Acts Chapter 10 Continued
Peter has just arrived at Cornelius’ home and Peter told Cornelius not to worship him, that he was a man. Now we will begin in verse 27.
Acts 10:27 “And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.”
This many here, were the people Cornelius had invited. These were all Gentiles.
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.”
“Unlawful”: Literally “breaking a taboo.” Peter followed the Jewish standards and traditions his whole life. His comments reveal his acceptance of a new standard in which Jews no longer were to consider Gentiles profane.
This encounter, with the sheet let down from heaven, has shown Peter that he was wrong in calling any man common. We are all made in the image of God, not just one nationality. The Jews thought themselves to be better than anyone else. They thought all other people to be less than they were.
Jesus disproved this when He ate with the publicans and sinners. Prejudice is not right. God does not make different classes of people. People make classes.
Acts 10:29 “Therefore came I [unto you] without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?”
Peter is saying; I learned my lesson well that God was showing me about calling things common. I came without hesitation, even though I knew you were not Jewish because I felt that was what God would have me to do. Now, what did you send for me for?
Gainsaying means promptly. He was not prompted, he just came.
Acts 10:30 “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,”
This is a repetition of the very thing that had happened to Cornelius. The man in bright clothing was the angel of the Lord. We mentioned before that regardless of who it is, God respects a person who fasts and prays from their heart.
Acts 10:31 “And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.”
This Cornelius truly loved God and wanted to please Him.
Acts 10:32 “Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of [one] Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.”
God answered Cornelius’ prayer by telling him where to get help. God even prepared Peter to accept Cornelius, before the servants got there, and asked him to come.
Acts 10:33 “Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.”
Cornelius obeyed God immediately. Now he tells Peter that he is pleased that he came, and that he knows God will speak to him through Peter. He is expecting instructions from God.
Acts 10:34 “Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:”
God is not respecter of persons”: Taught in both the Old Testament (Deut. 10:17; 2 Chron. 19:7; Job 34:19), and New Testament (Rom 2:11; 3:29-30; James 2:1). The reality of this truth was taking on new dimensions for Peter.
This actually is the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter. All Peter had to do was open his mouth. The rest came from God. Perceive here, means to comprehend or understand. God had made Peter understand that God is no respecter of persons. God loves all His creation.
Acts 10:35 “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
“Accepted”: Or welcome. This Greek word means “marked by a favorable manifestation of the divine pleasure.
This means that if you love God and keep His commandments, it doesn’t matter if you are Caucasian, Asiatic, or Negroid: you are God’s children and he accepts you. All believers in Christ whether white, black, yellow, or brown are all spiritual Israel and heirs according to the promise. God wants us to obey Him as He is our heavenly Father.
Verses 36-43: Peter’s “preaching” presents in clear fashion the gospel: how Christ” lived and died, was raised from the dead, and how He did this sacrificially and vicariously for our sins.
Acts 10:36 “The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all:)”
“Preaching peace”: Christ, by paying the price of sin through His sacrificial death, established peace between man and God (see note on Rom. 5:1-11).
God sent the Scriptures to the physical house of Israel by Moses and the prophets. These Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi told of Jesus Christ (the Lord of all). Jesus Christ is the King of Peace.
Acts 10:37 “That word, [I say], ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;”
“The baptism which John preached” (1:22; 13:24; 18:25; 19:34; see notes on Matt. 3:2-12).
The Word is Jesus. Jesus is Savior of the world. This is the good news preached. Jesus was from Galilee. John the Baptist preached to repent and be baptized that the Savior of the world, the Messiah was coming. Here, we see Peter telling these Gentiles that Jesus Christ is their Savior too.
Acts 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
“Jesus … with power” (4:27). The beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry (Matt. 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22).
When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Ghost in the likeness of a dove came and sat upon Him. Jesus was not only filled with power, but was in fact, power itself. His power was not limited as ours is. He was the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He healed all, not some as we do, in His name. He healed in His own name, we must use His name. Jesus has all power in heaven and earth.
Acts 10:39 “And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:”
Peter here, relates that even though Jesus did only good, the rulers of the temple had Him crucified on a wooden cross. Peter tells them that he saw it with his own eyes.
Acts 10:40 “Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;”
Peter is explaining here that, as no mere man could do, Jesus rose from the grave on the third day after His crucifixion.
Acts 10:41 “Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, [even] to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.”
“Unto witnesses … chosen”: Jesus became visible after His resurrection only to believers (1 Cor. 15:5-8).
He was seen of over five hundred, but He was with His apostles the most time during the forty days that He walked on the earth, after He arose from the grave, and before He was carried into heaven.
He lets them know that it wasn’t just a vision of Jesus that they saw, because he ate and drank with them. It was really Him and they were eyewitnesses.
Acts 10:42 “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God [to be] the Judge of quick and dead.”
Jesus is the Judge of all the earth. When we die, we stand before Jesus to be judged. He is the one who decides whether we go to heaven or to hell. He is the great Shepherd. If we are His sheep we will go to heaven, if we are not His followers we will go to hell.
All who preach are to preach the good news of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world. It pleased God that by the foolishness of preaching man can be saved.
Acts 10:43 “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
“Believeth in him”: The means of salvation, faith in Christ alone (see note on Rom. 1:16; John 3:14-17; 6:69; Rom 10:11; Gal. 3:22; Eph. 2:8-9).
All of the prophets prophesied of Jesus. The gift of salvation is so simple that many cannot believe. (Romans 10:9-10), explains it the best. God wants all of us. That is why we must believe in our heart. He does not want us to be ashamed of Him, and that is why we must confess Him with our mouth.
He gave His body on the cross that we can have our sins washed away in His precious blood. If we believe in the name of Jesus Christ, we are truly Christians who are saved.
Verses 44-47: Cornelius’s household was saved when they “heard” the gospel (11:13-15). Note that they receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the moment of their belief without the laying on of hands (11:15-17), just as the apostles teach that we receive the Holy Spirit when saved (Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13; 1 John 3:24; 4:13).
Note also that the receiving of the Holy Spirit precedes water baptism, indicating that salvation precedes water baptism, since only Christians possess the Holy Spirit. Spirit baptism is no substitute for water baptism. The demonstration of “tongues” seems to have been given for the benefit of the Jewish brethren rather than for Cornelius and his household (verse 45).
Acts 10:44 “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”
“The Holy Ghost fell” (see notes on 2:4; 8:17).
These people loved God and freely accepted the message Peter brought. This hearing the word here has to do with their inner man hearing and believing. They received the Holy Ghost as the 120 had at Pentecost.
Acts 10:45 “And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
“The circumcision which believed” (11:2). Jewish Christians (see note on verse 23).
The word that gives the whole thing away is gift; you cannot earn the Holy Ghost. It is a gift of God. This is God’s way of showing these pious Jews that He loves the Gentiles too. These Jews with Peter had thought you had to be a natural Jew to receive God. God taught them a lesson here. All who love God can receive God.
Acts 10:46 “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,”
“Tongues” (see notes on 2:4; 8:17).
God had not only baptized them in the Holy Ghost, but gave the evidence, as well (they spoke with tongues).
Acts 10:47 “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”
Peter, in a word, is saying; If God found them worthy of baptism, who are we to deny them? You see, if they refused them water baptism after God had baptized them in the Holy Ghost, they would be siding against God. They would, in fact, be questioning God’s wisdom. Peter says, if they are alright with God, they better be alright with us.
Acts 10:48 “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”
Peter did not ask any more. He told them to baptize them in water in the name of the Lord. They asked Peter to stay a few days. I would guess that this was so they could be taught more about Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.
Acts Chapter 10 Continued Questions
1. Why did Peter tell Cornelius not to worship him?
2. When Peter came inside, was Cornelius alone?
3. Peter told Cornelius that what was against Jewish law?
4. Why did Peter come then?
5. Peter had come without _______.
6. What did Peter ask Cornelius?
7. How many days before had Cornelius been fasting?
8. When Cornelius prayed, what had he seen?
9. What message had God sent Cornelius?
10. In verse 32, Peter was called by what other name?
11. Where was Peter staying?
12. What did Cornelius mean by, “…thou hast well done that thou art come…”?
13. What had they all come to hear of Peter?
14. In verse 34, “…Peter opened his mouth…” means what?
15. What had Peter perceived of God?
16. Who is accepted of God?
17. What had God sent to the children of Israel?
18. Who is Lord of all?
19. Who preached baptism?
20. Who is the Word?
21. What is the good news that is preached?
22. What did Jesus do on earth?
23. Who slew Jesus?
24. What day did Jesus rise?
25. Who witnessed Jesus after His resurrection?
26. Who is the Judge of the “…quick and dead..”?
27. What gives you remission of your sins?
28. What happened while Peter spoke?
29. Who were astonished at this happening?
30. What did they hear them do?
31. What did Peter say they could not forbid?
32. What did Peter command them to do?