Salvation Comes To Cornelius’ House

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ACTS 10:23-48

23 So he invited them in and gave them lodging.

Peter at Caesarea

And on the next day he got up and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and [a]worshiped him26 But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” 27 As he talked with him, he entered and *found many people assembled. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man [b]unholy or unclean. 29 That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. So I ask for what reason you have sent for me.”

30 Cornelius said, “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the [c]ninth hour; and behold, a man stood before me in shining garments, 31 and he *said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your [d]alms have been remembered before God. 32 Therefore send to Joppa and invite Simon, who is also called Peter, to come to you; he is staying at the house of Simon the tanner by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and you have [e]been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

Gentiles Hear Good News

34 Opening his mouth, Peter said:

“I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,35 but in every nation the man who [f]fears Him and [g]does what is right is welcome to Him. 36 The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching [h]peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)— 37 you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. 38 [i]You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, [j]and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the [k]land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a [l]cross.40 God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He ordered us to [m]preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the [n]message. 45 All the [o]circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?”48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

Discussion Questions

April 2nd ,2019

1. In this amazing account of salvation and the gift of the Spirit to Gentiles, we can see that God used a seeking man (Cornelius) who was seeking God, and a prepared apostle (Peter) to share the Good News. While good works certainly don’t save anyone (Ephesians 2:8-10), apparently God takes notice of non-believers who are seeking the God of truth by their actions—compare Acts 10:2 “feared God … gave many alms … prayed to God continuously” and Acts 10:31 “Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.” WHO IN YOUR LIFE MAY BE A PRESENT DAY “CORNELIUS” SEEKING THE TRUE GOD, BUT NOT YET A BELIEVER? WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU SEE OF THEIR SEEKING GOD? PRAY FOR THAT PERSON TO KNOW JESUS!

2. God also prepared His representative, Peter, to share the Good News with Cornelius but Peter had to be freed of His limited view of how God works in order to reach out to Cornelius. Note Peter’s vision in Acts 10:9-16. Peter even indicated this, very transparently, in his address to Cornelius and his family and friends (Acts 10:24, 28-29, 34-35). WHAT IS GOD SHOWING YOU ABOUT OBEYING HIM BY REACHING OUT BEYOND LIMITS YOU HAVE KEPT TO SHARE JESUS WITH OTHERS? See II Peter 3:9 (something Peter wrote later)

3. Sometimes God works in ways we don’t see coming, just as Peter’s Jewish friends were “amazed” (verse 45) that the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit as they had. WHEN HAVE YOU BEEN SHOCKED TO SEE SOMEONE COME TO CHRIST--SOMEONE YOU DIDN’T THINK WOULD EVER TRUST CHRIST? Look at John 3:1-21. WHY DO WE NOT SEE MORE PEOPLE COMING TO CHRIST AROUND US?