Reposted from Pastor Wolfmueller
(48 verses, 4:00 to read)
What I am about to READ
- The Gentiles receive confirmation of the Sprit’s working in them and God’s word continues to work through the preaching of Peter
MARK and LEARN
- At the beginning of chapter 10 we are introduced to Cornelius, a believer in God who, like so many others in the book of Acts, is a Gentile. As a Roman soldier with much interaction with Judaism, he doubtless heard about the coming Messiah and believed the promises of God, as Luke notes. Interestingly, even though God reveals himself to Cornelius through an angel, God commands Cornelius to seek out Peter that he might bear witness to Jesus, and presumably baptize him, as Peter encouraged others to do at the end of ch. 10. The apostolic ministry which Jesus commanded and sent is the very means by which others come to know and trust in Jesus, as evidenced in this episode. Peter speaks God’s word of promise by bearing witness to Jesus and Him crucified and risen again (vss. 39-41). Peter also testifies of justification by faith alone in vs. 43, ascribing to faith itself the “forgiveness of sins through his [Jesus] name.”
- One of the major themes of the book of Acts is the inclusion of the Gentiles, who by believing in the Christ obtain the forgiveness of sins. Cornelius, who is certainly a gentile, and a centurion in the pagan Roman army no less, becomes an object of God’s mercy and thus becomes an archetype of God’s kingdom of forgiveness in Jesus.
- Lord Jesus, Cornelius wore the same uniform as those who crucified you, yet you did not despise him but sent him to Peter that he would hear of your gospel, receive baptism and obtain the forgiveness of sins. Though we would daily crucify you anew by our unbelief and willful sin, send your Holy Spirit to us that we may repent and seek out your servants who speak your word of absolution. In your name, Amen.