Sermon Summary - The Two Ingredients of Salvation - Acts 10:44-48
The Two Ingredients of Salvation - Acts 10:44-48
What we as believers need constantly is the very presence of Jesus with us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Because that’s true, the preaching of the word of God (as well as reading it and meditating upon it) is absolutely vital.
Context (Acts 10:30-33): The house of a man named Cornelius (a Roman army officer) is full of Gentiles ready to hear what Peter has to say from the Lord. This whole passage (Acts 10:34-48) together shows us that the way of salvation is twofold: 1) the the preaching of the gospel (communicated through the church) and 2) the work of the Holy Spirit saving souls through what is preached. After Peter proclaims the gospel of peace through Jesus Christ (Acts 10:36), the Holy Spirit falls (Acts 10:44). The content of the gospel is crucial for the salvation of any person, but not sufficient. The Holy Spirit must also come and create new life. The Spirit is absolutely free to do as He pleases (John 3:3, 6-8). The Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles gathered in Cornelius’ house, and by His power they joyfully praised God in unknown tongues, as well as in their known languages (Acts 10:46). Note that Peter gave no invitation, and wasn’t even finished preaching when this happened. They believed and were filled with the Spirit, thus they were baptized (Acts 10:47-48).
What can we learn from what we see here? 1) The Holy Spirit is free to do as He wills. 2) Christians and the church have a responsibility to get the gospel right. Jesus taught about the connection between the Holy Spirit’s work and the preaching of the gospel in John 16:7-8, 13-14. Remember Peter opened with good news about peace (Acts 10:36), which implies there is no peace, but rather hostility and alienation between sinful people and the Holy God. Most are oblivious to God’s holiness and hatred of sin. We cannot grasp how horrific and grievous our sin is unless the Holy Spirit convicts us. When the Holy Spirit shows us the glory of God, we see our sin and happily flee from it and come to Him. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus in the hearts of those being saved (John 16:14). Paul also refers to this in 2 Cor. 3:7-8, 14-18, 4:3-6. This is what happened to the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house - the Holy Spirit is sent to show who Christ really is in His glory. This dynamic of the Spirit’s work of salvation through the gospel, which brings us to Christ, is the definition of what it means to be a New Covenant person. The promise of the New Covenant is foretold in Ezek. 36:26-27 (Cf. Heb. 8:8-11). Every person in the New Covenant knows the Lord personally. Do you know the Lord? Do you know Him personally? The ministry of the Spirit is why Christians are a singing people. This is what we see in the worship that takes place in Cornelius’ house (Acts 10:46).
The way of salvation is always twofold: 1) the content and clarity of the gospel of Jesus, and 2) the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit falling in order to save souls. Paul summarizes this in 1 Cor. 1:22-24. This twofold reality is not just true in salvation, but in a Christian’s ongoing sanctification as well. Thus we should make the word of God and the gospel a very high priority in our lives. And then the Spirit takes that and draws us into closeness and intimacy with Jesus.
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