Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 10: 24-48
Last time we saw that Peter received a revelation from God that Gentiles were not to be called profane and they were to receive the Gospel. The servant messengers from Roman Centurion Cornelius arrived while this was happening and they were welcomed inside the house and given lodging for the night. The next morning, Peter and several other believers went with the men to Caesarea to Cornelius’ home. This marks a notable change in the mind and heart of Peter. He had received and applied the message from God and was associating with not only Gentiles but Romans.
Notice in the last half of verse 24 that Cornelius was not only waiting for Peter’s arrival with anticipation, he had called together his family and close friends. A change had occurred in Cornelius. He was now risking his job, his reputation, and, since he was a Roman military officer, he was risking his life associating with Peter and the Christians. Cornelius was clearly giving his attention to a higher and much more important matter than his personal prestige and safety. He was awaiting a much valued message from God for himself, his family, and friends.
Another proof of Cornelius’ conversion is that he deemed the message to be delivered by Peter to be so great that he fell at Peter’s feet upon his arrival. That never happened. A Roman military officer falling at a Jew’s feet? No. Something had changed for sure. Peter quickly helps him up and explains that he is also acting outside of the cultural norms within which he is accustomed. However, the common cause of both men acting outside of cultural boundaries is that God’s will is to be done. Peter also explains that God had shown him that no person is common or unclean in God’s mind meaning that all people are to hear the Gospel.
Cornelius explains how he received a message in a vision to call for Peter and how to find him. Peter then gives a message to all those who were gathered there for that reason. Peter preaches Jesus Christ as the only one sent by God through which there is forgiveness for sins. Notice in verse 44 that while Peter was still preaching that the Holy Spirit fell upon those who heard it to the astonishment of the Jews who traveled with Peter.
Yes, our traditions and lessons learned during our development impact us and linger within our minds. Though doubtlessly hearing Peter speak about the newly revealed fact that Gentiles were to hear God’s word and be saved, the Jews still were amazed at the fact that the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles. I am certainly not pointing blame in their direction. We all suffer from this. We pray for people and faithfully give the Gospel to them and are amazed one day when they are saved. Thankfully, God is in control of the work He is doing. Thankfully, we can’t really mess that up.
The Gentiles were given the Holy Spirit and displayed evidence of it for all to see. The same evidence that the Jews had displayed in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. We can all thank God for this wonderful fact. All can believe and be saved thus receiving the Holy Spirit. Praise God.
So Peter asks the rhetorical question whether anyone could see need to forbid water for these to be baptized whom had just received the Holy Spirit in exactly the same way as they in Jerusalem. What a mighty day of truth this was.