Acts 10: 34-48
The Expansion of His Church
This could be the most gracious moment in church history. The disciples and other certain countrymen understood what it meant to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit but here you see that totally change. The change that took place would forever change the church of Jesus Christ. If you read prior to the passage listed above you can see the set-up. How God did this was through Peter and a man named Cornelius. They both had these visions that would bring them to each other and each man had something the other needed. Its pretty much something you could see in a modern television series. Pretty cool. They come together and explained to one another what was up It was like they already knew each other. Have you ever experienced that? When you get to meet other believers in Christ that you have never met before and its like there is an immediate connection. Like you already knew each other. Thats the power of God. Thats the Holy Spirit making that connection between yourself and the other believers that you meet that have that same Jesus dwelling inside of them. When Peter met Cornelius there was a connection. When Peter began to put all of this together with all of those surrounding Cornelius he began to tell the story of Christ. That changed everything.
The name of Jesus Christ has power. I hope you know and understand that. More so, I hope you will believe that today. When Peter started talking about Jesus as the righteous judge over all that God the Father had sent to us, and that men had killed him and three days later he rose from the dead and was seen by Peter and several other hundred people, the Holy Spirit of God fell on those Gentile men just as it did all the Jewish men on the day of Pentecost. It was their gift. It was their gospel. We are those people! It wasn’t held within a people group! It was made available to all people! That common food that Peter saw in his vision that God told him to partake in was the rest of the world. The Lord’s response to Peter in Acts 10:15 as he refused to eat the common food was “ do not call common what I have made clean.” Awesome!
Now we see starting point of the expansion of the church. It was something magnificent. Something I wish I could have been a part of. From verse 45 until the end of the chapter is one of my favorite parts. You know the part in a movie where something crazy is happening around one guy or a small group of guys and all they do is just stand there looking at it either in awe or in fear or in confusion? Recently I watched the Book of Eli, twice. Its an awesome movie. However, I do not recommend it for younger viewers. In the end of the movie there is a scene where there are a bunch of men tearing up and bar. I mean just ransacking the place. But in the midst of it all there is this one guy just standing there looking around in awe of what is happening. I think in these verses, as Peter and his men sees what is going on, there is a similar effect. The Holy Spirit has been dropped on the Gentiles right in front of their eyes and they cannot believe it. All he says, either to himself or to the crowd (i like to think to himself), “What can stop these men from being baptized who all have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” Then he commanded them all to be baptized in the name of Jesus.
The application and challenge today is not difficult. Its worship. Call on Jesus where you are and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Live your life with the abundance of joy and obedience that you have been given as a believer in Christ. Walk with God as Noah and Moses and Peter and other followers did. Let their stories teach you what you will learn. Lastly, seek to know Him more.