Acts 10:9-14 “On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.”
Can you tell God, ‘No,’ and still call Him ‘Lord?’
Acts 10:15-20 “And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. 17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, 18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. 19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 20Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.”
The Old Testament has made a distinction between unclean and clean animals to determine what the Israelites could eat. Peter claimed he had never violated this law even though he had been commanded to violate it. Between that law and the command, there was a very apparent discrepancy. His childhood told him that the Word of the Lord said one thing, but now, it appeared the Word of the Lord is saying something else.
God used the word, ‘common’ which means ‘that which pertains to everyone.’ In the Old Testament, the Jews were not allowed to do it. It’s the difference between ‘sacred’ and ‘common.’ Common was profane, polluted, forbidden. Peter had been taught this from babyhood. The distinction between clean and unclean food had been drilled into his mind.
He didn’t see that some of God’s plans for the Jews could be temporary. The stuff that came down on the sheet had nothing to do with diet. It was to show that the Gentiles could be saved without having to become Jews. A mental wall was being torn down.
When God said, ‘There are men coming to the door,’ Peter was still pondering the vision.
Lev 20:25-26 “Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. 26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.”
Acts 10:28 “And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”
Jesus wanted to make sure that Peter had no mental block in his thinking that would act as a barrier between souls and God.
Maybe others in your life have had a different persuasion or understanding, but when God comes to you and gives you a new understanding of Him and His will, you’ve got to go His way.
Peter needed to figure out what God was saying in order for souls to be saved. You’ve got to understand that God may be doing something new.
Peter understood the vision to mean something other than what he thought. It wasn’t about food. Paul later explains this ‘food idea’ more fully. Separation is not about food or wool and cotton. It’s about souls.
Col 2:8 “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”
Know the difference between human thinking and God’s thinking.
If God washes something, it’s clean. If it wasn’t before and God says it now is, it now is.
When God says you are special, don’t you dare say (or even think) you’re not!
1 Cor 6:10-11 “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
That past has passed away. You might as well just be His child and live like you’re a child of God. You are a special case. He has cleansed you and called you clean.
It is wrong to label yourself as ‘a dirty, rotten sinner’ now that Jesus has cleansed you and called you clean.
Why are you okay with feeling and acting like you’re unworthy? You are cleansed. You are clean. God has cleansed and justified you!
Col 6:11 “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
It’s not pride, but you should not think of yourself as lower than you are. You have the Light of the World inside of YOU! You need to act like it!
The Ark of the Covenant was regarded as sacred. It was a golden box and it held important things. The Israelites thought if they could get it near the battlefield, they could win. King Saul did some things he shouldn’t have and he lost the Ark of the Covenant. King David wanted to bring it back to Israel. A guy by the name of Uzzah touched it and died. He must’ve seen it every day and he lost his awe of it.
David didn’t like that Uzzah died. God said that you must treat the holy and the sacred as sanctified. You’ve got to realize how important this concept is.
God’s church, His altar, the chairs, the pulpit, the building are not to be treated as ‘common.’ We’ve got to treat the holy as holy.
Why are you outside of that equation when we talk about holy things?
Don’t treat things that are cleansed as if they were common. You are in the presence of the royal and regal King. The Bible is not just any book.
When God cleanses something, know and recognize and act like that thing (or person) is cleansed.
Never walk into the church wearing a frown. Realize what you’re coming to. Even when you’re discouraged, regard the temple as holy.
No matter how low I get, God is there to lift me up.
God is there with you in the valley. He will lift you up. He loves you. Act like you have been cleansed. Salvation is simple. Acts 2:38.
After you’ve been saved, how do you act? How do you act and behave like you’ve been cleansed? Act, think, walk, talk, and live like you’ve been saved.
It’s good to think of others as better than you. But, there is a proper, Biblical response to living like you’ve been saved. There is something special about you.
What is the ‘joy of your salvation?’
The proper response to being saved is to rejoice. You ought to be happy about it. Your face needs to know what your heart has experienced. You are saved. You are Holy Ghost filled. Act like it!
The first thing that the devil will try to take from you is your joy.
Is something bothering you? You’re saved. What is your excuse? Your Father owns the hills with the cattle on it. If He needs more, He’ll make it. Giving does not impoverish God.
Don’t take your life so seriously. Laugh every day. Rejoice every day. You’ve got a reason to have some serious joy!
Forget religion. God is real. You really can have joy. In fact, it’s a responsibility of yours to have joy.
Psalm 21:1 “The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!”
‘Greatly’ means with ‘great force’ or ‘great might’. God wants you to rejoice with great force. It means to spin around under the influence of a violent emotion. David said, ‘I’m going to do the violent spinning with great might because You saved me.’
David made a mistake and lost his joy. He saw a woman and committed adultery and murder. When he was called out by the prophet Nathan, David repented and God forgave him instantly. God not only let him live, He let David stay king. David got forgiveness and mercy. He wrote a song, Psalm 51, a psalm of repentance.
Psalm 51:12 “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
Restore means to go back into.
Isaiah 12:3 “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
Salvation means deliverance, Yeshua is ‘God has become My Salvation.’
Hab 3:18 “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
This ‘rejoice’ means to ‘jump up and down for joy.’ Joy in the God of your salvation. ‘I will jump up and down unto the God of my salvation, deliverance, rescue from battle.’
Psalm 9:14 “That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.”
I will sing a hymn in Yeshua, the true deliverance of the whole self.
Spin, sing, jump about your salvation. This is so the world will know.
If you were to win the lottery, you’d be excited about it. Don’t you think the salvation of your soul is even better? We have a hope that the world wants and needs.
Psalm 13:5 “But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.”
Let your response be founded in the Bible. Rejoice!
You are an emotional being. Let your emotions glorify God. You’re not a sinner anymore! Rejoice!
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
That word ‘glad’ means more than ‘smile.’ David understood what it meant to go from ‘common’ to ‘special.’ He went from a shepherd to a king. We have that same experience in our salvation. We have gone from sinner to royalty in Jesus. We are now children of the King.
Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
Joy is a child of God’s jewelry. Our fancy garments are praise. We are clothed in righteousness, godliness, and the garments of salvation.
Salvation should be distinct in every area of your life.
If you are not common, it will come out in your actions. You are saved and holy. It’s not what you did that got you there. It’s what He did that got you there. But, because of this, you change your actions, your dress, even your thinking changes.
Understand that you are not common. You are a child of the Light. You are no longer a child of darkness. You are a child of the Light.
God expects stuff from you because you’re saved. If you would know what God has done for you, and act that way, then ‘they’ will know. You’ve got God’s fingerprints all over you. Act like it.
Eph 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” (KJV)
The citizens of heaven live and act a certain way. We have our own culture. We are not of the common, we are touched by Something from another world.
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” (NLT)
Think this way about yourself. Walk like you’re changed. Act like you’ve been delivered.
Depression doesn’t exist where you’re from. A victim mentality doesn’t exist where you’re going. Jesus jumped up and down for joy! This was in prayer. Jesus cried with a loud voice. He probably clapped and shouted.
‘Show forth the praises of Him.’ Why? Because you’ve been taken from darkness to light.
You’ve been lifted up by God. He has brought you out of the pits of hell. He has caused you to be the love of God on parade. He brags about you to His angels. You are the reason for the cross. It is now displayed in your life.
It’s a shame to take all that and make a mess of your life and to allow ungodly things to enter your mind and spirit. Go forward in Jesus because He loves you and you are His, displayed like a light on a hill. This is what happens when Jesus comes into your life. The joy of the Lord is on display. Show that love and joy and peace to the world. Show every generation how good it is to belong to Jesus. Rejoice in the truth of His cleansing. He is for you. You belong to Jesus. Thank You, Jesus!
Celebrate another day of salvation, new life, cleansing, joy, peace, and love!
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- How did you feel when Jesus first set you free from sin? When you were baptized in Jesus’ name? When you were filled with His Holy Spirit?
- If you were to act like you were saved from sin and made right with God everywhere you went, with everyone you interacted with, and in every situation, what would that look like?
- Read Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Why do you think salvation and righteousness are compared with the clothing a bridegroom wears and the special jewelry of a bride? How is that meant to be expressed in every day living?
- How can you use your successes, your failures, and God’s forgiveness of your sins to minister to someone else and offer them hope?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.