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Learning to Unlearn (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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December 27, 2022 6:00 am

Learning to Unlearn (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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December 27, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Incredible part of the message is that when we accept the sin that we have, which that audience did, the Holy Spirit would not have fallen on them, had in their heart, they said, well, this is a good sermon.

I have to think about this. Well, you know, I know Jesus was a man. I don't buy it. The Bible's got problems.

That was not taking place in the house of Cornelius. Those people were on the edge of their seats. They were listening to every word out of Peter's mouth. And then the Holy Spirit took over.

Incredible. And now here's Pastor Rick with the conclusion of his study called Learning to Unlearn in Acts chapter 10. No one has favored status with God because of their gender or their wealth or their nation or their education or how much hair they have. You should point that out. It's important to me. So here Peter speaks to all humanity. God is not interested in the things that you might think is important unless he says so. And he is eliminating a lot of stuff here when he says, but in every nation, whoever fears him and works righteousness, that one is accepted.

But not some credentials and not some country that you're from. Second Corinthians, chapter five, one of the sweetest verses in all the Bible. For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him. Jesus became me on the cross. He became you on the cross. He became the sinner on the cross. And that's what this verse is saying. He made him who knew no sin. He was sinless. No one else has this status that he might become, that we might become the righteousness of God.

And so that's why Paul could say there is now therefore no condemnation upon you. But how do you look at other people? Maybe you just look down on them because they're not doing as well as you in school or in life. Or maybe they just don't have the upbringing you have.

Maybe you just don't care for them. Whatever it is, you better check that snarkiness. It's not acceptable to Christ. If you claim to belong to Christ, then try to belong to Christ. And don't think that you can have these timeout sessions where you can treat people with contempt because you're a snob.

I'm not saying that you're a snob, but I am saying we're all susceptible to this kind of behavior and it is not acceptable. Israel gave the world the scriptures and the prophets. God did it through them. Romans 3 verse 2, to them were committed the oracles or the utterances of God. That's where our scripture starts. The Jewish people. And within those utterances, those oracles, we learn the only way to God, the only way to salvation and the true purpose that belongs to us. Had God chosen a different ethnic group than the Jewish people, they would have given the world the scriptures and they would be the ones that would be alienated by the rest of the world.

Because it is spiritual. When Satan found out, you mean this people has been singled out to bring the oracles in the early stages? Satan has heightened up his attacks on them and not only for that, but because of the prophecies that revolve around Israel, making the Jewish people as a nation God's time clock for eternity. Well Satan hates that and so he tries to destroy the Jewish people so that he can prove God is wrong because he is spiritually insane. You cannot be sane, dwell in heaven, see God on the throne and then think you can overthrow him.

Something's got to be wrong with you. Something that can't be fixed. That's how deep it goes. Well, God did choose Jacob and it is the Jewish people who have brought us the scriptures initially. Here it says the word which God sent to his children, the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ. He is Lord of all and every knee will bow before him. All means all.

Every part of it. The problem is the unbeliever doesn't believe the scripture. He doesn't have that authority for them.

Well that's what we have to help them. The biggest proof that the Christian Bible is trustworthy in the face of someone who rejects the authority of the Bible, to me at least, is that how do you account the fact that you are a sinner and you know it? You know you do wrong things. You know you have wrong thoughts. Not because you have been taught this.

Because you don't like this happening to you and you do it to others and you have enough conscience to know that's not right. That is the beginning. When you come to the scripture, it is going to deal with that part of you. You can fuss about discrepancies and other things. All you want is still going to single you out and you have no defense against it.

And there's no other writing on earth like this. So yeah, those who reject the word of God will be rejected ultimately because they have no excuse. As Paul says, you are inexcusable old man, whoever you are, if you are pulling these things off before God.

And you try to overthink it and hide behind analysis and this and that and you still can't get away from the guilt. Because you are a sinner and God has pronounced it. And he has put eternity in your heart and you can't get away from these things. Revelation 19, 16, speaking of this lordship, and he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written King of kings and Lord of lords and we are going to be there to see that. Colossians 1, verse 16, for by him all things were created. He's speaking of Jesus Christ. That are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible.

That would be the spiritual realm as well as the physical realm. Whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created through him and for him. He must be God. He is.

Every bit of it. Jesus is God the Son. And when the language shifts and God did this through Christ, does not eliminate Christ from the Godhead.

It includes him. Well, no matter how much I fail, he remains Lord because he says so. Because he says I will never leave you nor forsake you. He does not say I will never leave you nor forsake you unless you mess up.

Quite the opposite. Luke chapter 7, verse 47, therefore I say to you her sins which are many are forgiven for she loved much but to whom little is forgiven the same loves little. Then he said to her your sins are forgiven.

You got to love that. I got goosebumps thinking about the mercy of God on sinners. How much it, if I can apply some of, you know, anthropomorphically reverse it, my feelings into God's heart, how much it must hurt him to see people thumb their nose at him. To mock and hate his son.

And most of the time they don't even know what they're mocking and hating. Verse 37, that word you know which was proclaimed throughout all Judea and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached. Peter knows that they've heard about these things. He knows that Cornelius has had a connection to the Jewish people. And he knows that the story of Christ has circulated in the Jewish community claiming that Christ, at least this month, the claims of Christ to be Messiah and the miracles that he performed.

Yet gaps remain. Peter is saying I know you know these things but you don't know enough. And that's why God has sent me here. John chapter 4, again Jesus in Samaria with the well, with the woman at the well.

This is so the Lord, just right between the eyes. You worship what you do not know. We know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. That's right because they have the utterance, the oracles. It was first given to them. They were entrusted with this. The church has assumed this role. The nation of Israel continues to exist and flourish and it will continue to exist and flourish until Christ returns.

Well it has not always. Of course we know there's this long gap which is a miracle by itself. No other people in the history of human kind is known to be knocked out of their homeland, retain their identity, their religion, their ethnicity and then be brought back to their land after 2,000 years.

When that has happened to other people, we have much of it documented. The Old Testament is loaded with it. Nebuchadnezzar would go in for example. Pharaoh would go in for example.

The Seleucids, all those would go take people out of their country and they would be assimilated into their conqueror's land. For instance, you won't meet a Philistine. You won't meet an Edomite. You will not meet a Moabite.

They have been conquered and assimilated, taken out of their land and absorbed and they're gone. Well they tried that with Israel and it didn't work. The only one. It is a miracle. I don't know how you can be a Christian and side against Israel.

You just have to be crazy. Well coming back to this, when Jesus said you worship what you do not know, we know what we worship for the salvation of the Jews. Instantly he wiped out every other religion on earth with that statement and the world hates us for it. They can say whatever they want to say, but we can say we disagree. They don't like that.

Well they're going to have to learn to live with it. Well here, the knowledge of salvation originally through the Jews, not through the Americans, not through the Arabs, the Africans, the Chinese or the Europeans or any other group, came through the Jewish people. Jesus, he lived as a Jew and the Christian faith was born out of the Jewish religion and here we see a Gentile asking a Jew to come help him get to God. This is important because even in Christianity there have been those who have tried to get rid of Israel who have been anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitic sounds too nice. The reality is they've hated the Jews and that is something that should not ever be tolerated.

And I'll go on. No Christian should hate those from Burma, from Chile, from Venezuela, from Turkey, from wherever. We're not supposed to hate people. You might not like their music or their food or the way they do their hair. You're still called to love them and not hate anyone. Anyway, I know the world won't make that easy for you and Satan knows this.

Don't be surprised when you have to fight your way out of that box. Previously the Jewish Christians, when speaking to Jews, began with Abraham in the New Testament. When we have a sermon from Stephen or from Peter to the Jews, they start, Abraham, our father. Here is Peter preaching to Gentiles. But he doesn't start with Abraham. He goes to John the Baptist. Interesting.

Something there to think about. Verse 38. I could say more but we've got to move on. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil for God was with him. The apostles never got that nasty taste out of their mouth that Jesus did not deserve to be treated that way. That he was above all people and they treated him as though he was below all people. And every chance they got, they said he did good.

He was blameless. He's going to go on to say, and they killed him. And his Gentile audience, they, as I mentioned, connected to the Jewish community. They understood that word where he says God anointed Jesus of Nazareth.

That word is the one. That's the Christ, the Messiah word. Isaiah 11 2. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. Isaiah 42 1. Behold my servant whom I uphold, my elect one in whom my soul delights. I have put my spirit upon him. He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

Christ the only one that did that. Isaiah 61 1. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. The Spirit of Adonai Yahweh. The Lord Yahweh is upon me because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor.

He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison doors to those who are bound. When Jesus quotes this in one of his sermons in a synagogue, he stops there and he does not go on to speak about the day of vengeance. That then follows in Isaiah 61.

Because the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, but the vengeance would come later, not at his first coming. The promise of the Spirit upon him was fulfilled, and Peter wants to affirm that. Matthew 3. When he had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water and behold the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.

And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. May we never lose the majesty of these words. May we never write them off to, you know, somebody made this up. The men that wrote these things died telling people, I saw him die, I saw him rise again. Men do not die for such fiction.

They may die for fiction thinking it's true, but there was no delusion about what they had witnessed. And so verse 39, that's what Peter is saying. We are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree.

All the apostles initially deserted Christ at his arrest. All of them, including John. John and Peter come back. Peter then denies him. But evidently Peter was at a distance looking at Christ on the cross. Acts chapter 5, Peter says, and we are witnesses to these things, speaking of his sufferings. Then there's this verse here.

First Peter 5, 1, I, Peter writing, who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ. See, they saw him suffer, they saw him murdered, and then they saw him alive again. He says, whom they killed. I'm not going to get into the finger pointing part. The Bible makes it clear that ultimately we're all guilty.

We're all complicit in this. But they murdered the anointed one. Well who is the anointed one?

It's Christ. Luke chapter 1, verse 35. And the angel answered and said to her, Mary, the Holy Spirit will come upon you.

And the power of the highest will overshadow you. Therefore also that holy one who is to be born will be called the son of God. You know Mary had to suffer so much slander, people talking about her, hating her. Even when Christ was grown they said, we know who our father is.

Trying to say to him, we're not sure about you, that whole virgin birth thing. Mary, she sacrificed. A gallant hero of the scripture. Acts chapter 3, but you denied the holy one and the just and asked for a murderer to be granted to you.

I would have added, you fools. That's probably why I didn't get to pronounce these things then. Anyway, the Gentiles, these Gentiles, listening to this sermon are about to meet this holy one in the form of the Holy Spirit. Hanging on a tree, he says, a gruesome fact. By using tree instead of the word cross, Peter ties it into the prophecy in Deuteronomy 21. Paul ratifies this in Galatians 3. Christ has been redeemed from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us for it is written as Deuteronomy 21.

Curse is everyone who hangs on a tree. Jesus satisfied this penalty. We get that in verse 43. This is why Peter is explicit about the tree. Not because it was a tree per se, but it was a stake, it was a cross. And crosses happen to grow on trees. Simon the Cyrenian, he did not carry the tree of Christ. It was the cross. It was taken from wood from a tree. It was made into a stake, but it is linked to Deuteronomy 21, 23 that the one that is hung on the tree is cursed and Jesus was cursed for us.

I already read that, I'm not going to go back. It's a timeless emblem of the price and sacrifice of Christ. Verse 40, end prophecy. Him God raised on the third day and showed him openly.

That's a glorious fact. Where it says him God raised does not mean, okay he's not God the son, because God raised him. That's not what it's saying. God is not saying that we are above Jesus Christ, but he is included in the Godhead. And it was very tricky to be able to present the Christ as the son of God without preaching polytheism at the same time. To bring the trinity. So Peter will say later, I think next week we'll get to that, where the Lord is magnified. Well to magnify something does not mean to make it bigger, it means to see it bigger. And to get Christ to be seen, to magnify him without preaching polytheism was quite a remarkable challenge satisfied by the apostles.

And so when it doesn't, you know, this is why some of it is somewhat veiled in the language because the people would have really struggled with that. We do not worship three different gods. There's one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. Well we'll have to say that for a session on the trinity.

Coming back to this I have to speed it up, looking to see what I'm not going to say. Romans 4.25 speaking of Christ, who was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification. He died because we're the sinners, but he separated us from the judgment to come and that makes us saints, sanctified, separated from judgment.

Goats over here, the sheep over there. Verse 41, not all the people, but to witnesses chosen by God, even to us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. Selected believers, not enemies, not yet, saw the risen Christ. Paul, who will be one Saul of Tarsus, will see the risen Christ after.

Peter affirms what the God said to him about this. Jesus speaking, John 14, a little while longer, and the world will see me no more. You will see me because I live, and you will live also. And so when they saw him risen, they knew, they're going to live, we're going to live too. We see him alive, resurrected, we're going to be resurrected.

Take away those doubts. So Peter is saying here, he called it, he prophesied it, this very thing. And so he affirms it, verse 42. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that it is he who was ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead.

Oh, Mark 16, 15. Jesus said to them, go into all the world and preach the gospel to everybody. Here in verse 42, to testify that it is he who was ordained by God, it covered that in verse 39 with the scripture verses from the Old Testament, to be judge over the living and the dead. Divine right of God. God has every right to judge the living and the dead. And the dead aren't nonexistent, and nor are they unconscious.

They are just not here, but they are fully conscious of where it is they are. Acts 17, speaking of Christ, Paul, he has appointed a day on which he, Jesus, would judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained. Pardon me, to judge God, but by Christ. He has given assurance of this to all by raising him from the dead. Then there's 1 Timothy 4, 1, and here's the merge. I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who would judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom. How can Christ have such a kingdom of God unless he is God the Son? This is all over the New Testament.

It's inescapable if you read it in earnest. Verse 43, to him all the prophets witness that through his name, whoever believes in him will receive remission of sins. Amen. I believe in his name. My sins are paid for by somebody bigger, better, and eternal.

They're gone. Jesus Christ, this is said, to him all the prophets witness, not to Michael the angel, not to Mary, a sinner like us, not to Muhammad, not to Buddha. Jesus only, to him the prophets bore witness. First John chapter 4 verse 14, and we have seen and testified that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world. All the prophets witness, the supreme witness is the Holy Spirit, and he will testify of me, Jesus said. But the prophets led it up to that point. Luke 24 verse 27, and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

That's incredible. No one else has got this status. No one. No created being. Only the self-existent Son has this status. The Jesus we pray to is God. And there is God the Father, there is God the Son, and there is God the Holy Spirit. Whoever believes in him will receive remission of sins. Not until Peter makes this word does the Holy Spirit then fall upon them.

When the whole thing was, and I don't want to get ahead, we're finishing up now. The whole thing about your guilt, my guilt, being received in the presence of God, brings the remission of sins. And this is going to cause the Holy Spirit to end the service like he's going to do right now. To end the preaching at least. The incredible part of the message is that when we accept the sin that we have, which that audience did, the Holy Spirit would not have fallen on them. Had in their heart, they said, well, this is a good sermon, I have to think about this. Well, you know, Jesus was a man, I don't buy it. The Bible's got problems.

That was not taking place in the house of Cornelius. Those people were on the edge of their seats, listening to every word out of Peter's mouth. And then the Holy Spirit took over.

Incredible. 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 That's 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 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 / 2022-12-27 06:33:51 / 2022-12-27 06:43:19 / 9

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