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Pastor Brant Seacrist

NOVEMBER 10, 2019


TEXT:  ACTS 10:  33-43

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SUBJ: The fear of God and the working of righteousness as the evidences of acceptance and the operations of Grace in the life of believers.

AIM: That we might ever be confirming our acceptance with God through loving worship and praise and through endeavoring to serve Him acceptably with reverence and Godly fear.

INTR: We often see the working of God from two directions in accomplishing His will and purpose. Such is the case of a Centurion named Cornelius. First with him and then with Peter
1. The unique case of divine preparation in the life of Cornelius – He feared God and worked righteousness in his outward life before Peter came to him. Regeneration before faith?
2. The strange vision of Peter and what he learned from it.
3. The operations of God are more than mere providence here as we see specific action.
4. We would also note the purpose of so much attention here – It was to be to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the ends of the earth.

THESIS: The events here lead to the declaration of the evidence (is accepted with God) of the prior approval of God. The fear of God and the working of righteousness are not the cause of salvation. Salvation and these things are of the Lord.

I. The fact and condition of acceptance (vv. 34-35)
1. Neither status, intelligence, ability nor appearance nor any other things are the reason of God’s grace declared. See 1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called… Neither does the grace of God look to the will of men.
2. But, the fear of God is manifested – what is it?
1) It is not the slavish, craven fear of hell, fear of retribution and so on. These are not part of salvation. Perfect love casteth out fear.
2) Rather it is that manifestation of grace that brings about bowing to His majesty ad the precious ability to experiece Fatherly fear, put there in regeneration, born out of love, invoking the practice of true religion and leads to faith and pleasing God. adapted from Gill.
3. What is the working of righteousness?
1) Peter refers to what he saw in Cornelius (see v. 2)
2) But it begs the question “was it enough?” and “what of faith?” – Consider: 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption…
3) And we understand that the responsibility belongs to man, but the working is of God in every way – Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
4) Such working of righteousness is enabled by grace and motivated by the loving fear of God.

II. The message – what Cornelius lacked was faith in the proper object (vv. 36 – 42)
1. The message is of peace through Jesus Christ and invokes the Lordship of Christ (36).
2. The well-known story (v. 37ff)
1) Published from the time of John the Baptist
2) Christ the anointed One – with the Holy Ghost and power
3) God was with Him
4) We are witnesses of all things (we saw what they say) and especially that He was crucified.
3. The fact most often denied – God raised Him up!
4. The Apostolic witness
1) We saw what He did – perfect life and the power of God
2) We saw what they did – crucified
3) We saw what God did – raised Him up
4) We were chosen before of God to eat and drink with Him and thus confirm His resurrection.
5. The commandment to preach -- It He who reigns and judges (v. 42)

III. That which is affirmed by the prophets (v. 43)
1. Through His Name
2. All who believe in Him
1) Peter here connects with the thought of what evidences true belief as in v. 35.
2) Belief cannot be claimed where there is no working of righteousness.
3. Receive the remission of sins (forgiveness based on the satisfaction of Christ).