Getting Out of the Way
Topic: Holy Spirit Passage: Acts 11:1–11:18
When Peter went to the house of Cornelius and his family to preach the Gospel (Acts 10:24-48), he was going well out of his comfort zone; in that time, Jews simply did not go to the homes of non-Jews. However, as the Holy Spirit taught Peter in the vision on the rooftop (Acts 10:9-16), God didn't want to build or maintain divisions between people--he was (and is) working to tear down divisions, and to bring people of all kinds together in his kingdom. The Holy Spirit is leading us out of our comfort zones, as well--leading us to reach out, to enter into fellowship with people we don't associate with, and to share the Good News with them.
When the believers in Jerusalem criticized Peter for baptizing Cornelius, Peter did not lash out at them, he didn't condemn them as bigots and fools, and he didn't cut himself off from them. Instead, he reached out to them as well, in a spirit of unity and collaboration. He told them what the Lord told him, and he testifed to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius and his family; together, he and the believers in Jerusalem praised God for bringing his salvation to all people. Again, God is not interested in divisons, but in bringing people together as his followers.
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