PETER : OPENNESS
Acts 9:32-11:18 July 6 2008
Peter healed a paralyzed man in Lydda (Acys 9:32-35).
Then he restored Dorcas, a believer in Joppa, to life (Acts
Cornelius, a Roman centurion in Caesarea and a
God-fearer, had a vision in which an angel told him to send
men to Joppa to summon Peter Cornelius did so (Acts
10:1-8). meanwhile , Peter had a vision in which God
commanded him to kill and eat creatures that Jews
considered unclean. Peter declined. God said Peter was not
to consider common what he had made clean (Acts 10:9-16).
When Cornelius’s men arrived, the Spirit instructed Peter
to accompany them to Caesarea. The next day Peter went
with them (Acts10:17-23). When he entered Cornelius’s
house, Peter said God had sent him and stressed the truth he
had learned: He was not to consider anyone common or unclean
(Acts 10:24-28). Peter asked why Cornelius had summoned him,
and Cornelius recounted his vision (Acts 10:29-33).
Peter restated the truth God had taught Him: "God doesn’t
show favoritism"(Acts 10:34). Then he preached the gospel. He
emphasized Jesus forgives people who believe in Him (Acts
10:35-43). the spirit came on the hearer, and they were baptized
(Acts 1044-48). When Peter returned to Jerusalem, some Jewish
Christians challenged his associating with Gentiles. Peter
recounted his experience. The spirit had come on Gentiles as He
had on Jewish Christians, so how could Peter impede God’s work
(Acts 11:1-17)? The Jewish Christians agreed God had extended
salvation to the Gentiles (Acts11:18).
1. Listen to God (Acts 11:4-10)
Acts 11:4 Peter began and explained everything to them
precisely as it had happened: 11:5 “I was in the city of Joppa
praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a
large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and
it came down to where I was. 11:6 I looked into it and saw
four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and
birds of the air. 11:7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up,
Peter. Kill and eat.’ 11:8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing
impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 11:9 “The voice
spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure
that God has made clean.’ 11:10 This happened three times,
and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.
Caesarea . Located 30 miles north of Joppa and named in honor
of Augustus Caesar, it was the headquarters for the Roman
forces of occupation (Acts 8:40). Cornelius . A Latin name made
popular when Cornelius Sulla liberated some 10,000 slaves over
100 years earlier. These had all taken his family name,
Cornelius. Centurion. Commanded a military unit that normally
numbered at least 100 men (Luke 7:2). The Roman legion (about
6,000 men) was divided into ten regiments, each of which had
a designation. This was the “Italian” (another was the “Imperial,”
or “Augustan,” Acts 27:1). A centurion commanded about a sixth
of a regiment. Centurions were carefully selected; all of them
mentioned in the NT appear to have had noble qualities (Luke 7:5).
The Roman centurions provided necessary stability to the entire
Devout . In spite of all his good deeds, Cornelius needed to hear
the way of salvation from a human messenger. The role of the
angel (Acts 11:. 3) was to bring Cornelius and Peter together
(Acts 8:26; 9:10). God-Fearing. The term used of one who was
not a full Jewish proselyte but who believed in one God and
respected the moral and ethical teachings of the Jews.
About three in the afternoon . Another indication that Cornelius
followed Jewish religious practices. Three in the afternoon was
a Jewish hour of prayer (Acts 3:1 )—the hour of the evening
incense. A vision . Not a dream or trance but a revelation
through an angel to Cornelius while at prayer (Acts 10: 30;
Memorial offering . A portion of the grain offering burned
on the altar was called a “memorial” (Lev 2:2).
(Acts 10:5-6) Joppa . . . Simon the tanner . (Acts 9:36,43).
Roof to pray . It was customary for eastern houses to have flat
roofs with outside stairways. The roof was used as a
convenient place for relaxation and privacy.
Fell into a trance . A state of mind God produced and used to
communicate with Peter. It was not merely imagination or a
dream. Peter’s consciousness was heightened to receive the
vision from God.
All kinds of four of footed animals . Including animals both
clean and unclean according to (Lev 11).
Surely not, Lord! So deeply ingrained was the observance of
the laws of clean and unclean that Peter refused to obey
immediately. Impure or unclean. Anything common (impure)
was forbidden by the law to be eaten.
God has made clean . Jesus had already laid the groundwork
for setting aside the laws of clean and unclean food (Matt
15:11; 1Tim 4:3-5). Thress times. To make a due impression
Invited the men into the house . By providing lodging for them,
Peter was already taking the first step toward accepting Gentiles.
Such intimate relationship with Gentiles was contrary to
prescribed Jewish practice. The next day . It was too late in the
day to start out on the long journey to Caesarea (Acts 10: 1).
Some of the brothers . Six in number (Acts 11:12), they were
Jewish in background (Acts 10:45).
2. Look for Confirmation (Acts 11:11-14)
Acts 11:11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me
from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 11:12
The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them.
These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s
house. 11:13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his
house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter.
11:14 He will bring you a message through which you and all
your household will be saved.’
You and all your household . Not only the family but also slaves
and employed individuals under Cornelius’s authority ( Gen 6:18).
Covenant . (Acts9:9). Noah would understand the full implications
of God’s covenant with him only after the floodwaters had dried
up (Acts9:8-17). Enter the Ark K. The story of Noah’s salvation
from the flood illustrates God’s redemption of his children (Heb
11:7; 2Peter 2:5) and typifies baptism (1Peter 3:20-21). Your
sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you . God extends
his loving concern to the whole family of righteous Noah —a
consistent pattern in God’s dealings with his people, underscoring
the moral and responsible relationship of parents to their children
(Acts 17:7-27; 18:19; Dt 30:19; Psalms 78:1-7; 102:28; 103:17-18;
112:1-2; Acts 2:38-39; 16:31; 1Cor 7:14).
3. Learn the Life Application (Acts 11:15-18)
Acts 11:15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them
as he had come on us at the beginning. 11:16 Then I remembered
what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will
be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 11:17 So if God gave them the
same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I to think that I could oppose God?” 11:18 When they
heard this, they had no further objections and praised God,
saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance
Can anyone keep these people from being Baptized with water ?
The Gentiles had received the same gift (Acts 11:17) as the
Jewish believers; they spoke in tongues as did the Jewish
Christians on the day of Pentecost. This was unavoidable
evidence that the invitation to the kingdom was open to
Gentiles as well as to Jews.
Oppose God . Peter could not deny the Gentiles the invitation to
be baptized (Acts 10:47) and to enjoy full fellowship in Christ
with all believers. The Jewish believers were compelled to
recognize that God was going to save Gentiles on equal terms
with Jews. By divine action rather than by human choice, the
door was being opened to Gentiles.
Repentance unto life. A change of one’s attitude toward sin,
which leads to a turning from sin to God and results in eternal
life (Acts 2:38).
Repent and be Baptized . Repentance was important in the
message of the forerunner, John the Baptist (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3),
in the preaching of Jesus (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3) and in the
directions Jesus left just before his ascension (Luke 24:47).
So also baptism was important to John the Baptizer (Mark 1:4),
in the instructions of Jesus (Matt 28:18-19) and in the preaching
recorded in Acts —where it was associated with belief (Acts 8:12;
18:8), acceptance of the word (Acts10: 41) and repentance (here).
In the name of Jesus Christ. Not a contradiction to the fuller
formula given in (Matt 28:19). In Acts the abbreviated form
emphasizes the distinctive quality of this baptism, for Jesus is
now included in a way that he was not in John’s baptism (Acts
19:4-5). For the forgivess of your sins . Not that baptism effects
forgiveness. Rather, forgiveness comes through that which is
symbolized by baptism (Rom 6:3-4 ). Holy Spirit . Two gifts are
now given: the forgiveness of sins (Acts 22:16) and the Holy
Spirit. The promise of the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit is
given to all Christians (Rom 8:9-11; 1Cor 12:13).
Peter ("rock") was a fisherman who lived in
Capernaum (Luke 4:38). Jesus called him to be His disciple, so
Peter left his fishing business and followed Jesus ( Mark 1:16-20).
During Jesus’ ministry, Peter followed Him and Became the
spokesman for the Twelve.
Following Jesus ‘ crucifixion and burial ,
when the women discovered Jesus had been raised , Peter
(and other disciple) did not believe the report. Yet he ran to
the tomb to investigate (Luke 24:1-12).
Later , Jesus appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34).
Two New Testament books bear Peter’s name,
and early tradition states Mark based his Gospel on Peter’s
eye-witnessaccounts. Tradition also holds Peter was crucified
upside downoutside Rome in about A.D. 64 or 65>
God Bless My Friend
Robert G O’Haver