I. I PERCEIVE THAT GOD IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS.
A. Cornelius, a Gentile centurion, had just shared with Peter how that while he was praying an angel had appeared to him and told him that his prayer was heard, and that he was to send men to Joppa to find a man name Simon whose surname was Peter, who was staying at the house of Simon the tanner who lived at the sea shore.
1. By tradition the Jews thought that God was a respecter of persons, that the Jews had a great advantage over other races in relating to God.
a. This tradition developed in spite of what God had plainly told them.
For the LORD your God [is] God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and awesome, which regardeth not persons, nor takes a bribe.
b. When King Jehoshaphat was restoring spiritual order to the nation he said to the judges,
Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do [it]: for [there is] no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts, or bribes.
c. In the book of Job, Elihu the young man that was sitting by listening to the arguments, thought that Job was blaming God for his calamities, saying that God was not being fair to him. He said it is not fit to say to a king you are wicked, or to a prince, you are ungodly.
[How much less to him] that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all [are] the work of his hands.
d. Paul declared in Romans that there is no respect of persons with God.
2. God regards you as highly as Billy Graham or the pope.
B. Here Peter is recognizing that God has spoken to a Gentile, and directed him by His Spirit.
1. Whoever you are today, you may feel that you are very unimportant, and a nobody, but in the sight of God you are very important, so much so that God sent His Son to die for your sins, and if you were the only sinner in the world, He loves you so much that He would have sent His Son just for you.
2. In every nation he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
3. God will accept you, if you will come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ.
II. FOR THE WORD THAT GOD SENT TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, PREACHING PEACE BY JESUS CHRIST.
A. The world has been at war with God, it is in rebellion against God. As a result the world is being destroyed through its own folly.
1. We see our society as well as the societies of the world falling apart.
2. The great sociological experiments of the liberals has been a total failure, and has left our nation in shambles. We see the disintegration of the social order.
3. We are returning to jungle morality and mentality.
4. In trying to throw off all moral restraints we have been brought into an unbelievable bondage to the flesh.
5. We are no longer blessed to live in a free society, but are facing more and more restraints as new laws and agencies are being created faster than we could possibly keep up with.
B. To a world that was falling apart because of its rebellion against God, and had declared war on God, He sent His Son with a message of peace.
1. Is your world falling apart today? The Son of God has come to you with a message of peace.
2. It is peace first with God.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
a. God is granting amnesty to those who have been in rebellion.
b. He will through His Son grant you a full pardon.
c. More than that, He will negate the effects and results of your sin.
d. He will make you a new person. He will give you a fresh start.
3. Next it is peace with our fellowman. Those of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
4. Peace with ourselves.
a. So many people have a war going on inside of them.
b. Their lives are filled with turmoil. Their world seems to be upside down. They are filled with uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. To them Jesus speaks wonderful words of peace.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
c. The psalmist said,
The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
d. The prophet Isaiah said,
[There is] no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.
But the wicked [are] like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
e. Paul in writing to the Philippians speaks of a peace that passes all understanding keeping your hearts and minds.
III. THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL IS A MESSAGE OF PEACE.
A. To warring factions, there are two roads to peace. One is by surrender, and the other by conquering. In your war with God the only hope for peace is by your unconditional surrender to Him.
1. You cannot possiblY overcome Him, and the longer you fight the worse your condition becomes.
2. God demands unconditional surrender, He will make no treaty with sin.
B. In the battle against your own flesh, the self life, as your flesh wars against your spirit, and your spirit against your flesh, He will give you the power to overcome.
1. We have all of us experienced the rebellion of our flesh against the life of the spirit. The mind of the flesh is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can it be.
2. We have all experienced what Jesus said of Peter, "The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak."
3. For this reason God has provided us with His Holy Spirit, so that he who walks after the Spirit will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
IV. SPEAKING OF JESUS CHRIST PETER SAID, "HE IS LORD OF ALL."
A. He is the Lord over the Universe.
B. He is the Lord of Jews and Gentiles.
C. He wants to be the Lord of your life. If you will receive Him as your Lord, He will become your Savior. "If you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."