Internet Bible Studies
Memory verses for this week: Phil 2:10 That at the
name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things
in earth, and things under the earth; Phil 2:11
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Introduction: In Chapter 9, we got to see the miraculous
salvation of Saul as he traveled on the road to Damascus.
He was soon found in the synagogue teaching and preaching
about Jesus Christ. The
disciples at first questioned his sincerity, since he had bound
Christians and taken them back to Jerusalem to be imprisoned.
But his salvation was real, and God began to show him what
great things Paul was to suffer for Christ’s sake.
This week we cover the conversion of Cornelius and his
10:1 There was a
certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band
called the Italian band,
10:2 A devout man, and
one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the
people, and prayed to God alway.
10:3 He saw in a vision
evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in
to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
Verse 1 declares that
Cornelius was a captain of a roman band which might have been the
bodyguard of the emperor.
We see some important things about Cornelius.
Cornelius’ prayers had
went up before God as a memorial.
(verse 4) He
knows all things about all people, but God does not approve of
everything that He sees. Some people believe that Cornelius was already saved
before this encounter with Peter, but a person does not have to be
saved to receive a vision from God.
As a matter of fact, we have many records in God’s Word
where lost people received visions.
And Acts 11:14 declares that Cornelius was lost at this time.
And he showed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which
stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon,
whose surname is Peter;
Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house
shall be saved.
The difference in Cornelius
and many religious people today is that he knew that his religious
devotion was not enough to save him.
Many religious people today are satisfied that their
character and good works will get them to heaven, and they have no
concept either of their own sin or God’s grace.
Cornelius was asking God to show him the way of salvation.
In reading in Warren Wiersbe’s book about Acts, he told the
story of John Wesley. He
said that “John Wesley was like Cornelius.
He was a religious man, a church member, a minister, and the
son of a minister. He
belonged to a “religious club” at Oxford, the purpose of which
was the perfecting of the Christian life.
Wesley served as a foreign missionary, but even as he
preached to others, he had no assurance of his own personal
salvation. On May 24,
1738, Wesley reluctantly attended a small meeting in London where
someone was reading aloud from Martin Luther’s commentary on
Romans. “About a
quarter before nine,” Wesley wrote in his journal, “While he was
describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in
Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed, I felt I did trust in
Christ, and Christ alone for
salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my
sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” We know what a great revival soon broke out in Britain after
this man got saved.
Some examples of men who had
visions or dreams from the Lord are in Daniel and Genesis.
And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled,
and his sleep brake from him.
Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his
lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the
golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken
out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his
princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of
the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king,
and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver,
of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and
wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of
the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against
the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.
And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the
guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he
served them: and they continued a season in ward.
And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in
one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream,
the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in
10:4 And when he looked
on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto
him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before
10:5 And now send men
to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
10:6 He lodgeth with
one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell
thee what thou oughtest to do.
The angel of the Lord came
about the ninth hour. This was the hour when the Jews went to the temple to pray.
We see that the angel told Cornelius that his prayers had
come up as a memorial before God. It is important that we understand that God does not answer
the prayers of the lost, except for one prayer.
And that is for salvation.
Once we are saved, we then have access direct to the Father
through Jesus Christ. Several
years ago, a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bailey
Smith, caused a huge uproar in the media when he stated that the
Lord did not hear the prayer of the Jews unless it was a request to
be saved. Many
were very upset with his narrow viewpoint.
The reality is that his statement was correct, and it is true
of all mankind, not just the Jews.
We must first come to Jesus Christ for salvation, and then
all of our prayers are heard by the Father that are prayed in
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none
other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that
the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
In verses 5 and 6, we see the
angel tells where Peter may be found and give a command for them to
go and retrieve him. Peter
would tell them what they ought to do.
And every Christian, if we are doing the Lord’s will, will
preach that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.
When Paul saw the city of Athens given over to idol worship,
he preached unto them Jesus. Jesus
is the answer to a person’s sin sick soul, and He is the answer
for the problems of today.
Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was
stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and
with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the
Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say?
other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because
he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
Cornelius Sends for Peter
10:7 And when the angel
which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his
household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him
10:8 And when he had
declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
We see that like Saul who was
obedient to the heavenly vision, Cornelius is also obedient to his
vision and he sends two of his servants and a soldier to find Peter
and to bring him back.
Peter’s Vision of the Great Sheet
10:9 On the morrow, as
they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went
up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10:10 And he became
very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he
fell into a trance,
10:11 And saw heaven
opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a
great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
10:12 Wherein were all
manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and
creeping things, and fowls of the air.
10:13 And there came a
voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
10:14 But Peter said,
Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or
10:15 And the voice
spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that
call not thou common.
10:16 This was done
thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
We know that the Jews had been
taught through the law that they were not to eat of the unclean
animals. God had given
specific rules as to which were classified as clean and which were
unclean. Peter was simply trying to follow the rules he had been
taught from his Jewish traditions.
God was using this to break down his prejudice against the
Gentiles. The Gentiles
were looked upon as dogs to the Jews who were God’s chosen people.
But because the Jews rejected the message of salvation of
Christ, God was opening up the church to both Jews and Gentiles.
This vision of the sheet with all kinds of animals was
God’s way of showing Peter that all, both Jew and Gentile, could
be saved and come into fellowship with God.
When God told Peter to kill and eat, God was showing him that
it was no longer an unclean thing to go into the house of a Gentile.
Paul and Barnabas told
the church at Antioch that God hand opened the door of faith to the
Gentiles, of which Paul was called the apostle.
And when they were come, and had gathered the church
together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he
had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary
that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but
seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of
everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Peter and the Messengers of Cornelius
10:17 Now while Peter
doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean,
behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for
Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
10:18 And called, and
asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
10:19 While Peter
thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men
10:20 Arise therefore,
and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have
10:21 Then Peter went
down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said,
Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are
10:22 And they said,
Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and
of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God
by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words
We see that Peter was
questioning in his mind what this vision meant, and while he was
searching for the meaning, these three men were outside looking for
Peter had a heart that tender
to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and he listened to what God would
have him to do. He is
instructed to go with them and to not doubt whether it was of God or
not, for He had sent them.
When we can come to that point in our life where we totally
depend upon the Lord, we realize that even the negative things that
happen to us are for a reason.
We may not understand, but we know it is in God’s plan. And how many blessings we may miss if we do not listen
for the Spirit’s direction when it comes to doing God’s work.
Peter Goes to Caesarea
10:23 Then called he
them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with
them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
10:24 And the morrow
after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and
had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
10:25 And as Peter was
coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and
10:26 But Peter took
him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
10:27 And as he talked
with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
10:28 And he said unto
them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a
Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God
hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
10:29 Therefore came I
unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask
therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
We see that Peter did not
tarry, but went with the men knowing that God had a work for him to
do in this town. They
travel into Caesarea, and find Cornelius and his kinsmen waiting for
them. In verse 25, we
see Cornelius worshipping the wrong one.
Peter declares that it is God who should receive the honor
and glory. It is
very easy as an ambassador of the Lord to have much praise poured
upon you when in reality we have done little, but just been vessels
used of the Lord. Pride
needs to be eliminated, and God glorified in all cases.
If it were not for the Grace of God, we would not be even
worthy to be used. Just
clay in the potters hands is what each of us are who are saved.
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is
written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father
seeketh such to worship him.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him
in spirit and in truth.
10:30 And Cornelius
said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth
hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in
10:31 And said,
Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in
remembrance in the sight of God.
10:32 Send therefore to
Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged
in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he
cometh, shall speak unto thee.
therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art
come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all
things that are commanded thee of God.
Peter asks Cornelius why he
sent for him in verse 29.
When people desire something from us, we are wise to ask why
they are coming to us. It
may be a great window of opportunity that God has opened, but it
also might not be something God would want us to do.
In this case, there was clear indication that all of this,
from Cornelius’ vision through the sheet that Peter saw come down
from heaven, to the call of Peter to this place, it was all of God.
Cornelius tells Peter that it was “To hear all things that
are commanded thee of God.” I believe when a man or woman is a devout person,
and they are seeking God, that God will send a messenger to preach
the Gospel to that individual.
We’ve mentioned before that man who was in the remote part
of Mexico, and a missionary, Milton Martin, walked for days to get
back to the village where he lived, and that man was saved.
And from that man’s preaching, many preachers were raised
up in Mexico by the Lord. The man wanted to know the true and living God, and the Lord
sent Brother Martin to him.
Cornelius had a desire to know God, the all things of God,
and God gave him the desires of his heart.
When we gather together in church on Sunday, it should be to
here ALL things that God has to say.
Peter’s Sermon to the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house
10:34 Then Peter opened
his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter
10:35 But in every
nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted
10:36 The word which
God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus
Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
10:37 That word, I say,
ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from
Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
10:38 How God anointed
Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about
doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for
God was with him.
10:39 And we are
witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews,
and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
10:40 Him God raised up
the third day, and showed him openly;
10:41 Not to all the
people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did
eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
10:42 And he commanded
us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was
ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
10:43 To him give all
the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in
him shall receive remission of sins.
We see that as soon as Peter
opened his mouth, he begins to speak of God.
What is important in our lives is what we will speak. Out of the treasure of the heart the mouth speaketh.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth
forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure
of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance
of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Peter’s desire was to preach
the Gospel, and he proclaims Jesus as the Savior for all mankind,
both Jews and Greeks, and Gentiles.
Some of Peter’s points
God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and Power
It was God that raised Jesus from the dead
God ordained that Jesus was to be the judges of the saved and
Peter declares that all the prophets preached that through
Jesus’ name that whosoever believeth in Him shall receive
remission of sins.
The Holy Spirit is given to Gentile Believers
10:44 While Peter yet
spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the
10:45 And they of the
circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with
Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of
the Holy Ghost.
10:46 For they heard
them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
10:47 Can any man
forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received
the Holy Ghost as well as we?
10:48 And he commanded
them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to
tarry certain days.
This is the first record we have since the beginning of the church
where someone received the Holy Ghost without the laying on of the
hands of an apostle. The
Gentiles were now being given the gift of the Holy Ghost that the
Jews received on the day of Pentecost when around 3,000 were saved.
Like on that day, they spoke in tongues.
It is an important thing to notice that the Holy Ghost was
given prior to them being baptized.
Lost people do not receive the Holy Ghost, thereby a proof of
how salvation is totally of Grace and of Christ, not of baptismal
waters. Those that were
saved were commanded to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
After this, these believers ask Peter to tarry with them
certain days. It is
such a joy to be around other Christians, especially those with whom
you have had a part in preaching the Gospel to see them saved. In J. Vernon McGee’s commentary on Acts, he points out a
very interesting point about the three representative conversions we
have in the book of Acts. The
Ethiopian eunuch that Philip preached to was a son of Ham.
Saul of Tarsus was a son of Shem.
And Cornelius was son of Japheth.
In each instance, the Holy Spirit moved, using a man of God
and the Word of God. These
three were the descendants of Noah’s three sons, from which all
the world descended after the flood.
Gen 5:32 And Noah was
five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Gen 6:1 And it came to
pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and
daughters were born unto them,
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Random Acts of Kindness. Each
act spreads, and many will be blessed.