Bible: Acts 10-11

Peter Visits Cornelius

10:1 Now there was a man in Caesarea 1  named Cornelius, a centurion 2  of what was known as the Italian Cohort. 3  10:2 He 4  was a devout, God-fearing man, 5  as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people 6  and prayed to God regularly. 10:3 About three o’clock one afternoon 7  he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God 8  who came in 9  and said to him, “Cornelius.” 10:4 Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius 10  replied, 11 What is it, Lord?” The angel 12  said to him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity 13  have gone up as a memorial 14  before God. 10:5 Now 15  send men to Joppa 16  and summon a man named Simon, 17  who is called Peter. 10:6 This man is staying as a guest with a man named Simon, a tanner, 18  whose house is by the sea.” 10:7 When the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius 19  called two of his personal servants 20  and a devout soldier from among those who served him, 21  10:8 and when he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

10:9 About noon 22  the next day, while they were on their way and approaching 23  the city, Peter went up on the roof 24  to pray. 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. 25  10:11 He 26  saw heaven 27  opened 28  and an object something like a large sheet 29  descending, 30  being let down to earth 31  by its four corners. 10:12 In it 32  were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 33  of the earth and wild birds. 34  10:13 Then 35  a voice said 36  to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 37  and eat! 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean! 38  10:15 The voice 39  spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 40  ritually unclean! 41  10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 42 

10:17 Now while Peter was puzzling over 43  what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was 44  and approached 45  the gate. 10:18 They 46  called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, 47  was staying there as a guest. 10:19 While Peter was still thinking seriously about 48  the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. 10:20 But get up, 49  go down, and accompany them without hesitation, 50  because I have sent them.” 10:21 So Peter went down 51  to the men and said, “Here I am, 52  the person you’re looking for. Why have you come? 10:22 They said, “Cornelius the centurion, 53  a righteous 54  and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, 55  was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message 56  from you.” 10:23 So Peter 57  invited them in and entertained them as guests.

On the next day he got up and set out 58  with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa 59  accompanied him. 10:24 The following day 60  he entered Caesarea. 61  Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously 62  for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 10:25 So when 63  Peter came in, Cornelius met 64  him, fell 65  at his feet, and worshiped 66  him. 10:26 But Peter helped him up, 67  saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 68  10:27 Peter 69  continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 70  10:28 He said to them, “You know that 71  it is unlawful 72  for a Jew 73  to associate with or visit a Gentile, 74  yet God has shown me that I should call no person 75  defiled or ritually unclean. 76  10:29 Therefore when you sent for me, 77  I came without any objection. Now may I ask why 78  you sent for me? 10:30 Cornelius 79  replied, 80 Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock in the afternoon, 81  I was praying in my house, and suddenly 82  a man in shining clothing stood before me 10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity 83  have been remembered before God. 84  10:32 Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, 85  by the sea.’ 10:33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. 86  So now we are all here in the presence of God 87  to listen 88  to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.” 89 

10:34 Then Peter started speaking: 90  “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 91  10:35 but in every nation 92  the person who fears him 93  and does what is right 94  is welcomed before him. 10:36 You know 95  the message 96  he sent to the people 97  of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace 98  through 99  Jesus Christ 100  (he is Lord 101  of all) – 10:37 you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 102  10:38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, 103  that 104  God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He 105  went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, 106  because God was with him. 107  10:39 We 108  are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea 109  and in Jerusalem. 110  They 111  killed him by hanging him on a tree, 112  10:40 but 113  God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 114  10:41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, 115  who ate and drank 116  with him after he rose from the dead. 10:42 He 117  commanded us to preach to the people and to warn 118  them 119  that he is the one 120  appointed 121  by God as judge 122  of the living and the dead. 10:43 About him all the prophets testify, 123  that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins 124  through his name.”

The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on 125  all those who heard the message. 126  10:45 The 127  circumcised believers 128  who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished 129  that 130  the gift of the Holy Spirit 131  had been poured out 132  even on the Gentiles, 10:46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising 133  God. Then Peter said, 10:47 No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, 134  can he? 135  10:48 So he gave orders to have them baptized 136  in the name of Jesus Christ. 137  Then they asked him to stay for several days.

Peter Defends His Actions to the Jerusalem Church

11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted 138  the word of God. 139  11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, 140  the circumcised believers 141  took issue with 142  him, 11:3 saying, “You went to 143  uncircumcised men and shared a meal with 144  them.” 11:4 But Peter began and explained it to them point by point, 145  saying, 11:5 I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, 146  an object something like a large sheet descending, 147  being let down from heaven 148  by its four corners, and it came to me. 11:6 As I stared 149  I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, 150  and wild birds. 151  11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; slaughter 152  and eat!’ 11:8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord, for nothing defiled or ritually unclean 153  has ever entered my mouth!’ 11:9 But the voice replied a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider 154  ritually unclean!’ 11:10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven again. 11:11 At that very moment, 155  three men sent to me from Caesarea 156  approached 157  the house where we were staying. 158  11:12 The Spirit told me to accompany them without hesitation. These six brothers 159  also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 11:13 He informed us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, 11:14 who will speak a message 160  to you by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 11:15 Then as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on 161  them just as he did 162  on us at the beginning. 163  11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, 164  as he used to say, 165 John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 166  11:17 Therefore if God 167  gave them the same gift 168  as he also gave us after believing 169  in the Lord Jesus Christ, 170  who was I to hinder 171  God? 11:18 When they heard this, 172  they ceased their objections 173  and praised 174  God, saying, “So then, God has granted the repentance 175  that leads to life even to the Gentiles.” 176 

Activity in the Church at Antioch

11:19 Now those who had been scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen 177  went as far as 178  Phoenicia, 179  Cyprus, 180  and Antioch, 181  speaking the message 182  to no one but Jews. 11:20 But there were some men from Cyprus 183  and Cyrene 184  among them who came 185  to Antioch 186  and began to speak to the Greeks 187  too, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus. 11:21 The 188  hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed 189  turned 190  to the Lord. 11:22 A report 191  about them came to the attention 192  of the church in Jerusalem, 193  and they sent Barnabas 194  to Antioch. 195  11:23 When 196  he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain true 197  to the Lord with devoted hearts, 198  11:24 because he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and a significant number of people 199  were brought to the Lord. 11:25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to look for Saul, 11:26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. 200  So 201  for a whole year Barnabas and Saul 202  met with the church and taught a significant number of people. 203  Now it was in Antioch 204  that the disciples were first called Christians. 205 

Famine Relief for Judea

11:27 At that time 206  some 207  prophets 208  came down 209  from Jerusalem 210  to Antioch. 211  11:28 One of them, named Agabus, got up 212  and predicted 213  by the Spirit that a severe 214  famine 215  was about to come over the whole inhabited world. 216  (This 217  took place during the reign of Claudius.) 218  11:29 So the disciples, each in accordance with his financial ability, 219  decided 220  to send relief 221  to the brothers living in Judea. 11:30 They did so, 222  sending their financial aid 223  to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

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