Sunday School Material 10-18-15: Peter Preaches to Gentiles

(Acts 10:24-38; 10/18/15)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is Peter let’s God use him to minister to the Gentiles. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to let God use us to do great works today.

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Read Acts 10:24-26

I. Following God’s Instructions. Peter arrives at Cornelius’ house. In our Sunday School material Cornelius falls at Peter’s feet, as a sign of reverence. Peter tells him to get up, because Peter acknowledges that he is a man, just like Cornelius.

Applications –

- A saved household. Notice in vs. 24 that Cornelius got his entire household in one place to hear the word of the Lord through Peter. First, there are so many people who drive full size vehicles to church with no one in them except themselves.

They left family members in the bed and friends at home. We should strive to get our loved ones connected to Jesus. There is something wrong with people coming to church for our funeral, but never come, while we are alive.

Second, no matter how hard we try, people have mind of their own. The best we can do is the best that we can do. The challenge is to make sure that we are doing our best. Let’s work on giving our best to helping our loved ones get saved and to become growing disciples of Christ.

- Respecting human leaders. Notice in vss. 25-26 that Cornelius went too far with the respect that he showed towards the Apostle Peter. First, there are those who go too far today. They think of leaders as almost little gods.

Second, there are those who don’t go far enough. They treat the leader as if he/she is their servant. The leader is a servant of God, but one to be respected and obeyed by those who are supposed to follow. Let’s work on having the proper level of respect for those whom God allows to serve over us.

Read Acts 10:27-29

II. Addressing the Gathering. In our Sunday School material Peter enters the house. There he sees a large group of people. Peter talks about how associating with Gentiles is against his Jewish traditions. However, Peter is obeying God’s will more than Jewish traditions.

Applications –

- Loving God more than traditions. Notice in vss. 28-29 that Peter allowed God to change his traditional thinking. Most of us, who have been in a church for at least 10 years, have become comfortable with some traditions.

As believers, we should make sure that we love God and the work that He is calling us to do more than we love our traditions. A great measure of how well we are doing in this area is to look at how flexible we are for the sake of helping people to get saved and to grow in the Lord. Let’s work on obeying God more than our traditions.

Read Acts 10:30-33

III. Recounting the Vision. In our Sunday School material Cornelius explains that he received divine direction during his prayer time. In response to God’s leading, Cornelius sent for Peter. Cornelius and his household were there to hear everything the Lord had commanded Peter to tell them.

Applications –

- Godly lives. Notice in vss. 30-31, 33 that Cornelius had a reputation for living a godly life. He was known for praying, helping the less fortunate, and obeying God’s calling for his life. We should strive to live godly lives. This should include regular personal and corporate prayer.

This should include helping those who are less fortunate than we are (e.g., supporting the church’s efforts to help people, supporting non-profits who help people, etc.). And it should include studying and obeying God’s principles for every area of your life. Let’s work on living godly lives.

- Receptiveness. Notice in vs. 33 of our Sunday School material that the people gathered to hear whatever the Lord gave Peter to share with them. It would be marvelous if more people gathered on Sunday morning and during Bible studies with this attitude.

There are too many people who seem to gather just for attendance credit. They do not appear to gather to hear and obey God’s word. Let’s work on being more receptive to hearing what God is saying through His messenger. Remember, the more we hear, the more we are to obey.

Read Acts 10:34-38

IV. Perceiving the Truth. Peter talks about how God is not a God of favoritism. God responds to all who fear and obey Him. In our Sunday School material Peter talked about how Jesus is Lord of all. Jesus preached and healed because God the Father was with Him.

Applications –

- Fearing and obeying the Lord. Notice in vss. 34-35 God blesses all who fear and obey Him. That is good news for those who are willing to fear and obey. No matter how messed up your life may have been, if you fear and obey God from here, God can do great things in your life.

However, there are too many people who behave as if they don’t fear God. And they surely don’t fear Him enough to obey Him. This leads to both a lack of blessings and the sending of punishment. Let’s work on fearing and obeying the Lord.

- Good works. Notice in vs. 38 that God was concerned with having good work (i.e, the meeting of needs) done, in His name. God is still concerned with the same. Every believer should use the gifts that God has given them to be a blessing to someone else, in a way that brings glory to God. Let’s work on letting God use us to do good work.

Conclusion: Let’s work on letting God use us to do great works today. God has much for those who obey His will.

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