Acts #13: The same gospel for all, through Christ the one Savior (Acts 9); Patrice Berger

Acts #13: The same gospel for all, through Christ the one Savior (Acts 9); Patrice Berger

sermon Acts 9 : Patrice Berger, 2022_11_12, AB Lausanne church

title : Acts #13: The same gospel for all, through Christ the one Savior (Acts 9); Patrice Berger

Saul touched by the Grace of God

In the previous episode, we left the book of Acts with a mind-blowing fact: the executioner of Christians becomes an active disciple of Christ. Acts chapter 9: 1-30.

Same things as in Jerusalem: Then when you take your Bible in your hands and continue reading, chapter 9 shows us Peter leaving Jerusalem to demonstrate in two cities that the Gospel is the same with the same power as in Jerusalem.

Outline of the Book of Acts

By the way, for you who are avid Bible readers,

we have two texts following in this chapter 9 of Acts which speak to us of people who leave Jerusalem:

  • first, Saul confronted with the power of Christ becomes a messenger of the Gospel;
  • second, Peter, the messenger of the Gospel, shows aspects of the power of the Gospel.

Acts 9

31 The church was at peace in all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria; she was building herself up, walking in the fear of the Lord, and growing with the help of the Holy Spirit.

32 As Peter traveled through the whole country, he also went down to visit the saints who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a man called Aeneas, who had been lying on a bed for 8 years because he was paralyzed.

34 Peter said to him:

“Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your own bed!”

He immediately got up.

35 All the inhabitants of Lydda and Saron saw him and turned to the Lord.

36 There was in Jaffa,

among the disciples, a woman called Tabitha, which means “gazelle”.

She did a lot of good and gave her money to others.

37 She got sick at that time and died. After washing her, they put her in a room upstairs.

38 Now Lydda is near Jaffa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there; So they sent [two men] to him to beg him to come to them without delay.

39 Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, he was taken to the upstairs bedroom. All the widows surrounded her crying and showed her all the dresses and coats that Tabitha made when she was with them.

40 Peter called everyone out, knelt down, and prayed. 

Then he turned to the body and said:

“Tabitha, get up!”

She opened her eyes and, when she saw Pierre, she sat down.

41 He gave her his hand and lifted her up. He then called the saints and widows and presented her to them alive.

42 This became known throughout Jaffa, and many believed in the Lord.

43 Peter stayed some time in Jaffa, with a tanner called Simon.

Same Gospel everywhere. Christ has no geographical limits, it is the same gospel as in Jerusalem, the same power:

Christ is not a territorial spirit who would only have power in a geographical area, Christ is God the creator and He has control over His creation wherever it happens!

Purpose of Spectacular Events

It happens, the same type of events: miracles to support the Gospel. The Fruit: Many people are touched by the gospel.

Road nodes

The two cities of Lydda and Jaffa are not trivial cities. Indeed, these cities are at a road junction between all civilizations, north, south, and Jerusalem: thus Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Jews, and many other cultures transited in this sector.

Peter stops at a place that is “a roundabout” where cultures mix.

But why?

Acts 10

1 There was in Caesarea a man called Cornelius who was an officer in the Roman troop called the “Italian cohort”.

2 He was pious and feared God with all his household;

he gave a lot of money to the people and never stopped praying to God.

3 About three o’clock in the afternoon,

he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God entering his house and saying to him:


4 He looked at him and, filled with fear, answered:

“What is it, Lord?”

The angel said to him:

“Your prayers and the gifts you have given have come up before God and he remembers them.

5 Now send men to Jaffa and bring Simon, surnamed Peter;

6 he is lodged with a certain Simon, a tanner whose house is near the sea.”

7 As soon as the angel who had spoken to him was gone,

Corneille summoned two of his servants and a pious soldier from among those attached to his service;

8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Jaffa.

9 The next day, when these men were on their way and approaching the city,

Peter went up to the roof around noon to pray.

10 He was hungry and wanted to eat.

While we were preparing the meal,

he fell into ecstasy.

11 He saw the open sky and an object resembling a large tablecloth tied at the four corners which descended and lowered towards the earth.

12 Inside were all the quadrupeds and reptiles of the earth and the birds of the air.

13 A voice said to him:

“Get up, Peter, kill and eat!”

14 But Peter said:

“Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything filthy or unclean.”

15 Again, for the second time, the voice spoke to him:

“What God has declared pure, you do not consider it unclean!”

16 This happened three times and immediately afterward the object disappeared into the sky.

17 Peter was confused about the meaning of the vision he had seen.

Meanwhile, the men sent by Corneille had asked where Simon’s house was.

They presented themselves at door 18 and called to find out if that was really where Simon, nicknamed Pierre, was staying.

19 Peter was still thinking about the vision when the Spirit said to him:

“There are three men looking for you. 20 Get up, come down, and go with them without hesitation, for I sent them.”

21 Peter went down and said to these men,

“Here I am, I am the one you are looking for.

What is the reason that brings you here?”

22 They answered:

“The Roman officer Corneille is a just and God-fearing man.

The whole nation of the Jews bears good witness to him.

Now he has been divinely warned by a holy angel to call you into his house and listen to your words.”

23 Then Peter brought them in and lodged them. The next day he [got up and] went with them.

Some of the brothers from Jaffa accompanied him.

24 They arrived in Caesarea the next day.

Corneille was waiting for them.

He had invited his relatives and close friends.

25 When Peter entered, Cornelius, who had come to meet him, fell at his feet and bowed down.

26 But Peter lifted him up, saying:

“Get up! I too am a human being.”

27 While talking with him, he went in and found many people gathered together.

28 “You know,” he said to them, “that it is forbidden for a Jew to bind himself to a stranger or to enter his home, but God has shown me that no human being should be declared defiled or unclean.

29 That is why I had no objection to coming when you called me.

So I ask you why you brought me here.”

30 Cornelius answered:

“Three days ago, [I was fasting] until this hour [and] I was praying in my house at three o’clock in the afternoon;

a man in resplendent clothes then came before me and said:

31’Cornelius, your prayer has been answered and God has remembered the gifts you have given. 32 So send someone to Jaffa and bring Simon, nicknamed Peter. He is lodged in the house of Simon the tanner, near the sea. [When he comes, he will speak to you.]’

33 So I immediately sent someone to you and you did well to come.

Now, therefore, we are all before God to listen to all that the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

34 Then Peter answered and said:

“Truly I recognize that God does not show favoritism 35 and that in every nation he who fears him and does justice is pleasing to him.

36 He sent his word to the Israelites, proclaiming peace to them through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

37 You know what happened throughout Judea, after beginning in Galilee following the baptism that John preached.

38 You know how God poured out an anointing of the Holy Spirit and power upon Jesus of Nazareth, who went from place to place doing good and healing all those who were under the dominion of the devil because God was with Him.

39 We are witnesses of all that He did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem.

whom they killed by nailing Him to the cross,

40 God raised Him up on the third day and permitted Him to appear, 41 not to all the people,

but to the witnesses chosen beforehand by God, to us who ate and drank with Him after his resurrection.

42 Jesus ordered us to preach to the people and to testify that it is He whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead.

43 All the prophets testify of Him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”

44 Peter was still speaking when the Holy Spirit descended on all those who heard the word.

45 All the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on Gentiles.

46 Indeed, they heard them speaking in tongues and celebrating the greatness of God. So Peter said:

47 “Can we refuse the water of baptism to those who have received the Holy Spirit just like us?”

48 and commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

They then asked him to stay with them for a few days.

Formalization of the Gospel among the Gentiles:

This text describes a crucial moment in the history of revelation because it marks the officialization of the Gospel for non-Jews. Without Acts 10,

we wouldn’t be here right now because we are mostly non-Jews!

To take advantage of this moment, I would like us to focus on certain aspects:

Divine Providence

It is wonderful to see how God is leading events to bring this reality to light. It is certainly a text that shows the providence of God, He makes the circumstances work together so that His will can be manifested.

God plows the hearts

It is wonderful to see the work of the heart that God does to prepare Cornelius and Peter for what He wanted to show them.

And it’s just as spectacular to see the beautiful response that both give.

The Exposition of the Gospel and Its Receptivity

Obviously, we must stop on:

  • Peter’s speech;
  • the conversion wrought in hearts;
  • the Holy Spirit granted by God
  • and the visible demonstration of acceptance of the gospel through baptism.

These points are important for us to fully understand the reality of the Gospel among non-Jews.

Verses to understand

This text could also be used to better our understanding:

  • I attract the salvation of God if I give money for Him or for works Acts 9 . 36, 39 and Acts 10 . 2, 31, 35;
  • that the gift of the Holy Spirit is always linked to speaking in ecstatic tongues. Acts 10: 46.

Divine Providence

And it is an impossible encounter that God will masterfully lead between Cornelius– a Roman centurion (therefore more than an occupier, he represents the force of constraint) – and Peter – a Jewish leader attached to a diametrically different lifestyle!

A huge gap between the two origins

Jews have no relationship with non-Jews ( Acts 10:28) (Remember the prophet Jonah vis-a-vis non-Jews Jonah 3:10-4.4 ):

  • we do not eat with them;
  • the Jews do not eat the same things as the Romans;
  • the Romans are polytheists while the Jews are monotheists;
  • the Romans do not come into the homes of the Jews and the Jews never go into the homes of the Romans (Acts 10:28).

Dust from a neighboring country is considered unclean. This is why there was the practice of shaking off the dust from one’s sandals before returning to Israel.

(Matthew 10:14Mark 6:11Luke 9:5Acts 13:51)

A priori, everything separates them!

Even if Peter was well aware that the Gospel message was for all, it was also a fact announced by the prophets!

(Acts 9:43 “All the prophets bear witness of Him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”)

We have seen preparatory announcements in the Old Testament

from the Red Thread of the Bible

John 10:16, from the mouth of Jesus himself:

I still have other sheep, which are not of this pen; those too, I must bring; they will listen to my voice and there will be one flock, one shepherd.

It was still vague and theoretical, the reality was not concrete: impossible to imagine!

So God works

When it is impossible for men, God acts:

  • God talks to Cornelius through an angel
  • and warns Peter by revelation repeated three times,
  • then by the work of the Holy Spirit when Cornelius’s messengers arrive and at the time of the gift of the Holy Spirit at Cornelius’s house.

God conducts everything in His providence so that His will can be understood by the protagonists.

Example of divine providence

This text is truly a fine example of divine providence.

God did not “teleport” them together to meet.

But set up the perfect and understandable conditions for them to meet.

The common way of doing things with God

  • God often acts like this with us and in His grace. In the eyes of those who have no concern for Him and who sometimes recognize an extraordinary chain of events. They will talk about luck, the alignment of the planets, or serendipity!

And why not point out to them that we see the mark of the providence of God who in His sovereignty can lead even what seems impossible to us?

God plows the hearts

It is wonderful to see the work of the heart that God does to prepare Cornelius and Peter for what He wanted to show them!

Does God plow our hearts the same way?

It could also be a good illustration to see how God works our hearts so that we can understand the invitation to salvation or something that He would like to see in our lives (and see us do it).


For Peter, for example: let us note all the preparatory facts for this understanding of the Gospel which is identical for the pagans.

  • Experience with the Samaritans Acts 8:4-25
  • Did he hear about what Philip went through with the Ethiopian eunuch? Acts 8: 26-40
  • He is in a city where different cultures transit. Acts 9:31-43 And God allows a resurrection from the dead (meaning God is in agreement with Peter).
  • He stays with a tanner – a corpse skin. expert. for the priests Leviticus 6. 19-23 (this is not conceivable for a true pious Jew).
  • He is forced (given the late hour) to welcome these pagans as guests in the house where he is (although this is not possible for a practicing Jew of the time).
  • He will travel with pagans. Trip with a stage, (which certainly means that they had to sleep in the same hostel).
  • He enters a house of a pagan, which is never done for a true Jew of the time!

Peter’s vision

But the most striking aspect, of this convergence of elements,

is assuredly the divine vision of which he is the object.

God tells him to eat which is abhorrent to a Jew.

Because God, until then, had forbidden it before (Leviticus 11 and 20: 25-26) and because the look on these foods was clearly perceived as horrible foods!

I know that for many of you if I invite you to a meal

  • full of, brains, kidney, tripe, and black pudding with a few oysters and snails as a starter, all sprinkled with grilled cockroaches,

just the evocation will not need a religious reason to repel some … (yet it’s good).

There is that in the vision that God submits to Peter, it is spiritually and practically impossible for him!

Vision repeated three times

This is why God is obliged to repeat the same vision three times!

Why three times?

  • To be sure that it is not a hallucination, three times, it is in general a divine symbolism and culturally speaking for the Orientals, it is always necessary to propose the thing three times before having the true answer!
  • When he wonders about what he has just seen (Peter is perplexed), the providence of God brings him, unique guests, to the door and the Holy Spirit gives him the explanation.

Let us understand that faced with all this preparation, Peter will recognize the obvious hand of God in everything that is happening, that there is no “chance” and even less whim on His part.

For his part, Cornelius is also in favorable condition.

  • This person of polytheistic origin understands that there is something different about the Eternal One.
  • he manifests his devotion through a life of prayer (the moment when he prays demonstrates that he based himself on Jewish habits);
  • his piety is practical, because he gives money to the people, whereas the habit of the Roman occupier was to abuse his strength to extort from the people more than the orders he received! (Luke 3: 14 (context John the Baptist) Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He answered them, “Do not extort or wrong anyone and be content with your pay.”);
  • you understand why the Jews of the time must have hallucinated to see a Roman officer being generous with them!

The special intervention of an angel

God prepares Cornelius for the sequel with the intervention of an angel.

This type of intervention is absolutely not in the Roman paradigms (in the codes of habits of Roman history).

Cornelius’s answer shows a heart that is ready. Immediately, he sends messengers to Peter.

Hearts accustomed to willing

For both, Peter and Cornelius, we see the preparation of well-disposed hearts and also an extraordinary revelation. The beautiful thing is that both of them are ready in their hearts to go to the next step because what has been done upstream has shown an acceptance of God at some level.

God responds to hearts that seek Him

Isaiah 55:6-7Jeremiah 29:13, John 7:17 )

Moreover, faced with the evidence, the two go ahead and take the same initiative.

They will even do things that the angel and the vision did not ask them!

It’s pretty much the same:

  • Peter leaves with other disciples (who will be witnesses of what happened with Cornelius – useful later in Jerusalem – to be additional witnesses);
  • Cornelius will invite his relatives. Obviously, they too have the same interior preparation (the presence of this group will be an attestation that the conversion of Cornelius is not an exception but that, since it is the whole group that receives the Holy Spirit, the Gospel did reach non-Jews).

In a right attitude of heart with God, decisions are often in the same flow and the same movement (and not against the current).

Does God do this with us?

Does God act in the same way with us by his Holy Spirit, so that we are ripe on the day of Salvation?

Does he do the same with us in any aspect of our discipleship?

Malleable heart

Still, it clearly shows us that a heart receptive and positive to God remains a hyper-favorable ground for God to do His work there (Parable of the grounds, Luke 8. 4-21 ).

Waterproof heart

Unfortunately, we have people who are counterexamples and who have visibly closed their hearts in this period of maturation:

Inspiration for our prayers

We cannot convert anyone to the Gospel, but we can pray that hearts will be disposed and open to this inner preparation for the day of salvation.

Pray that we too will always be malleable and receptive to the action of God in our lives.

The Exposition of the Gospel and Its Receptivity

The speech of Peter repeatedly exposes the Gospel in the book of Acts. (Acts chapters 2, 3, …): it is interesting to see how he makes it accessible and understandable according to the cultural and spiritual background of his audience (if he is Jewish or if they are religious people or pagans, …).

This is clearly shown by this text of verses 36 to 43 of Acts chapter 10 :

1) Jesus is a historical figure who lived, spoke, and acted before the eyes of thousands of people (this is not a fable or stories invented by men): Acts 9: 37 You know what happened in all Judea, having started in Galilee following the baptism that John preached.

2) Jesus proved His divinity by His blameless conduct, and His public miracles on nature, disease, the spiritual world, and death,…

  • God, Himself testifies that He is His Son. (Jesus is the Son of God, holy, perfect and He proved it):

Acts 9:38 You know how God poured out an anointing of the Holy Spirit and power upon Jesus of Nazareth, who went from place to place doing good and healing all who were under the dominion of the devil because God was with him.

39 We are witnesses of all that he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem.

3) Jesus does not come to make followers but to solve the central problem of humanity, sin (Jesus attacks the heart, He is not there for another tradition or religion), for that, He undergoes the full extent of sin, His actual death demonstrates, while being completely righteous, He should never have suffered it (Holy Jesus substitutes himself in place of fallen mankind): Acts 9:39b He whom they killed by nailing him to the cross… His real resurrection, attested to by hundreds of people, proves that He conquered death and therefore sin! (Jesus wins victory over mankind’s central problem): Acts 9: 40 God raised him up on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people, but to the witnesses chosen beforehand by God, to us who ate and drank with him after his resurrection.

This unique reality places Christ in the ideal position (He knows human life, human death, and resurrection and He is alive now) to judge those who are true of God and those who refuse the work of Christ.

Unfortunately, all men are from birth attached to sin (Christ will judge all men in relation to their sin and what they have done with Him): Acts 9: 42 Jesus commanded us to preach to the people and testify that it is He whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead.

Christ desires to extend His victory over sin to all men if they will. (The work of Christ is exclusive. Nothing more or less. No religion, No other deity or people.

but is addressed to all) Acts 9: 43 All the prophets testify of him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.

No one in the history of mankind has accomplished and will accomplish

the work of Christ!

The purpose of this talk was to show that the gospel is available to all who call on Christ and that there are no differences:

1) Peter recognizes that there are no differences:

34 Then Peter answered and said:

“Truly I recognize that God does not show favoritism 35 and that in every nation he who fears him and does justice is pleasing to Him.

36 He sent his word to the Israelites, proclaiming peace to them through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

2) All the prophets had announced the outstretched hand of God to all:

43 All the prophets testify of him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

But Abraham, long before the arrival of Ishmael and Isaac but also that of Israel:

Genesis 12:3 and 22:18 “All nations will be blessed in your seed”.

Before Judaism, before Christianity, and before Islam, God declared that all nations would be blessed in His solution: that solution is clearly Christ!

A speech in receptive hearts

Peter’s speech is the high point of this meeting between Jews and pagans for the Gospel: these words find open and receptive hearts and the Gospel finds its place there.

The coming of the Holy Spirit is a testimony

What proves it to us is that the Holy Spirit comes in the same way as at the time of Pentecost on the disciples of Jesus. Acts 2:1-4, 11:15-17 (There can be no indwelling of the Holy Spirit without acceptance of the gospel Jude 1:19Romans 8:9 and 1 Corinthians 12.13).

No conversion “formula”

What is also interesting is that there is no confession expressed or prayers expressed, it happens in the hearts and the text shows us at the same time that it is clearly a real conversion (coming of the Holy Spirit).

This passage is very encouraging to many believers who cannot pinpoint a particular day when they accepted Christ into their lives.

The decision for Christ was made in a process and a dynamic

with a heart open to God and to Christ.

Baptism expresses what is interior

Note that to clearly express this inner reality, these believers are baptized.

Same markers as at Pentecost in front of witnesses

But what is strong is in front of witnesses, Jewish disciples, that a

group of non-Jews receives and experiences the same things as the first disciples of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

It is necessary to understand the coming of these visible and tangible signs (certainly the descent of the Holy Spirit like sparks

and speaking in tongues) to authenticate that it is the same for Gentiles as it is for Jews. This means that all nations are officially covered by the Gospel!

No barrier

Everyone is concerned, there are no more barriers:

  • racial,
  • of sources,
  • preferences,
  • to be a woman or a man,
  • to be learned or uneducated,
  • usually national, regional, etc.,
  • to be single, handicapped, healthy, sick, rich, poor, childish, of great age, etc.

But Christ alone

But only one means of salvation: Christ

Acts 4:12

Because he is the only one to have done what no other man will ever be able to do: you must always look in the epistles:

Galatians 3:28: As many of you having been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:29-30 :

29 Or is God only the God of the Jews? Is it not also that of non-Jews? Yes, he is also the God of the Gentiles, 30 since there is one God, who will declare the circumcised righteous on the basis of faith and who will also declare the uncircumcised righteous by means of faith.

Ephesians 2:14 :

14 Indeed, he is our peace, he who made two groups one and who broke down the wall that separated them, hatred.

Verses to understand

Texts today could also be misunderstood and used to think things the Bible does not teach.

Does piety save?

Acts 10 :

34 Then Peter answered and said:

“Truly I recognize that God does not show favoritism 35 and that in every nation he who fears him and does justice is pleasing to him.

36 He sent his word to the Israelites, proclaiming peace to them through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

Not saved by virtuous practice

This does not mean that if we do good we will be saved.

We have proof of this in this text because Cornelius did good (prayer and generosity) and yet he was not saved.

Indeed, his salvation is established following the acceptance of the salvation marked by the evident coming of the Spirit, following Peter’s speech.

It is not our actions or virtuous practices that save us, but our acceptance of Christ as Savior in the face of our rebellious and lost lives.

Does Cornelius’s generosity save him?

Note for Cornelius: it was not his financial generosity that saved him.

Acts 10 :4:

4 He looked at him and, filled with fear, answered, “What is it, Lord?” The angel said to him, “Your prayers and the gifts you have given have come up before God and he has remembered them.

Otherwise, Peter would not have needed to come.

Acts 10:31:

31’Cornelius, your prayer has been answered and God has remembered the gifts you have given.

Cornelius’s generosity was the opposite of the practices of Roman soldiers of the time. On the other hand, we see that this gesture was indeed noted by God, who reveals the attitude of Cornelius’s heart (which led him to generosity) and this was indeed noted by God!

Works that matter to God through Christ

For these two subjects, the verse to remember is Ephesians 2: 8-10 :

8 For it is by grace that you are saved, through faith. And it’s not from you, it’s God’s gift. 9 Not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 In fact, He is the one who made us; we were created in Jesus Christ for good works that God prepared in advance for us to do.

This verse is beautiful because it shows us that, by being reconciled to God, we begin to do useful works and deeds for Him and come into His hand.

Speaking in Tongues and Conversion

Does what happens in Acts chapter 10 prove that conversion involves speaking in tongues?

Two Types of Speaking in Tongues

The Bible shows us two types of speaking in tongues.

Real languages ​​(like foreign languages)

Acts chapter 2 clearly shows that these were known languages,

which were understood by people coming from the regions where they were spoken.

The gift of speaking in tongues to speak of the wonders of God to people of various tongues (Acts 2: 6,8,11) is granted to a group, all at the same time.

1 Corinthians

The First Epistle to the Corinthians evokes another type of speaking in the ecstatic tongue, an unknown tongue spoken only by a person who must be interpreted and turned towards piety and adoration.

This is a personal phenomenon different from the group effect of Acts 2

Here in Acts 10, true tongues

To understand today’s text, we have important clarifications in today’s text and in the next chapter.

Text of the day:

Peter was still speaking when the Holy Spirit descended on all those who heard the word. 

45 All the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on Gentiles. 

46In fact, they heard them speaking in tongues and celebrating the greatness of God. Then Peter said,

47 “Can we refuse the water of baptism to those who have received the Holy Spirit just like us?”

Next chapter

Same markers as Acts 2

Group idea, celebrating the wonders of God: the same idea as them in Acts 2:1-4.

Text of Acts chapter 11 (Peter explains to the church in Jerusalem what happened with Cornelius): 15 When I began to speak, the Holy Spirit descended on them, as on us at the beginning.

This clearly refers to what happened in Acts chapter 2, at the time of Pentecost. That’s what Peter is saying to the disciples in Jerusalem.

It can even be assumed that the visible manner in which the Holy Spirit descended on non-Jewish believers was the same as in Acts 2.

The goal: to see the same thing among Jews and pagans

All this is to show us that what happens in Acts chapter 2 (among Jewish believers) is exactly the same as in Acts chapter 10 (among Gentile believers), the purpose is to show that it is exactly the same thing, the same gospel, the fulfillment of Acts 1.8.

Speaking in Tongues in Acts

I would even say that the book of Acts is not the right book to use to evoke speaking in ecstatic tongues, it is a book:

  • narrative,
    • introduction to the Church,
    • with numbers of unique facts, so we can’t draw a standard! To do this, one must always rely on the epistles which speak of the same subject in a precise manner.
    • (for example, on the subject of the Holy Spirit, we focus on speaking in tongues, but if we wanted to be literalists, the real reception of the Holy Spirit should be with a descent of sparks above the heads! We understand that there were specific things unique in Acts at that particular time in history).
  • And the languages ​​spoken in the book of Acts are languages ​​known and spoken at the time, Acts 2 clearly shows us this and the other two unique times (Acts 10.46 & Acts 19.6), out of thousands of conversions, where speaking in tongues is mentioned, it is for a group in order to show that it is the same thing as at the beginning because it is a particular situation. So if it’s to show that it’s the same thing, they are understandable languages!

Again, we see that things are simple and clear with God!

And if we read the Bible with common sense and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, the majority of what God wants to communicate to us is hyper-clear!

Bible Passages

Acts 9 / ASV Bible

1. But Saul, yet breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2. and asked of him letters to Damascus unto the synagogues, that if he found any that were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3. And as he journeyed, it came to pass that he drew nigh unto Damascus: and suddenly there shone round about him a light out of heaven:
4. and he fell upon the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5. And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And he [said], I am Jesus whom thou persecutest:
6. but rise, and enter into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7. And the men that journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but beholding no man.
8. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing; and they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9. And he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink.
10. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and the Lord said unto him in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord.
11. And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth;
12. and he hath seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight.
13. But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard from many of this man, how much evil he did to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14. and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name.
15. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel:
16. for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake.
17. And Ananias departed, and entered into the house; and laying his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, who appeared unto thee in the way which thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
18. And straightway there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and he arose and was baptized;
19. and he took food and was strengthened. And he was certain days with the disciples that were at Damascus.
20. And straightway in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God.
21. And all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he that in Jerusalem made havoc of them that called on this name? and he had come hither for this intent, that he might bring them bound before the chief priests.
22. But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews that dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is the Christ.
23. And when many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel together to kill him:
24. but their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates also day and night that they might kill him:
25. but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket.
26. And when he was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.
27. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.
28. And he was with them going in and going out at Jerusalem,
29. preaching boldly in the name of the Lord: and he spake and disputed against the Grecian Jews; but they were seeking to kill him.
30. And when the brethren knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.
31. So the church throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied.
32. And it came to pass, as Peter went throughout all parts, he came down also to the saints that dwelt at Lydda.
33. And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had kept his bed eight years; for he was palsied.
34. And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ healeth thee: arise and make thy bed. And straightway he arose.
35. And all that dwelt at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
36. Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
37. And it came to pass in those days, that she fell sick, and died: and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper chamber.
38. And as Lydda was nigh unto Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men unto him, entreating him, Delay not to come on unto us.
39. And Peter arose and went with them. And when he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed; and turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41. And he gave her his hand, and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
42. And it became known throughout all Joppa: and many believed on the Lord.
43. And it came to pass, that he abode many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.

Related Links / Notes

Acts Sermon Series

Study Notes are translated from the original French version prepared by the pastor Patrice Berger. The orginal French notes are in “note” form, and are not a direct transcription of the video, however they are quite close the original text preached at the church. The notes provided here follow that form, and are detailed enough to help provide a deep understanding of the texts in the book of Acts of the Apostles.

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Bible verses in the study link to the ASV bible. In addition to the ASV Bible , other versions of the Bible are also available on our website (KJV, Basic English and Darby as well as the Webster version and Young’s Bible on the Action Biblique Suisse website.

The King James Version is available as an audio bible Podcast which can be accessed below.

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