realize God’s indiscriminate concern for people of all nations—and then he summarizes the ministry of Jesus. Peter’s expectation that Cornelius will already be aware of the story of Jesus is an indication of the growth and reputation the church has already achieved. The numbers converted in Jerusalem and the dispersal under persecution had put the Christians’ message on everyone’s radar, but its relevance for the Gentile Cornelius was not yet apparent. Peter had already preached the thrust of his message before the Spirit came down. It is the same message that he preached on the day of Pentecost. The difference now is that it is proclaimed not in the Temple in Jerusalem but in a Gentile household.
The Holy Spirit brings together all the elements of the situation that we have been noting: the location, the audience, the Jewish Christians from Joppa, the vision Peter had received and the message he has preached. Suddenly we have the Gentile Pentecost. The sound of the wind and the tongues of fire were absent, but the speaking of other languages was heard again. The purpose here was perhaps not that people might recognize their own languages, but to point to the universality of the Gospel. Whatever language you are speaking, whether naturally learned or divinely given, you can use it to praise God. For Paul, the mark that he had been converted was his praying (Acts 9:11), for Cornelius it is praising God. When the Ethiopian eunuch heard the message, he asked why he should not be baptized (Acts 8:36). Now Peter asks his fellow believing Jews the same question. The evidence of the power of the Spirit poured out upon the Gentiles is the sign that they should be baptized.
What signs of the Spirit’s work do you see in your life and in your church? What further signs will you pray to see?
Spirit of God, I invite You to work in my life. Fill me, form me, and free me to serve to Your glory.
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