Acts 10

Cornelius's Vision

1 Now there was a man at 1Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was 2called the Italian cohort,
2 a devout man and 3one who feared God with all his household, and 4gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually *.
3 About * 5the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw 6in a vision 7an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, "Cornelius!"
4 And 8fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and alms 9have ascended 10as a memorial before God.
5 "Now dispatch some men to 11Joppa and send for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter;
6 he is staying with a tanner named 12Simon, whose house is by the sea."
7 When the angel who was speaking to him had left, he summoned two of his servants and a devout soldier of those who were his personal attendants,
8 and after he had explained everything to them, he sent them to 13Joppa.
9 On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, 14Peter went up on 15the housetop about 16the sixth hour to pray.
10 But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he 17fell into a trance;
11 and he saw 18the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground,
12 and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air.
13 A voice came to him, "Get up, Peter, kill and eat!"
14 But Peter said, "By no means, 19Lord, for 20I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean."
15 Again a voice came to him a second time, "21What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy."
16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky.
17 Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what 22the vision which he had seen might be, behold, 23the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon's house, appeared at the gate;
18 and calling out, they were asking whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there.
19 While Peter was reflecting on 24the vision, 25the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you.
20 "But get up, go downstairs and 26accompany * them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself."
21 Peter went down to the men and said, "Behold, I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for which you have come?"
22 They said, "Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and 27God-fearing man well spoken of by the entire nation of the Jews, 28was divinely directed by a 29holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear 30a message from you."
So he invited them in and gave them lodging.

Peter at Caesarea

23 And on the next day he got up and went away with them, and 31 some of 32the brethren from 33 Joppa accompanied him.

Peter at Caesarea

24 On the following day he entered 34Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and 35worshiped him.
26 But Peter raised him up, saying, "36Stand up; I too am just a man."
27 As he talked with him, he entered and found 37many people assembled.
28 And he said to them, "You yourselves know how 38unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet 39God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.
29 "That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. So I ask for what reason you have sent for me."
30 Cornelius said, "40Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during 41the ninth hour; and behold, 42a man stood before me in shining garments,
31 and he said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.
32 'Therefore send to 43Joppa and invite Simon, who is also called Peter, to come to you; he is staying at the house of Simon the tanner by the sea.'
33 "So I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord."

Gentiles Hear Good News

34 44Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly * understand now that 45God is not one to show partiality,
35 but 46in every nation the man who 47fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.
36 "The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, 48preaching 49peace through Jesus Christ (He is 50Lord of all )-
37 you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed.
38 "You know of 51Jesus of Nazareth, how God 52anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, 53and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for 54God was with Him.
39 "We are 55witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also 56put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.
40 "57God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible,
41 58not to all the people, but to 59witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us 60who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
42 "And He 61ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to 62testify that this is the One who has been 63appointed by God as 64Judge of the living and the dead.
43 "Of Him 65all the prophets bear witness that through 66His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, 67the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.
45 68All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been 69poured out on the Gentiles also.
46 For they were hearing them 70speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered,
47 "71Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who 72have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?"
48 And he 73ordered them to be baptized 74in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

Acts 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

Cornelius directed to send for Peter. (1-8) Peter's vision. (9-18) He goes to Cornelius. (19-33) His discourse to Cornelius. (34-43) The gifts of the Holy Spirit poured out. (44-48)

Verses 1-8 Hitherto none had been baptized into the Christian church but Jews, Samaritans, and those converts who had been circumcised and observed the ceremonial law; but now the Gentiles were to be called to partake all the privileges of God's people, without first becoming Jews. Pure and undefiled religion is sometimes found where we least expect it. Wherever the fear of God rules in the heart, it will appear both in works of charity and of piety, neither will excuse from the other. Doubtless Cornelius had true faith in God's word, as far as he understood it, though not as yet clear faith in Christ. This was the work of the Spirit of God, through the mediation of Jesus, even before Cornelius knew him, as is the case with us all when we, who before were dead in sin, are made alive. Through Christ also his prayers and alms were accepted, which otherwise would have been rejected. Without dispute or delay Cornelius was obedient to the heavenly vision. In the affairs of our souls, let us not lose time.

Verses 9-18 The prejudices of Peter against the Gentiles, would have prevented his going to Cornelius, unless the Lord had prepared him for this service. To tell a Jew that God had directed those animals to be reckoned clean which were hitherto deemed unclean, was in effect saying, that the law of Moses was done away. Peter was soon made to know the meaning of it. God knows what services are before us, and how to prepare us; and we know the meaning of what he has taught us, when we find what occasion we have to make use of it.

Verses 19-33 When we see our call clear to any service, we should not be perplexed with doubts and scruples arising from prejudices or former ideas. Cornelius had called together his friends, to partake with him of the heavenly wisdom he expected from Peter. We should not covet to eat our spiritual morsels alone. It ought to be both given and taken as kindness and respect to our kindred and friends, to invite them to join us in religious exercises. Cornelius declared the direction God gave him to send for Peter. We are right in our aims in attending a gospel ministry, when we do it with regard to the Divine appointment requiring us to make use of that ordinance. How seldom ministers are called to speak to such companies, however small, in which it may be said that they are all present in the sight of God, to hear all things that are commanded of God! But these were ready to hear what Peter was commanded of God to say.

Verses 34-43 Acceptance cannot be obtained on any other ground than that of the covenant of mercy, through the atonement of Christ; but wherever true religion is found, God will accept it without regarding names or sects. The fear of God and works of righteousness are the substance of true religion, the effects of special grace. Though these are not the cause of a man's acceptance, yet they show it; and whatever may be wanting in knowledge or faith, will in due time be given by Him who has begun it. They knew in general the word, that is, the gospel, which God sent to the children of Israel. The purport of this word was, that God by it published the good tidings of peace by Jesus Christ. They knew the several matters of fact relating to the gospel. They knew the baptism of repentance which John preached. Let them know that this Jesus Christ, by whom peace is made between God and man, is Lord of all; not only as over all, God blessed for evermore, but as Mediator. All power, both in heaven and in earth, is put into his hand, and all judgment committed to him. God will go with those whom he anoints; he will be with those to whom he has given his Spirit. Peter then declares Christ's resurrection from the dead, and the proofs of it. Faith has reference to a testimony, and the Christian faith is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, on the testimony given by them. See what must be believed concerning him. That we are all accountable to Christ as our Judge; so every one must seek his favour, and to have him as our Friend. And if we believe in him, we shall all be justified by him as our Righteousness. The remission of sins lays a foundation for all other favours and blessings, by taking that out of the way which hinders the bestowing of them. If sin be pardoned, all is well, and shall end well for ever.

Verses 44-48 The Holy Ghost fell upon others after they were baptized, to confirm them in the faith; but upon these Gentiles before they were baptized, to show that God does not confine himself to outward signs. The Holy Ghost fell upon those who were neither circumcised nor baptized; it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. They magnified God, and spake of Christ and the benefits of redemption. Whatever gift we are endued with, we ought to honour God with it. The believing Jews who were present, were astonished that the gift of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Gentiles also. By mistaken notions of things, we make difficult for ourselves as to the methods of Divine providence and grace. As they were undeniably baptized with the Holy Ghost, Peter concluded they were not to be refused the baptism of water, and the ordinance was administered. The argument is conclusive; can we deny the sign to those who have received the things signified? Those who have some acquaintance with Christ, cannot but desire more. Even those who have received the Holy Ghost, must see their need of daily learning more of the truth.

Cross References 74

  • 1. Acts 8:40; Acts 10:24
  • 2. Matthew 27:27; Mark 15:16; John 18:3, 12; Acts 21:31; Acts 27:1
  • 3. Acts 10:22, 35; Acts 13:16, 26
  • 4. Luke 7:4
  • 5. Acts 3:1
  • 6. Acts 9:10; Acts 10:17, 19
  • 7. Acts 5:19
  • 8. Acts 3:4
  • 9. Revelation 8:4
  • 10. Matthew 26:13; Philippians 4:18; Hebrews 6:10
  • 11. Acts 9:36
  • 12. Acts 9:43
  • 13. Acts 9:36
  • 14. Acts 10:9-32; Acts 11:5-14
  • 15. Jeremiah 19:13; Jeremiah 32:29; Zephaniah 1:5; Matthew 24:17
  • 16. Psalms 55:17; Acts 10:3
  • 17. Acts 11:5; Acts 22:17
  • 18. John 1:51
  • 19. Matthew 8:2f; John 4:11f; Acts 9:5; Acts 22:8
  • 20. Leviticus 11:20-25; Deuteronomy 14:4-20; Ezekiel 4:14; Daniel 1:8; Acts 10:28
  • 21. Matthew 15:11; Mark 7:19; Romans 14:14; 1 Corinthians 10:25f; 1 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:15
  • 22. Acts 10:3
  • 23. Acts 10:8
  • 24. Acts 10:3
  • 25. Acts 8:29
  • 26. Acts 15:7-9
  • 27. Acts 10:2
  • 28. Matthew 2:12
  • 29. Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; Revelation 14:10
  • 30. Acts 11:14
  • 31. Acts 8:40; Acts 10:1
  • 32. Matthew 8:2
  • 33. Acts 14:15; Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:8
  • 34. Acts 10:24
  • 35. John 4:9; John 18:28; Acts 11:3
  • 36. Acts 10:14f, 35; Acts 15:9
  • 37. Acts 10:9, 22
  • 38. Acts 3:1; Acts 10:3
  • 39. Acts 10:3-6, 30-32
  • 40. John 4:9; John 18:28; Acts 11:3
  • 41. Matthew 5:2
  • 42. Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; 1 Peter 1:17
  • 43. Acts 10:28
  • 44. Acts 10:2
  • 45. Acts 13:32
  • 46. Luke 1:79; Luke 2:14; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:17
  • 47. Matthew 28:18; Acts 2:36; Romans 10:12
  • 48. Acts 2:22
  • 49. Acts 4:26
  • 50. Matthew 4:23
  • 51. John 3:2
  • 52. Luke 24:48; Acts 10:41
  • 53. Acts 5:30
  • 54. Acts 2:24
  • 55. John 14:19, 22; John 15:27
  • 56. Luke 24:48; Acts 10:39
  • 57. Luke 24:43; Acts 1:4 mg
  • 58. Acts 1:2
  • 59. Luke 16:28
  • 60. Luke 22:22
  • 61. John 5:22, 27; Acts 17:31; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5
  • 62. Acts 3:18
  • 63. Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; Acts 4:12
  • 64. Acts 11:15; Acts 15:8
  • 65. Acts 10:23
  • 66. Acts 2:33, 38
  • 67. Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4; Acts 19:6
  • 68. Acts 8:36
  • 69. Acts 2:4; Acts 10:44; Acts 11:17; Acts 15:8
  • 70. 1 Corinthians 1:14-17
  • 71. Acts 2:38; Acts 8:16; Acts 19:5
  • 72. Acts 10:45; Acts 11:12
  • 73. Acts 1:15
  • 74. Acts 9:36

Footnotes 34

Acts 10 Commentaries

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