Peter, one of the original Twelve Disciples of Christ preached boldly after the resurrection. The book of Acts tells us he was the first to preach to the Gentiles. Among those Gentiles was a wealthy military man named Cornelius who was “righteous, God-fearing and respected by the Jewish people.” Cornelius “prayed to God regularly” and sought God in his life.
We know God knew Cornelius because God called him by name – “Cornelius!”. God told Cornelius to summons Peter and God told Peter to go to Cornelius’ house.
Acts 10:21-22 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.”
Peter being a Jew, should not have been in a Gentile’s home. But God had no concern for those laws now that Jesus shed His blood for us. God’s plan was to share the meaning of Jesus (the gospel) with all peoples and Peter was the man chosen by God to start sharing with the Gentiles.
Cornelius, who had a desire to know and serve God, was truly blessed in this story by God. Cornelius and a “large gathering of people” were eagerly awaiting at his house in Caesarea the arrival of Peter. When Peter arrived Cornelius said, “Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.” So Peter preceded to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Acts 10:37-43 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
“We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us 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 whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Two important events happened during this meeting:
1.God called Gentile Cornelius to invite Jewish Peter to share the knowledge of eternal life. It is true that Cornelius did kind acts and loved God, but he had yet to experience salvation. While Peter was still speaking to the household about the prophets and receiving forgiveness of sins through the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit poured upon the household of Cornelius and they became believers. They were baptized with water that very day.
Salvation comes by faith in Christ alone.
2. God called Jewish Peter to go to Gentile Cornelius to share the knowledge to eternal life. Upon entering Cornelius’ house Peter said, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”
The Gospel of Jesus is to be shared with all peoples.
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