What god has cleansed
What god has cleansed
What GOD has cleansed Presented by Steven Schiller
The Conversion Of Cornelius (10:1-48)
1. Up to this point, the gospel had been somewhat limited in its
a. It had spread throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria - Ac 9:31
b. Other than Samaritans (who were half Jewish), it had gone only to
2. With "The Conversion Of Cornelius" the first Gentile is saved...
a. A conversion noted not only because he was the first Gentile
b. But also for the miraculous events that accompanied his conversion
3. As with Saul of Tarsus, we have more than just one account of his
a. There is Luke's description, given as it occurred - Ac 10:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17
b. There is Peter's description, when he is called to defend his
actions - Ac 11:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15.16,17,18
[In this lesson, we will focus our attention to Luke's description of the
events as they occurred...]
I. LUKE'S ACCOUNT OF THIS CONVERSION
A. CORNELIUS HAS A VISION...
1. Cornelius, a centurion, is a very religious man - Ac 10:1-2
2. The angel appears to him - Ac 10:3,4,5-6
a. With an announcement that his prayers and alms have been
noticed by God
b. With instructions to send for Peter: "He will tell you what
you must do."
3. Cornelius then sends two servants and a devout soldier to Peter
- Ac 10:7-8
B. PETER HAS A VISION...
1. The next day, praying, hungry, Peter has a vision - Ac 10:9,10,11,12,13,14-15
a. A sheet descends from heaven, containing all sorts of
b. A voice tells Peter to "kill and eat"
c. Peter objects, for he has never eaten anything common or
d. The voice tells him, "What God has cleansed you must not call
2. The vision is repeated three times - Ac 10:16
C. THE SPIRIT INSTRUCTS PETER...
1. The men from Cornelius arrive as Peter contemplates the vision
- Ac 10:17-18
2. The Spirit tells Peter to go, "doubting nothing, for I have
sent them" - Ac 10:19-20
3. Peter receives the men and takes brethren with him as they go to
Cornelius - Ac 10:21,22-23
D. PETER ARRIVES AT CORNELIUS' HOUSE...
1. Cornelius has gathered his family and close friends - Ac 10:24
2. Peter deflects an attempt by Cornelius to worship him - Ac
3. Peter explains his presence is a violation of Jewish custom, but
now understands "I should not call any man common or unclean" -
4. To explain why Peter was called, Cornelius recounts the
appearance and instructions of the angel - Ac 10:29,30,31-32
5. Cornelius and household were ready "to hear all things commanded
you by God" - Ac 10:33
E. PETER'S SERMON TO THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS...
1. He begins with a full perception that God shows no partiality
- Ac 10:34-35
a. A perception started with the vision of the sheet and unclean
b. A perception continued with the Spirit's instruction to go
with the messengers
2. Peter then proceeds to proclaim Jesus Christ - Ac 10:36,37,38,39,40,41,42-43
a. As Lord who was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power - Ac
b. Who was killed, but then raised from the dead and seen by
eyewitnesses who knew Him well - Ac 10:39,40-41
c. Who has commanded the apostles to proclaim Him as ordained by
God to be the Judge of the living and dead - Ac 10:42
d. Through Whom remission of sins is offered to those who
believe - Ac 10:43
F. THE SPIRIT FALLS ON ALL WHO HEARD...
1. While Peter was still speaking - Ac 10:44
2. Astonishing those of the circumcision - Ac 10:45-46
a. Jewish Christians who had come with Peter
b. Because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on
c. Empowering them to speak with tongues and praise God
G. PETER COMMANDS THEM TO BE BAPTIZED...
1. How could anyone forbid water to those who had received the
Spirit just as the apostles did? - Ac 10:47; cf. Ac 2:1-4
2. So Cornelius and his household were commanded to be baptized in
the name of the Lord - Ac 10:48; cf. Ac 2:38
[The events surrounding this conversion are certainly remarkable. They
evidently were intended to convey important truths. As we endeavor to
glean what those truths were, here are a couple of...]
II. OBSERVATIONS REGARDING THIS CONVERSION
A. RELIGIOUS PEOPLE NEED SAVING...
1. Many people believe that if you are religious, you will be saved
a. That if you go to church, do good, etc., you have a hope of
b. That you will have earned the right to enter heaven
2. Yet, though Cornelius was a man who...
a. Was a devout man and feared God with his whole family - Ac
b. Gave alms generously and prayed to God always - ibid.
c. Still needed to be told "words by which you and all your
household will be saved" - cf. Ac 11:14
3. Clearly, being religious alone isn't what saves you
a. Most examples of conversion in Acts involved religious people
b. It is the blood of Christ that saves! - cf. Ep 1:7
B. THE GOSPEL IS FOR ALL NATIONS...
1. Peter perceived that God is no respecter of persons - Ac
2. Indeed, God desires that ALL men be saved - cf. Jn 3:16; 1Tim2:3,4,5-6; 2Pet3:9
3. Therefore He has not predestined some to be saved and others to
C. THE GOSPEL CULMINATES IN BAPTISM...
1. It begins with the need to believe in Jesus - Acts 10:42-43
2. It ends with immersion in water - Acts10:47-48; cf. Acts 2:38,Acts 8:35,36,37-38,Acts 22:16
3. "Baptism is here [in Acts 2:38, MAC] a part of the proclamation of
Christ. In an Apostolic sermon it comes as its logical
conclusion. An effort ought to be made to restore this note in
our [Baptist, MAC] preaching." - George Beasley-Murray, Baptism
In The New Testament, p. 393
1. There are other observations to be made...
a. Which we will consider in the next chapter
b. As Peter is called to account for his actions
2. While miraculous events surrounded "The Conversion Of Cornelius", his
salvation was no different from what we have already seen...
a. He had to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ - e.g., Ac 8:35
b. He was taught to believe and commanded to be baptized - e.g., Ac
3. As Peter would later say, it is "through the grace of the Lord Jesus
Christ" that both Gentiles and Jews are saved - cf. Ac 15:11
a. We are saved by grace, not works - cf. Ep 2:5,8,Tit 3:4-5
b. For it is not enough to be religious...
1) Who could be more religious than Cornelius?
2) Or the 3000 at Pentecost, the Ethiopian eunuch, Saul of Tarsus,
Lydia of Thyatira?
4. The grace of God which saves does require a response, however...
a. A response of faith - Ac 10:43
b. Faith in Jesus that comes by hearing the gospel - Ac 10:42
c. Faith which expresses itself in obedience - cf. He 5:9
1) Particularly, repentance and baptism - cf. Ac 2:38; 3:19; 10:48
2) Not as works of merit, but as acts of faith by which one
receives God's grace
Those of us who are not descended from Israel can rejoice in what God
revealed with "The Conversion of Cornelius". As properly concluded later
by Jewish brethren in Jerusalem:
"God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." - Ac 11:18
Have you taken advantage of this wonderful gift, by responding to the
gospel of Jesus Christ in faith, repentance, and baptism...?