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Acts 10

SUMMARY.--The Centurion Cornelius. His Vision. His Messengers Sent to Joppa. Peter's Vision the Next Day. Peter Directed to Go to Cæsarea. Peter Preacheth Christ to Cornelius and His Household. The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles. The Gentiles Baptized.

      24. And the morrow after. Parts of two days were employed on the journey. Cornelius . . . had called together his kinsmen and near friends, who were like-minded with himself.

      25, 26. Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet. Meeting him, as he entered, he cast himself at his feet as God's messenger. Observe Peter's conduct: Instead of receiving worship, as the popes who claim to be his successors, he forbade him, as he was "only a man." Not even an angel ought to be worshiped ( Revelation 22:8 Revelation 22:9 ), only God.

      28. Ye know that it is unlawful. Contrary to Jewish customs. Moses prohibited intermarriages and religious intercourse, but the Jews carried their restrictions beyond both the letter and the spirit of the law. They would not eat with the uncircumcised ( Gal. 2:12 ).

      33. We are all here present before God to hear. It was an assembly of "devout" men who recognized the fact that Peter had a message of the Lord for them; the first Gentile audience that ever listened to a gospel sermon.

      34, 35. Then Peter opened his mouth. The same preacher who, on the day of Pentecost, declared the conditions of salvation to the Jews now declares them for the first time to the Gentiles. To him Christ gave the keys ( Matt. 16:19 ) of the kingdom, and with them he opened its doors to both Jew and Gentile. I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. It has just dawned on him that Jew and Gentile are on the same footing in God's sight. Those who fear the Lord in any nation, of any race, will be accepted.

      36-38. The word which God sent to the children of Israel. The message of Christ. That word . . . ye know. Have heard of, but not fully. After the baptism which John preached. Christ's ministry began from his baptism by John. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth. At his baptism, and made him the Anointed. He gives a condensed summary of the ministry of Jesus. Luke has only preserved the substance of what Peter said.

      39-41. We are witnesses. Not only of his life and power, but of his resurrection.

      42. He commanded us to preach. In the Great Commission.

      43. To him give all the prophets witness. By their testimony of the Christ, which is so prominent a feature of prophecy. See Isaiah 53:11 Isaiah 55:1-3 55:1-3 . That through his name, etc. Three important facts are stated: (1) that remission of sins is in the name of Christ; (2) that it is only granted on condition of belief upon him; that is, trust in his name; (3) that whosoever believes thus, Jew or Gentile, shall receive remission of sins.

      44. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard. The kinsmen and intimate friends of Cornelius, as well as on him ( verse 24 ).

      45. They of the circumcision. The Jews who went with Peter. They were astonished that the Holy Spirit should fall on Gentiles. This miraculous outpouring was extraordinary, and the object is plain, viz: to convince Peter and his fellow Jews that God had accepted the Gentiles; the same reason for which Peter's vision had been given. This is the only instance recorded of the Spirit falling on unbaptized persons. This exception is made to convince the Jewish Christians that uncircumcised Gentiles were fit subjects of baptism. Peter had to recall this fact in order to convince the church at Jerusalem that he had done right ( Acts 11:2 Acts 11:3 Acts 11:15 ). As on Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell on Jews, so now when Gentiles receive the gospel they are baptized with the Holy Spirit ( Acts 11:15 Acts 11:16 ).

      47. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized? Peter's scruples were overcome. He was now satisfied that the gospel was for Gentiles as well as Jews. God had made no difference in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He asks his Jewish brethren if any man can give a reason why they should not be baptized. Wesley says: "How easily is the question decided if we take the word of God for our rule. Either men have received the Holy Spirit, or not. If they have not, then Repent, saith God, and be baptized, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. If they have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, then who can forbid water?"

      48. Commanded them to be baptized. All who heard and upon whom the Holy Spirit fell. In the name of the Lord. In acknowledgment of his authority. All the baptisms of Acts are in his name, but into the names of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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