LIVE@5 – Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Acts 11:1–18 (NKJV)
11 Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, 3 saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”Acts 11:1-18
4 But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. 6 When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I said, ‘Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’ 9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ 10 Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea. 12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”
God sent Peter to the house of Cornelius. God instructed him to pray for them. God poured out His Holy Spirit on the household. Peter simply obeyed God and saw the great blessing God provided. His friends, however, were not privy to all this knowledge, and struggled with Peter’s going to a Gentile’s house and eating with them, much less praying for them and seeing them receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. However, Peter explained the process and the role God played through the vision and the fulfillment of it. Once they heard of how the Lord orchestrated the events leading up to the fall of the Holy Spirit on the house of Cornelius, they relented from complaining and accusing, and began to glorify God for the blessing. It is important for Christians to understand that God’s gifts and blessings are for everyone who will believe. There is no distinction or separation based on race, color, background, or socio-economic status. God will send you to someone you may not even think would consider accepting Christ and use you to lead them to salvation. Be available. Don’t question God. Then you can explain the wondrous grace and mercy of the Lord to others.