Tag Archives: Acts 11

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 248/260: Cornelius

Read Acts 10:1-11:18

The Gospel Is For All

Under the Old Law, the Jews were God’s people. If you were a Gentile, few Jewish people would have anything to do with you. There was a process of proselytization, but that was not typical for Jews to actively promote such among Gentiles.

The prophets of old, however, told of a day when “the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” (Isaiah 2:2). Jesus told His apostles that they were to be His witnesses “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Even Peter himself, when he preached that first gospel sermon on the Day of Pentecost, said that God’s promise was for the Jews (“to you and to your children”) and the Gentiles (“to all who are afar off”) (Acts 2:39).

It seems that the early church didn’t really understand these things, or perhaps they simply weren’t paying close attention. When the church was established, it took a while for them to get out of Jerusalem. In fact, it took “a great persecution” to get them out of Jerusalem. “At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles” (Acts 8:1). You may recall that Philip was the one who took the gospel to the Samaritans.

Fast-forward a bit to Acts 10, where we are introduced to the Gentile Cornelius, described as “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2). Cornelius was not a Christian, nor was he a Jew. But he had the heart of one who would accept the truth when he heard it.

Peter was sent to preach to Cornelius, and the apostle admitted, “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35). Cornelius and his household were immersed, and the Jews recognized that “God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life” (Acts 11:18).

The Conversion of Cornelius (Acts 10-11)

The Conversion of Cornelius Acts 10-11

Acts 10-11

I. Cornelius was a good man

    A. He was devout (Luke 10:25-28; 9:23-25)
    B. He was reverent (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Psalm 36:1-4)
    C. He was a leader in his home (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
    D. He was generous (Leviticus 19:9-10; Galatians 6:10)
    E. He was a praying man (James 5:16)

II. Cornelius was a lost man

    A. He needed to be told what he “must do” (Acts 10:3-8)
    B. Peter brought the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10:28-29, 34-35, 42-43; 1:8; 2:39)
    C. God showed the acceptability of the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-46; Mark 16:20; Acts 10:47-48)

III. The Jewish response

    A. Initial backlash (Acts 11:1-3)
    B. Peter’s defense: “at the beginning” (Acts 11:15, 17)
    C. God was glorified (Acts 11:18; Galatians 3:28)

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 35/260: Read Acts 11

“And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Wearing the name of Christ is an important part of the church’s identity.

When one opens the Yellow Pages, he can find all sorts of denominational names. Many of them exclude Christ from their identification.

The renowned Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon, who lived in the 19th century, once said, “For I say of the Baptist name, let it perish, but let Christ’s name last for ever. I look forward with pleasure to the day when there will not be a Baptist living. I hope they will soon be gone.”

Christ prayed for unity in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 17:20-23). Paul commanded it in his first letter to Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:10). The rampant division of the religious world today is a far cry from the unity demanded by a love for the Savior.

May we all turn back to the Bible for our doctrine and for our daily living. May we all restore in our hearts the love for our fellow man and Christ and strive for unity based on the Lord’s revelation.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Acts 8:12. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.


Pray for unity in the local congregation and the church at large. Pray that all may turn to the Scriptures for doctrine.