May 9, 2015
Acts 10: God makes it clear, Gentiles Can be Saved
A Roman Solider praying to God?
[Act 10:1 ESV] At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort,
[Act 10:2 ESV] a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.
What is a Roman Centurion doing praying to the One True God?
[Rom 1:18 ESV] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
[Rom 1:19 ESV] For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
[Rom 2:13 ESV] For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
[Rom 2:14 ESV] For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
[Rom 2:15 ESV] They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them
[Rom 2:16 ESV] on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
Back in Acts:
[Act 10:3 ESV] About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, "Cornelius."
[Act 10:4 ESV] And he stared at him in terror and said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.
[Act 10:5 ESV] And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter.
[Act 10:6 ESV] He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea."
[Act 10:7 ESV] When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him,
[Act 10:8 ESV] and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
Peter has a Vision
[Act 10:9 ESV] The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.
[Act 10:10 ESV] And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance
[Act 10:11 ESV] and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth.
[Act 10:12 ESV] In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air.
[Act 10:13 ESV] And there came a voice to him: "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
[Act 10:14 ESV] But Peter said, "By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean."
Why Did Peter respond that way?
Clean and Unclean animals:
[Lev 11:3 ESV] Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat.
[Lev 11:4 ESV] Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you.
[Lev 11:9 ESV] "These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat.
[Lev 11:10 ESV] But anything in the seas or the rivers that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you.
Grasshoppers oh yeah!
[Lev 11:22 ESV] Of them you may eat: the locust of any kind, the bald locust of any kind, the cricket of any kind, and the grasshopper of any kind.
[Lev 11:23 ESV] But all other winged insects that have four feet are detestable to you.
Back to His Vision
[Act 10:15 ESV] And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has made clean, do not call common."
[Act 10:16 ESV] This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
[Act 10:17 ESV] Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood at the gate
[Act 10:18 ESV] and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there.
[Act 10:19 ESV] And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you.
[Act 10:20 ESV] Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them."
[Act 10:21 ESV] And Peter went down to the men and said, "I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?"
[Act 10:22 ESV] And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say."
[Act 10:23 ESV] So he invited them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him.
[Act 10:24 ESV] And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
(How is that for a sharing the Gospel with your neighbor?)
[Act 10:25 ESV] When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.
[Act 10:26 ESV] But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man."
[Act 10:27 ESV] And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered.
[Act 10:28 ESV] And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
Peter Got the Point. However we all struggle with lessons already learned.
Paul calling out Peter.
[Gal 2:11 ESV] But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
[Gal 2:12 ESV] For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.
[Gal 2:13 ESV] And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
[Gal 2:14 ESV] But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?"
[Gal 2:15 ESV] We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;
[Gal 2:16 ESV] yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
Back to Peter & Cornelius
[Act 10:29 ESV] So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me."
[Act 10:30 ESV] And Cornelius said, "Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing
[Act 10:31 ESV] and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.
[Act 10:32 ESV] Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.'
[Act 10:33 ESV] So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord."
An Eager Audience
[Act 10:34 ESV] So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,
[Act 10:35 ESV] but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
[Act 10:36 ESV] As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),
Did Peter say, “Come to Synagogue, become Jewish”
No, He started talking about Jesus Christ.
The Jewish Messiah, he is sharing with Gentiles, who should have no interests in Jewish things.
[Act 10:37 ESV] you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed:
[Act 10:38 ESV] how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
[Act 10:39 ESV] And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,
[Act 10:40 ESV] but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,
[Act 10:41 ESV] not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
Who did the resurrected Jesus appear to?
Mary Magdalene and a few other ladies.
[1Co 15:4 ESV] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
[1Co 15:5 ESV] and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
[1Co 15:6 ESV] Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
[1Co 15:7 ESV] Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
[1Co 15:8 ESV] Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (Paul)
[Act 10:42 ESV] And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
[Act 10:43 ESV] To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
All the prophets is the Old Testament.
Jesus Appears to two disciples on the Road to Emmaus.
[Luk 24:25 ESV] And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
[Luk 24:26 ESV] Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?"
[Luk 24:27 ESV] And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Back To Peter, Saved / Born Again, before they were baptized with water.
[Act 10:44 ESV] While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
[Act 10:45 ESV] And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.
[Act 10:46 ESV] For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
[Act 10:47 ESV] "Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
[Act 10:48 ESV] And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.