Jesus Is Lord - Good News for All Who Believe

Acts of the Holy Spirit Through the Apostles  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:09
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PRAY: Triune God, we bow our hearts to you in a prayer of confession, a prayer of submission, a prayer of dependence. Holy Father, by the finished work of your Son and the ongoing work of your Spirit, use the truth of your word to remake us and reshape us and reform us according to your own perfect character and plan. Accomplish this in us by your grace and for your glory. Amen.
Ok, we’re in this section of Acts where the church is learning that the gospel of Jesus Christ (the kingdom of God) is not for Jews only but for everyone who believes. It’s an extremely critical point to the overall narrative of Acts, an immensely crucial lesson for the church, and it is immediately applicable to our own lives and situations today.
We’ve been learning the lesson with Peter that in order for us to be the messengers of the gospel that Jesus desires for us to be, we must learn to see ourselves and others as God sees. When we see others as God sees, we are persuaded to put aside ethnic prejudice and associate with them to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
So Peter has been persuaded by God to see differently, and he goes to Cornelius’s household in Caesarea. Cornelius has gathered friends and family to hear Peter, and he says, “So now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.”
Peter, what’s THE message from God? To those of us gathered here this morning, what is THE message from God that you need to know and believe? What is THE message from God that the Lord commands us to share with others?
Acts 10:34–43 ESV
34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
This section of text answers some life-altering questions: What is the gospel that we must believe? What is the gospel that we must take to the nations?
And it leaves you still with these questions: Are you clear and convinced that the gospel is for you and for all who believe? And are you captivated by Jesus? (Does he hold your love and attention above all other things?)
The way Peter summarizes the gospel carries the weight of God confirming that Jesus is Lord of all. - Notice (from the preceding context) that Cornelius’s household already feared God ( believed in God and knew he was worthy of worship), and they evidently believed in their need for God to save and forgive them. So Peter’s emphasis is on Jesus in particular being the answer to that need, for Jew and Gentile alike.
I want to prove three points from the text to persuade you to be clear and convinced and captivated by the good news that Jesus is Lord of all.

That Jesus is “Lord of all” is the gospel. (36-37)

v. 36 as for the word (message) God sent to Israel, this message proclaims good news of peace through Jesus Christ - (What kind of peace is intended here?) We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom 5:1 (because God declares us righteous by faith - justified).
The word God sent to Israel is reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. Was this always the good news God intended, and was it always for the whole world? Peter reviewed in Acts 3:25 the covenant and promise to Abraham (from whom Israel is descended) that in Abe’s offspring (his seed) all the families of the earth would be blessed. And Peter’s point is that this offspring is Jesus. Jesus then commanded to his apostles that his followers must make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). And rounding it off is evidence from the last book of the Bible that such was the plan and it will be accomplished. In Rev 5:9 the Lord Jesus is worshiped in song:
Revelation 5:9 ESV
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
He is Lord of all.
v. 37 - that word you know - Peter is able to summarize and make the primary point, because these people know the details about the ministry of Jesus, and even his death, because news of it had spread beyond Judea into the surrounding regions. - What was new news to them was proof of the resurrected Jesus to these witnesses! (but we’re getting ahead of ourselves)
Peter’s summary of the gospel, and Luke’s retelling of it, could essentially serve as a summary of one of the NT Gospels.
There is even mention (in v. 37) of the preparatory ministry of John the Baptist, which was a baptism message of ‘repent and purify yourselves for the coming Messiah.’ (Note particularly that such is where Mark’s Gospel begins, which we have good reason to believe was based on the apostolic authority and commissioning of Peter, the Apostle speaking here.)
Again, as we come to vv. 38ff, I’m going to argue that Peter summarizes the gospel in this instance as God confirming that Jesus is Lord of all.
God confirmed that Jesus is Lord of all when He announced Jesus as the anointed Messiah by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. (38a)
When he was baptized by John and his public ministry launched...
Trinity - When we have passages like this and combine them with passages like John 1 and Col 1:15ff, and Acts 5:3-4 and the Great Commission (Mt 18:19), we end up with pretty clear trinitarian theology.
God confirmed that Jesus is Lord of all through his ministry that proved his authority and power over nature and suffering and evil. (38b)
Jesus’ disciples were personal witnesses of God confirming Jesus as Lord. (39a)
Peter himself would answer for the group, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Mt 16:16)
And Thomas would declare, after proof of the resurrection, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28)
The depth of human depravity was confirmed when the leaders of his chosen people crucified the Messiah. (39b)
This isn’t to pick on the Jews.
Extends to us all: Rom 3:9-12
Romans 3:9–12 ESV
9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
God confirmed that Jesus is Lord of all by fulfilling his plan of sacrificial atonement, by raising him from the dead, and by resurrection appearances to his disciples. (39b-41)
Galatians 3:13 ESV
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
Jesus’ disciples were God’s chosen witnesses to the resurrection and were commanded to proclaim this good news and testify that Jesus is Lord of all. (41-42a)
God confirmed that Jesus is Lord of all by appointing him as judge of the living and the dead. (42b)
God confirmed that Jesus is Lord of all by his fulfillment of scriptural prophecy. (43a)
God confirms that Jesus is Lord of all by forgiving the sins of those who believe in him for salvation. (43b)
Two more points then flow from this in context and require that we apply “Jesus is Lord of all” to our lives.

That Jesus is “Lord of all” persuades us to put aside ethnic prejudice and proclaim the gospel to everyone.

The thrust (or purpose) of Peter’s summary of the gospel is this: Since Jesus is Lord of all (not only over the Jews, but the whole world), then his salvation—as Lord who offers forgiveness—also extends to all.
Such is the point of verse 43 in the entire surrounding context.
Acts 10:34–35 ESV
34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
“God shows no partiality” is the entire point of the broader passage of all of Acts 10 through 11:18, and it is the primary lesson taught here that Peter needed to learn for the sake of the church. Since we’ve already had two messages on that theme and another coming next week, I won’t belabor it now. [Next time] God confirms the salvation of Gentiles by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. What God has confirmed the Church must affirm.
But I will mention again something from v. 35 that I want to make clear once more:
v. 35 is not about personally meriting God’s favor or salvation. That cannot be. Christ’s work saves, not our own.
Romans 4:5 ESV
5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
Instead, the emphasis is that people from every/any ethnos have equal opportunity to fear God and do what is right and acceptable to him. But there is only one way to be made perfectly and permanently right with God.
Acts 4:12 ESV
12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
43b - “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins in his name.”
Therefore, ...

That Jesus is “Lord of all” is good news for you and for all who believe.

Good news for all includes you. Good news for all includes those who are different from you and distant from God. (Ac 10:28,34; Ac 2:39 - irony: Peter here has learned more fully what his own words mean)
Romans 10:12 ESV
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
What is the gospel that you must believe? Jesus is Lord of all.
What is the gospel that we must take to the nations? Jesus is Lord of all.
Christian, are we to think of the gospel as the message we must believe in for salvation and that’s all? Or is the gospel message that Jesus is Lord of all the truth we live by?
The gospel transforms -
The gospel answers our doubt & disillusionment - causes us to understand our purpose, gives us meaning (what is humanity, why are we here, why am I here,
The gospel handles our discouragement & despair - gives us bigger perspective
The gospel is our pattern and our direction -
The gospel is our motivation - Do you need motivation to do some things well, with effort and energy and excellence? Are you older and now need motivation to “finish well”?
The gospel crushes our love of sin and our trust in self -
The gospel gives us courage - The indwelling Spirit, Christ in us!
The gospel gives us hope (safety, assurance, rest) - I don’t know when, and I know not how, but I know whom I go to and I know where I’ll be.
Romans 5:2 ESV
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 15:13 ESV
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Jesus Is Lord of All: Clear & Convinced & Captivated

That Jesus is Lord of all is a truth beautiful and glorious and gracious.
Are you clear and convinced that this gospel is for you and for all who believe? How well do you need to know the gospel, Christian?
I’m going to end today with a blunt and bold statement that I completely believe is backed up by the Bible. (Not just this text, but the whole of God’s word — bc the Lord Jesus Christ is THE message from God that he sent to Israel for all people)
You must be captivated by the glory and grace of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the Christian life.
We must be nothing less than desperately thirsty for the living water that only Jesus is. We must be overwhelmed by the perfect plan of God to remain completely just and yet mercifully provide a means of forgiving our sin so that we can be in right relationship with him. We must be enthralled with love for God because of his love toward us in Christ Jesus. We must want nothing more than to worship Jesus as Lord and to submit to him and depend on him.
This is the Christian life. Such is what God designed us for. Everything else is less than truly living. May the truth that Jesus is Lord of all be everything in our sight. He is the reason we have spiritual life and a relationship with God.
From the text of God’s word, I trust today that you will find Christ captivating because God has confirmed the good news that Jesus is Lord of all.
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