Passage: Acts 10
v1-8 - Chapter 10 opens up with the scene set in the house of a God fearing centurion named Cornelius (keep your eye out this year for how often God uses centurions!). Cornelius receives a vision from an angel telling him to send a crew out to get Peter. NOTE: There are many instances in the book of Acts, especially in this chapter, of God speaking directly to people through angels or visions. Remember, the New Testament had not be written yet at this point. Now that we've been given God's complete Word, He no longer needs to communicate through angels, dreams or visions. God's voice speaks to us just as clearly through the pages of scripture as what it did to Peter and Cornelius in this chapter.
v9-16 - As Cornelius' men are coming to get Peter, Peter receives a vision instructing him to eat meat that was considered unclean by the laws of Moses. But Jesus is opening the door here to much more than just food. He's telling Peter that there is to no longer be any distinction between Jews and Gentiles (non-jews. The greek word for 'gentile' is 'ethnos,' the word from which we get 'ethnic').
v17-33 - Peter travels to Caesarea and meets Cornelius. It is hugely significant that Peter sets aside the Mosaic law and fellowships with Gentiles because of what Jesus told him in v15.
v34-43 - Peter proclaims the gospel to Cornelius' household using a pattern we've seen him use several times now. He finishes by telling them that "all the prophets testify that everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins through His name. (v43)"
v44-48 - The circumsized (sign of the old covenant) Christians along with Peter are shocked to see the Holy Spirit poured out on these Gentiles, and then Peter orders that they are to receive the new sign of the covenant: baptism.
Old Testament References - Add even more value to your daily Bible reading by reading a related passage from the Old Testament
Psalm 98 shows how it's always been God's design to save all peoples, not just one ethnic group of people.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize.
How can this chapter bring in a breath of fresh air into the discussions of race in our country?
Why is it no longer necessary for God to communicate with people through dreams and visions?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God, the creator of all things, who has made all things clean through Christ (v15)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will view all people as equal image bearers of God who are hungry for the gospel
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Watch the week 3 video - The REAL God sermon series