Bible Study Acts Bible Study Acts Bible Study Acts Bible Study Acts Acts Acts Acts
Peter enters the house of Cornelius and finds him and his family and closest friends assembled and waiting to hear a word from God through Peter. Cornelius was overwhelmed at the renowned man of God entering the room and fell at his feet. Watch Peter’s response; “Stand up, I too am just a man.” Peter was careful not to take glory that rightly belonged to God.
Let’s take a moment for a parenthetical discussion of taking credit for God’s work. Paul like Peter had also experienced this. Remember that Paul was received as if he was a mythological god in Lystra. He gave the same stern reaction that Peter gave by quickly correcting the error.
You have all seen the stage act where the person says very seemingly humbly, “please, no applause is needed” while motioning for the applause to continue with one hand… This was not funny stuff to the apostles. They knew fully well how serious the work of God was/is. God deserves ALL of the glory. People are simply the divinely appointed tools to accomplish the work. Let’s not get caught up in the glorification of ourselves. We can do nothing apart from God that will accomplish anything of eternal value.
Peter walks into a mostly blind situation. He knew to go with the men to see Cornelius but that is about all. He walks in to find a large gathering. Watch what he does. This old salty, coarse-talking, bull-in-a-china-shop guy very humbly announces that he has been taught a lesson from God.
It was indeed unlawful for him to be associating with gentiles according to the Jews. However, Peter marched to God’s orders. God has shown him that all people who were chosen by God were welcome into His kingdom. Peter shows his humble obedience in following God’s instructions. No one in the room should have doubted Peter’s sincerity. Peter was there at the risk of his own safety.
Peter began to speak to the crowd about how God’s invitation is open to all people who fear Him and do what is right. This is not proof of a works-based system of salvation. Peter is simply stating that people who are brought into God’s kingdom via God’s sovereign will display these characteristics. Peter continues to tell them about Jesus and His ministry, about how he and others witnessed it, and about the death, burial, and resurrection. Peter tells them that Jesus is the anointed One of God which alone can offer forgiveness of sins and everyone who believes in Him receives this forgiveness resulting in eternal salvation.
While Peter preached this clear and concise message about Jesus, the Holy Spirit fell upon the hearers just like it had fallen on Jews in the city at Pentecost. Peter and his companions received concrete proof that gentiles are a part of God’s kingdom. God’s plan was at work and continues to this day. Pray that the Holy Spirit continues to fall as God brings people into His kingdom.