Author Topic: Acts 10:4, 31  (Read 289 times)

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Acts 10:4, 31
« on: December 12, 2021, 07:25:15 AM »
These passages struck me this week as I had devotions. Gentile Cornelius knows about the one true God through the Old Testament revelation. God knows Cornelius by his prayers and alms. I had not noted before the weight of the alms in the story. Cornelius mentions them twice as highlighted by the Lord's angel. Cornelius does not yet know Jesus. Others later say he did not yet know repentance unto life (11:18). The Spirit is given to Cornelius while Peter preaches Jesus.

How does all this fit with our doctrine of conversion, with God's relationship to those who do not yet know Jesus to be the Savior? How does God heed the prayers and alms of those outside the Church? I invite your thoughts.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Acts 10:4, 31
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2021, 12:49:10 PM »
When I have studied this passage, I tend to think that it's more about the conversion (or re-thinking) of Peter and the circumcised than of Cornelius and the Gentiles. (See also change that was required of Jewish disciples in Acts 9:26-30.)


Similarly, the first account of Saul's conversion also becomes a story about changes that needed to take place in Ananias (Acts 9:10-18).


It forces us to look at ourselves (and our congregations) and our views towards those outside the church, and those we might consider "unclean".


There's no limit to whom God can bring into his family.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Acts 10:4, 31
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2021, 06:13:07 PM »
I agree the Lord is certainly teaching Peter and others about salvation for the Gentiles. He might have taught that truth in a variety of ways but chose this situation with Cornelius (not to mention the teaching visions). The conversion in the text appears to be for the Gentiles as described in Acts 11:14--18, which only happens through the work of the Spirit through the Gospel.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Acts 10:4, 31
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2021, 07:29:39 PM »
I agree the Lord is certainly teaching Peter and others about salvation for the Gentiles. He might have taught that truth in a variety of ways but chose this situation with Cornelius (not to mention the teaching visions). The conversion in the text appears to be for the Gentiles as described in Acts 11:14--18, which only happens through the work of the Spirit through the Gospel.


Throughout Acts, the Spirit pushes the Jewish believers into new territories: Samaria, Gentiles, and to the ends of the earth (Italy).
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]