Tuesday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Acts 10:23-48

Poured Out Even on the Gentiles?

So Peter arrives in Joppa the second day after departing with a newfound understanding of the extent of the gospel, an understanding that God would soon confirm.  With great anticipation Cornelius had gathered together family and friends to hear the message that God would send them through Simon “who is called Peter.”  When Peter arrives, Cornelius falls down at his feet, a mistaken act of reverence which Peter immediately corrected.  (Bear in mind that though this man is a “God-fearer,” he is yet pagan in his apprehensions.)  With the vision still fresh in his mind, Peter announces that though everyone knows that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with someone of another nation, “God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.”  Thereupon at Peter’s request, Cornelius relates to Peter the vision God had shown him which led to his summons of the apostle.  And now they were all gathered together to hear what God would say to them through him.

Now Peter’s vision is confirmed.  He now understands “that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”  Please understand that “acceptable to [God]” here does not mean that people are saved because they fear God and do what is right apart from Christ; otherwise, why would God have Cornelius send for Peter?  Surely the man was already good enough to be saved.  No.  “Acceptable to God” here means as a Gentile, which is the purpose of this entire passage.  The apostles were to be God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth (1:8).  In the person of Cornelius and the Ethiopian before him, Jesus’ words of Matthew 28:19-20 were now being fulfilled.

Peter’s sermon is a brief synopsis of the ministry of Jesus, his death, resurrection, the command to be his witnesses to others concerning his resurrection, his exaltation as judge over the living and the dead, and that forgiveness of sins is obtained through faith in his name.  While preaching, the Holy Spirit falls upon these Gentiles.  There was no altar-call, and no corporate recitation of a “sinner’s prayer.”  God just did it.  These Gentiles, as pious as they may have been, weren’t even expecting it; they were just as bowled over by the Holy Spirit as the Jews were on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).  And as these Gentiles were given the gift of the Holy Spirit just as Peter and his Jewish traveling companions were, he commanded that they too be baptized.  Indeed, they were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles—and even on us.  I’m still amazed.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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