Eating God's way is not being a glutton, that's one way to eat God's way. And just over the years you see these things, they come and they go and then another one comes. There's no end to something new. And trying to tell Christians, you know, if you just continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, in prayer, in communion with the Lord, in fellowship with his people, if you just go with those four, you will have not only a simple faith, but a powerful faith.
Not simplistic, but it won't have all these frills attached to it. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Acts.
Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Acts chapter 10 as he begins a new message called, When God Interrupts. Acts chapter 10 verses 44 through 48, a short section, I'm sure I could stretch it out for an hour. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. But they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, Can anyone forbid water that these should not be baptized to have received the Holy Spirit just as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
Then they asked him to stay a few days. We are not by that kind of reading capturing the excitement that belongs to this. It is very, the racism that existed at the time, the religious, you know, the bigotry, the so many things that were hindering the movement of Christianity in the early days. Christianity has learned some other things now to hinder the movement of the Holy Spirit, unfortunately. But here, Luke writes, While Peter was still speaking in the middle of his sermon, this interruption was not rude. It was amazing.
It is not rude. Before us, this miracle that we are talking about is that of salvation, of course, but included is another miracle, that of submission on the part of the Jews that were witnessing what the Holy Spirit was doing. The Gentiles were embracing the Jewish Messiah without becoming Jews. And if you lived in that time of history, in that part of the world, that alone would have been a miracle. We're a little removed from it. It's almost just a historical document if we're not careful. The Jews, on their side, watching the Gentiles have the same experience with Christ, with the Spirit of God, as they embraced these Gentiles apart from Judaism.
So this is a big event. We look down at verse 44 again. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. The Holy Spirit had been waiting for Peter to make a crucial point, and that's found in the preceding verse, in verse 43. And there we read, Peter speaking, whoever believes in him, that is Jesus Christ, will receive remission of sins. Their sins will be dealt with by God himself. Removed in that sense, because when the wicked stand before God, their sins will be dealt with too, but in a completely different way. Without delay, after that, after that mention of receiving Christ and believing in him, without delay, there was this instant burst of Christianity.
Instantly it happened, and it is forever true. The remission of sins is only through Jesus of Nazareth, and this irritates the world. They don't want it to be that way. They want all roads to lead to heaven, and they do not. And when Jesus said, I am the way, he was saying, there is no other way. All conversions to Christ are not as outwardly spectacular as this one. Still, salvation is through Jesus alone.
Faith alone in him. Paul wrote, there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus. The Trinity is not three persons, not three separate persons, it's three distinct persons in one. Perhaps a simple illustration that helps us with this is a triangle.
One triangle, three separate corners, inseparable, no matter how you turn it, they're there. And Christ, of course, one of the members of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, there are no lesser and greater partners in the Trinity. They are equal, they're God Almighty. This event of these Gentiles coming to this Christ will silence for a little while. It will certainly irritate and provoke the Judaizers.
The Judaizers, a little different from those just in Judaism, the Judaizers were those who followed Judaism, but also received Jesus as Messiah. But they did not want to leave the law of Moses, the circumcision, the Sabbath, the strict dietary laws, and other restrictions they wanted to keep them. If you wanted to receive the salvation of Jesus Christ, and you had to be circumcised, and you had to follow the Sabbath, and so they were, they did not understand yet that Christianity and Judaism were irreconcilable.
They could not coexist. Christ had made one obsolete, and this was a fight of the apostles, especially Paul, Paul throughout his life. They hounded him so much over this. Well, Jewish converts, when they come to Christ, they are now Christians. Jesus said, Mark chapter 15, go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Well, that was received as well as speak it to every creature of Judaism, but that's not what Christ said, and they're going to learn this.
They're going to learn. God will use this very moment here where Peter is speaking and God interrupts him. He's going to use this moment to resist the Judaizers when they pounce upon Christianity in the church. If you have your Bible still open, you might want to just turn to Acts chapter 15.
We'll get some of it in chapter 11, because there's going to be resistance. Peter, what did you do? Going to the Gentiles and living with them, what are you doing?
And he's going to have to answer to them, not in the sense that he's accountable to them, but he is in somewhat, some degree, by consent, he wants to give an answer. But in chapter 15, in verse 1, certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. That is what we now know, blasphemous. But it wasn't that way yet for them, because they were still learning. Christianity was emerging out of, I mean, the rules were there, the truths were there, people had so much baggage, so many misconceptions that had to be hauled out of the way. As with Nehemiah, the rubbish had to, of the ruined walls, the rubbish had to be removed before the building, the rebuilding could commence, and they were overwhelmed by it.
But Nehemiah, because of his great leadership, he prevailed. Again in chapter 15, and we should know these things, we should know these barriers still exist in some form for us when we try to preach the gospel. Maybe it's since someone has a background in some religion or some offshoot of Christianity, a cult of something, we have to deal with these things just like the apostles did.
Look at verse 7 of Acts chapter 15. And when there had been much dispute, Peter arose and said to them, Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And so this, in chapter 15 verse 7, where Luke says there had been much dispute, they were arguing. This wasn't, well I think, they were shouting at each other because they were passionate about the things they believed. And yet, many of them were inept, they weren't ready for this. They did not know enough. And that's where the apostles come in, that's why their ministry was so powerful, so important.
It's not done, this argument. Look at verse 10 now of Acts chapter 15. Now therefore, why do you test God, Peter speaking, by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
We believe that through grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they. And so Peter shut them down. For a while, there still was going to be trouble. Big, big stuff for the apostles, the early church, and for us to look at and review. Because if you come to your Bible and you think, oh it's just this glorious thing, Christ was crucified for us, he rose again from the dead, and it just was glorious after that. Well, there was glory involved.
Much of it was wonderful, but a lot of it was very difficult. It says here in verse 44, the Holy Spirit fell upon them all, all those who heard the word. The Holy Spirit fell upon these people gathered. He's speaking about the Gentiles, and again that word upon in the original language of the Greek is epi.
They were filled with him. We call it baptism immersed in the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that indwelt the apostles at Pentecost, and later the Jews at the preaching of the apostles, is the same Holy Spirit with the Gentiles.
No double standard. The filling was identical. The witnesses could not refute it. I mentioned last session it was very wise of Peter to bring Jewish members from the church at Joppa up here to Caesarea. In contrast to the Jews, the Gentiles are baptized in the Spirit before being water baptized. Acts chapter 2 verse 38, And Peter said, Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, the promises to you and your children, and to all who are far off, as many as the Lord God will call. As I'm speaking these words, I'm very mindful that there are many out there, university professors, these new internet pundits, and everybody's got a welcome to my channel site, and people without computers have those sites. And many of them hate what I'm saying. They don't know they're doing the devil's work by doing it.
It doesn't really matter because they are. And it needs to be spoken. It needs to be preached. You cannot let Satan institute a gag order on a church. He does many churches. Many churches are afraid to get up and say, Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
Because they feel like they're not being intellectual enough, that there are members in their audience that will scoff at them. Well, they need to send them here, because I'll scoff at them and flatten their tires too. No, I won't do that. Well, at least I won't admit it. Well, God was able to interrupt Peter's words.
Why? Because the hearts of his audience had believed what he was speaking. When Peter said, Believe in Jesus for the remission of sins in their hearts, they said, I believe, and that's when the Holy Spirit comes in.
Amazing. Still happens without entering Judaism, without being sprinkled as a baby, without earning salvation. All they had to do was receive it. In John's gospel, John writes this. Long after the church had been born, John writes his gospel. He says, But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God to those who believe in his name. You see, this is going to just compound the judgment for those who stand before God and say, Yes, I rejected you in this life, or I tried to earn my salvation, or I didn't believe you. And God said, It was so simple.
All you had to do was receive it. Research it. Check the facts.
But they do not. This assembly received it with conviction in their hearts. They knew they had sins.
They knew those sins had to be removed. It was a simultaneous event. Their hearts at the same time, at Peter's words, were responding. That's not uncommon. It happens all the time at sporting events. Everybody cheers at the same time when something takes place. Maybe someone's giving a speech and everybody starts clapping at the same time. There's nobody that says, Okay, now clap.
Well, unless you're daytime television, you got the applaud signs. But in unison, their hearts were open. When God finds a preacher who will preach what he is told to preach, this is what the outcome looks like.
One of them. Sometimes they just stone them. When a congregation will hear what God has to say, this is what it looks like. When a congregation gathers to hear what God has to say, not what they think they want God to say. So you can come to church and say, I'm expecting the pastor to tell me everything's going to be all right. I don't know if everything's going to be all right. I mean, what do you say in the days when they were burning Christians at the stake? Do you say everything's going to be all right? Well, I guess so.
Ultimately, in a spiritual sense, yes. Titus chapter 1, Paul speaking about his work in ministry, he says, in due time, Jesus Christ manifested his word through preaching. In due time, he manifested his word through preaching. And that's what Peter is doing.
Don't undervalue that. If you're not a preacher in the pulpit, you can support a preacher in the pulpit. That's not a GoFundMe kind of a thing. You can support by prayer. I mean, what should a pastor... Well, one of the first things that you would want from a congregation is for them to pray for him because he knows he's got a bigger bullseye on him just by his office, the position he holds. He also would hope that there are not those that think they have the gift of criticism. I've searched my Bible for that gift, and I can't find it. And yet, you can search Christianity, and you can find a lot of that. My friend, one of my pastor friends in New York years ago, he struggles with the English language.
He's American, but born in Brooklyn, which would account for it. And he said, yeah, I may not speak the, you know, pronounced words the best way or the way that they should be pronounced. What are you doing for the kingdom? I'm up here preaching. And it was so solid.
It was so right. Those critics are doing nothing for the kingdom but taking away from it. And not honoring this preaching of the word. Satan preaches. He has television. He has the bars. He has all these other forums where he can preach what is important to him as he is trying to brain, I can't say wash. Wash doesn't work well with Satan. He doesn't wash anything.
He defiles everything. Well, anyway, this is what it looks like. The Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. Why don't we see this more in Western civilization? Well, one reason is because Peter is speaking to unbelievers initially. In a sense, they had not yet received Christ. When pastors enter the pulpits today in Bible-believing churches, much of the congregation is saved already. So, yeah, you're not going to see it the same way.
It's going to unfold as it is here. Then there are other congregations. They're just not interested in what the Holy Spirit has to say. They're just playing church.
And so this is not an insult. I'm not saying that, oh, well, it doesn't happen to us because we don't believe. No, I believe we believe like they did. When James wrote, Elijah was a man with light passions. It still applies to us, too.
They struggle just like we do. Yeah, granted, there are those that don't believe. There are many Christians who do believe, and hopefully we can keep emotional-ism out of our faith because it messes up everything.
I'll get back to that in a little bit. All those who heard the Word, still here in verse 44, throughout the Bible, God emphasizes His Word. How is it, then, that it is so de-emphasized by many professed Christians that God's Word is secondary to so many other experiences? Those that feel like they have to travel and do this for God and do that for God, but the Word is just not paramount. And I don't know where they get that from, except the flesh. How does one make disciples without Scripture? You can't. What can you discipline them to?
What can you line them up to? Where is the rule of law in the Scripture? I think when we're done with Acts, we're going to bypass Romans and go right into Corinthians, because Corinthians, we get to see the Apostle Paul try to clean up a mess, a mess in the church, what had taken hold of people in the name of Jesus Christ. Verse 45 now of Acts chapter 10, And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. Well, these are of course, again, the ethnic Jewish church members from Joppa. Paul, when he writes to the Ephesians, still dealing with this years later, he talks about God breaking down the barriers between races coming to Christ. There should be a race to Christ, but not racism in Christ. Ephesians 2, And he came and preached peace to you who were afar off, and to those who were near. And in that one verse in Ephesians 2, 17, he's saying, God came and he preached to the Gentiles who were way away, and the Jews who were closer by reason of their oracles, the Old Testament scripture. But this is Peter, the fisherman. I'll be doing that until end of March, so just warning.
I mean, not here at the same time, we'll take breaks. Peter is a fisherman who became a fisher of men by edict of Christ and invitation. He overcame his personal failures in Christ. He made big mistakes as a believer, as an appointed leader in the church.
He made them deep into his life. After the resurrection, he's still messing up. And yet, God used him mightily. You can't imagine a New Testament without Peter in it. Andrew, his brother, is the one that brought Peter to Jesus. Little did the two of them know that years later, Peter would be unlocking the kingdom to the Jews, to the Samaritans, and to the Gentiles, and in places farther afield.
In Jerusalem, in Samaria, in Caesarea. None of us can foresee what will happen when God uses us to lead someone to Christ or to minister someone in Christ. We can't see what Jesus is going to make that person right away.
It takes time. Well, coming back to this, the Holy Spirit had abolished the circumcision, the dietary laws, the Sabbath restrictions, by fulfilling all their symbolism in Christ. Many professed Christians hold on to these things. Well, we eat God's way. Well, if God were going to eat, he'd use his mouth. That's eating God's way.
I mean, just acting like, well, we're back to eating. Eating is gone. The whole world's changed since eating. You don't have those things. The ingredients are all messed up.
Everything has been changed. Eating God's way is not being a glutton. That's one way to eat God's way. And just over the years, you see these things. They come and they go, and then another one comes. There's no end to something new. And trying to tell Christians, you know, if you just continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, in prayer, in communion with the Lord, in fellowship with his people, if you just go with those four, you will have not only a simple faith, but a powerful faith.
Not simplistic, but it won't have all these frills attached to it. This is the template for us, and there's always some Johnny-come-lately telling you that they've got God's way of doing something. And they cherry-pick verses, and if you do not conform to those verses, then you are outside of God's will.
Very sad to see this. Anyway, the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles. By whom? Who poured the Holy Spirit on these believers?
Someone had to do it. God did. Okay, what element of God? Was it the Holy Spirit himself pouring himself out? Well, Jesus said this. We're told in the Bible that this would be the work of Christ. Matthew's Gospel, chapter 3, John the Baptist speaking, I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
And that's what we see taking place here. This is something God had told his prophets long ago would happen. Jeremiah, you can hear this passion in Jeremiah's words. He says, O Yahweh, just by that, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to you from the ends of the earth and say, surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness, and unprofitable things. Will a man make gods for himself which are not gods? Jeremiah's words are being, elements of it, are being fulfilled right here. The Gentiles are coming to the apostle.
They send for Peter. We're not following the lies of Greek mythology. Well, it wasn't mythology to them. It was the Greek gods.
It was very real to them at that time. And they're saying, this is not God. And they asked Peter to come, and come he did. Disciples of Christ, not disciples of Moses. You know what Moses would say to that? After the resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit, the preacher stands up and says, we are disciples of Jesus Christ, not disciples of Moses. You know what Moses would say?
He would say, Amen. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at crossreferenceradio.com, or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Acts, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-28 12:51:36 / 2022-12-28 13:01:24 / 10