Readings

  • Acts 10
  • Acts 11:1-18
  • Ephesians 2:11-22

Prayer

Pray… a prayer of thankfulness that the gospel extends to everyone, regardless of age, colour, ethnicity or past sin.

Day 329 – Peter – Cornelius Conversion

God brings gentiles (non-Jews) into God’s household

 

  • What great readings we have today. I hope they encouraged you!
  • As we read these sort of passages, think how things were moving from the Jewish rituals of the Old Testament to the “church age” we know now. Things should start to look more and more familiar. Today’s main passage in Acts 10 brings about some big changes from the old covenant with Israel to the new covenant in Jesus. Did you spot them?
  • Describe Cornelius and what happened to him in the opening verses. Was he a Jew?
  • About the same time that he was having the visit from the angel, what vision did Peter have? How many times did he have it? What was Peter’s initial reaction to the vision?
  • The vision would have included “unclean” animals, perhaps pigs. This is why we can eat what we wish – including pigs (I’m happy to say – I rather enjoyed my bacon sandwich this morning!). This is one of the clearest passages on why that is. Think about how this message might have been hard to accept by the people hearing it who knew that God was changing rules from thousands of years before.
  • Do you think it would have been a big deal for Peter to go to Cornelius’ house? Up to now, how many times have we read about the gospel being shared or proclaimed to gentiles?
  • When Peter shared the good news of Jesus with Cornelius in verses 34-43, he didn’t quote the Old Testament (like he did with others). Do you think it’s important to be able to explain the gospel in different ways, depending on who we’re speaking to?
  • The Holy Spirit’s work in Acts 10:44-48 show that God is at work, indicating that these events are part of His plan. Peter acknowledges this in Acts 11:17.
  • What great news is there in Acts 11:18 for us?
  • The passage in Ephesians isn’t super easy to understand, perhaps, but give it a go. It’s an amazing passage because it says so much about what God has done for us (in very few verses!). What’s the main message?

 

Some gentiles have been given salvation in the past, like Ruth and Rahab, but today’s passages indicate that through Jesus, everyone can be welcomed into God’s family. Just as previously “unclean” foods are now acceptable in God’s sight, so to are previously “unclean” people. That’s us. Not only are we not Jewish by birth, but we are unclean through our repeated sin. Despite that, God’s mercy and grace extends even to us.

 

God sees us as pure in Christ because, as the passage in Ephesians gloriously reminds us, in Christ Jesus we (who were once far off) have been brought near by His blood, breaking down the dividing wall of hostility (our separation from God), and reconciling us once again to the Father. We are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens and heirs in the household of God.

 

Told you the readings were great, didn’t I?

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