Episode #99. Today we’ll read Acts chapter 10 together. Cornelius, Peter, visions, and the command, “What God has made clean, do not call impure.”
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #99. Today we’ll read Acts chapter 10 together: Cornelius, Peter, visions, and the command, “What God has made clean, do not call impure.”
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
It’s been a while since I’ve told you why this podcast exists. There are literally hundreds of verses in the Bible that give the benefits of reading God’s Word. It is as relevant and fresh for our lives today as it was for those hearing it thousands of years ago. The verse that, for me, sums up all of its attributes is 2 Timothy 3:16 & 17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Rebuking is kind of a church-word but you can think of it as scolding. And the word ‘inspired’ actually means ‘breathed out.’ All the words in the Bible had their origin in God’s breath. That’s an incredible thing!
By not daily engaging in His Word, we are dismissing Him in a most profound way. But when we do engage, it makes us whole and equips us for good. Finally, I want to repeat the verses found on the Home page of the Lifting Her Voice website: Isaiah 55:10-11: “For just as the rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” And the echo of His words will not return to Him until the promises in 2 Timothy have been accomplished.
Won’t you please share the podcast with someone today who needs the hope of God in their life?
Acts Chapter 10
There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment. He was a devout man and feared God along with his whole household. He did many charitable deeds for the Jewish people and always prayed to God. About three in the afternoon he distinctly saw in a vision an angel of God who came in and said to him, “Cornelius.” Staring at him in awe, he said, “What is it, Lord?” The angel told him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity have ascended as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa and call for Simon, who is also named Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
When the angel who spoke to him had gone, he called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, who was one of those who attended him. After explaining everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
The next day, as they were traveling and nearing the city, Peter went up to pray on the roof about noon. He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing something, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and an object that resembled a large sheet coming down, being lowered by its four corners to the earth. In it were all the four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth, and the birds of the sky. A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” “No, Lord!” Peter said. “For I have never eaten anything impure and ritually unclean.” Again, a second time, the voice said to him, “What God has made clean, do not call impure.” This happened three times, and suddenly the object was taken up into heaven.
Peter Visits Cornelius
While Peter was deeply perplexed about what the vision he had seen might mean, right away the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions to Simon’s house, stood at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon, who was also named Peter, was lodging there. While Peter was thinking about the vision, the Spirit told him, “Three men are here looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them with no doubts at all, because I have sent them.” Then Peter went down to the men and said, “Here I am, the one you’re looking for. What is the reason you’re here?”
They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who has a good reputation with the whole Jewish nation, was divinely directed by a holy angel to call you to his house and to hear a message from you.” Peter then invited them in and gave them lodging.
They Set Out For Caesarea
The next day he got up and set out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went with him. The following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up and said, “Stand up. I myself am also a man.” While talking with him, he went in and found a large gathering of people. Peter said to them, “You know it’s forbidden for a Jewish man to associate with or visit a foreigner, but God has shown me that I must not call any person impure or unclean. That’s why I came without any objection when I was sent for. So may I ask why you sent for me?”
Good News for Gentiles
Cornelius replied, “Four days ago at this hour, at three in the afternoon, I was praying in my house. Just then a man in dazzling clothing stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your acts of charity have been remembered in God’s sight. Therefore send someone to Joppa and invite Simon here, who is also named Peter. He is lodging in Simon the tanner’s house by the sea.’ So I immediately sent for you, and it was good of you to come. So now we are all in the presence of God to hear everything you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Good News for Gentiles
Peter began to speak: “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ — he is Lord of all. You know the events that took place throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the devil, because God was with him. We ourselves are witnesses of everything he did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, and yet they killed him by hanging him on a tree.”
“God raised up this man on the third day and caused him to be seen, not by all the people, but by us whom God appointed as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that through his name everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins.”
Gentile Conversion and Baptism
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and declaring the greatness of God. Then Peter responded, “Can anyone withhold water and prevent these people from being baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.
There are so many lessons in this chapter about the growth of individuals and the Church, it’s hard to pick just one to talk about. And it doesn’t help that it’s one of my favorite chapters. But the first scene after Peter steps into Cornelius’ house is an attention-getter. In Peter’s inimitable style, he blurts out, “Yikes! You do realize I’m not even supposed to be associating with all of you, right?” Those weren’t his exact words, but they might as well have been. I’m sure it was not lost on these Gentile families in Caesarea that there were differences between themselves and the Jews. Nor would it have been the first time they had perhaps been looked down on by Jews.
Let’s pray. Father, thank you so much for the clarity You gave to Peter. I pray, Lord, that You would give us too eyes to see the lost and the words to communicate that ALL are welcome. Thank You. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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