The commission given by Jesus to His apostles told them to make
disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19-20) “Go
therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and
lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”
He had earlier talked about “other sheep” than the Jews. (John
10:16) “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold;
them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice, and there will
be one flock and one shepherd.”
But in the early days of the church, the gospel was preached
exclusively to the Jews. [About ten years] Now it was time for the
Gentiles to hear the gospel and be part of the Lord’s church.
Acts 10:1 – 11:18
We Meet Cornelius
“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a
centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout
man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave
alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.
About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision
an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius!’
And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, ‘What is
it, lord?’ So he said to him, ‘Your prayers and your alms
have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to
Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is
lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He
will tell you what you must do.’ And when the angel who
spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his
household servants and a devout soldier from among those who
waited on him continually. Now when he had explained all
these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.”
Cornelius was an officer in the Roman army, a captain in
charge of one hundred men. He was a leader of men, yet
submissive and humble as well.
Cornelius was religious, pious and devout. But being
religious didn’t mean that he was saved. He wasn’t.
“And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who
said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is
Peter, who will tell you words by which you and all your household
will be saved.’ ”
We see religion alone doesn’t save; one must be right religiously.
Only through Jesus could salvation now be found. (Acts 4:12)
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Cornelius was a God-fearer, a Gentile who showed reverence
to Jehovah. He worshiped the one true God. He gave alms
and was very generous to all people. He was prayerful.
Prayer was a major part of his life. Alms and prayers had
come up as a memorial before God – a reminder.
We don’t know if Cornelius was practicing the Jewish
religion to some extent or worshipping as the
patriarchs had, but he was not a Jewish proselyte. [He had
not been circumcised.] See
“saying, ‘You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with
do know that he was a very devout man, doing what he thought
God wanted him to do. He was doing what he knew how. But
he was still lost! We see prayer doesn’t save the alien
sinner, neither does goodness or sincerity.
Gentiles Granted Repentance unto Life
God’s plan all along was for all nations [both Jews and
Gentiles] to be a part of the Lord’s house, the church.
(Isaiah 2:2) “Now it shall come to pass in the latter
days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be
established on the top of the mountains, And shall be
exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.”
Amos prophesied of the coming day when the tabernacle of
David [the Lord’s Kingdom] would include also the
Gentiles. (Amos 9:11-12) “On that day I will
raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down.
And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And
rebuild it as in the days of old; That they may possess the
remnant of Edom, And all the Gentiles who are called by My
name, says the Lord who does this thing.”
For this to happen, Peter must be convinced to go and preach
the gospel to the Gentiles. This is done by God sending a
vision to him showing that Gentiles are no longer to be
“The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near
the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the
sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat;
but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw
heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the
four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.
In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth,
wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a
voice came to him, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter
said, ‘Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything
common or unclean.’ And a voice spoke to him again the
second time, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call
common.’ This was done three times. And the object was
taken up into heaven again. Now while Peter wondered within
himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold,
the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry
for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. And they
called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was
lodging there. While Peter thought about the vision, the
Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you.
Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing;
for I have sent them.’ Then Peter went down to the men who
had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, ‘Yes, I am he
whom you seek. For what reason have you come?’ And they
said, ‘Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears
God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the
Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you
to his house, and to hear words from you.’ Then he invited
them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter went away
with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.”
“Then he said to them, ‘You know how unlawful it is for a
Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another
nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man
common or unclean.”
Peter and Cornelius met and Peter preached to him and his
“Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I
perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation
whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching
peace through Jesus Christ – He is Lord of all – that word
you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and
began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and
with power, who went about doing good and healing all who
were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we
are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of
the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a
tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him
openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen
before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after
He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to
the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by
God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the
prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in
Him will receive remission of sins.’ ”
NKJVNotice his opening words in verses 34-35.
Paul wrote similar words in I Corinthians 7:19. “Circumcision
is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the
commandments of God is what matters.”
The Holy Spirit fell on Cornelius and his household.
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit
fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the
circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came
with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been
poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak
with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered.”
“And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as
upon us at the beginning.”
From this verse we learn He fell on them at the beginning
of Peter’s sermon. The Holy Spirit couldn’t have been given
to them to save them because they weren’t even believers in
Jesus yet! It was to show that the Gentiles were subjects
of salvation also. Read
“And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as
upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the
Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you
shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ ‘If therefore God
gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on
the Lord Jesus Christ who was I that I could withstand
God?’ When they heard these things they became silent; and
they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to
the Gentiles repentance to life.’ ”
This was also a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy.
(Joel 2:28-29) “And it shall come to pass afterward That I
will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters
shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men
shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My
maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
Now both Jews and Gentiles had had the Spirit poured out upon them.
Numbers of them spoke in tongues.
Cornelius and His Household Are Saved
“Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized
who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? And he
commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then
they asked him to stay a few days.”
Listen to Peter’s words regarding this in Acts 15:6-11.
“Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this
matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up
and said to them: ‘Men and brethren, you know that a good
while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles
should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who
knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy
Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction
between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now
therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck
of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able
to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord
Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.’
Belief had been produced by hearing the gospel preached.
(Romans 10:17) “So then faith comes by hearing, and
hearing by the word of God.”
Repentance had been taught.
“When they heard these things they became silent; and they
glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the
Gentiles repentance to life.’ ”
They were to turn to Christ and submit to Him in all
things. Then they were baptized “in the name of the Lord” –
by, or upon, His authority. This is to be preceded by a
confession of one’s belief in the resurrected Son of God.
It is an immersion in water for forgiveness of sins.
(Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let
everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy
Spirit.’ ” (Act 22:16) “And now why are you waiting?
Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name
of the Lord.”
(Acts 15:11) “But we believe that through the grace of the
Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
Is that your desire today?
Bobby Stafford November 22, 2015
Acts: Lesson 26 Acts 10:1 – 11:18
Sermons, Bulletin Articles and Bible Studies published in this website
are from sound members of the church of Christ
and are free to everyone. We feel the price was paid when Jesus
died on the cross. Please feel free to use any
of the content found within this website for the spreading of the Gospel
Matt 11:28-29 "Come unto me, all ye that
labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take
my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly
in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."