Section 4: "God opens Doors" [9:32]

Review of Outline of Acts

Once again, this new move is totally driven by the Holy Spirit.

  • Door to the Gentiles
  • Peter’s prison doors!

4.1 Peter raises the dead

  • Show video clip of Peter—raises the dead [9:32-43]
  • 9:40 Notice the order in which Peter does things
    • What do you think he prayed?
      • Is it always God’s will to raise the dead?
      • immediately?
      • He wanted to make sure he was hearing God perfectly?
      • story of John Welch
      • Sam Storms idea of levels of faith, from general belief to a supernatural knowledge of what God is going to do
    • Is there a progress in the signs and wonders?
  • Miracles in Acts

4.2 Salvation comes to the Gentiles

  • Show video clip of Cornelius [10:1-11:18]
  • 10:11 Why do you think that God did not just speak a straight command to Peter?
    • very vivid!!
    • God seems to like to stretch us
    • we can easily underestimate what a big step this was for any Jew
  • 10:17 Have you ever had “timing” be significant in your life?

Gospel comes to the Gentiles

  • Notice that Peter is still preaching!!
  • He is so shocked, especially since the manifestations are exactly the same as on the day of Pentecost
    • 11:15, 11:17
  • 11:1 The story is repeated almost exactly. Why?

4.3 A church is planted in Antioch

  • Show video clip [11:19-30]
  • 11:19 First major church plant: what do we learn about planting churches?
    • church interdependence & kingdom values
    • But not control of one church by another
  • 11:28 First example of major prophetic gifting
    • why is this little story important?
      • It shows how a love-bond was forming between the Gentile and Jewish churches
      • The Spirit-driven gift of prophecy enabled this love gift
      • The character of N.T. prophecy is very different to O.T.

4.4 Peter freed from prison

  • Show video clip of Peter [12:1-25]
  • 12:6 Peter was sleeping!
  • 12:9 Wow! Peter must have frequently experienced “open visions”
  • 12:25 completes 11:30 (bookends)
    • the focus now shifts, with this verse, from Jerusalem to Antioch
    • Sets us up for the rest of the book

Response time

  • You tell me what the Holy Spirt is saying to you in these passages?
  • All of us have blind-spots and areas of immaturity in our understanding
    • Even Spirit-filled Peter needed a massive mind-change
    • We must always be willing to be challenged out of our mode of doing things
    • pray that you never feel you have arrived
    • pray that you will always be humble and willing to learn
  • Let us ask God to open our eyes and our hearts to his new purposes and directions