April 24, 2016
Peter and Cornelius’ Conversion
Acts 10v1-48; 11v1-18
In the very beginning of the church, Jesus shows clearly that he wanted the gospel to go to into every culture and national grouping of people. Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (1:8). On Pentacost, the Holy Spirit came down and initiated the first worship service of the empowered New Testament church. And that first service was multi-lingual and the audience was multi-cultural. Despite all these clear signals from God, the early church was almost exclusively Jewish, and even the apostles were slow to see that Gentiles were to be included in the church as equals.
In Acts 10 we read about Peter’s reluctant mission to the Roman Centurian, Cornelius. Whereas Cornelius had to be converted to Christ, Peter still needed to be converted in his thinking — to see that implications of the gospel of grace for the breaking down of cultural and racial barriers between people. So the “conversion” of Peter is as important as the conversion of Cornelius in these chapters.