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Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Interrogation of Peter

At times we Christians seem to believe that, as one of the apostles, Peter enjoyed an authority unprecedented in Church history. The Roman Catholics even elevate Peter to the position of first pope and Vicar (human deputy or substitute) of Christ on earth. However, in thinking this way, we abandon the natural flow and meaning of what Luke tells us, especially in Acts 11. Peter was actually called on the carpet, so to speak, and interrogated over what he had done concerning Cornelius (Acts 11:1-3). One doesn’t do this to one’s lord or master. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in circumcision, Peter and Cornelius

 

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Church Unity at Risk!

Sometimes we are completely unaware of the pressures we are under and how this translates into our walk with Christ. I think this was the issue that faced the believing community in this next phase of Luke’s work of recording the progress of the nascent Church of God. The first phase, remember, dealt with the believing community being the Body of Christ or the Temple of God. That is, the Temple that Jesus was building was not stationary but mobile, and it, therefore, did not reside only in Jerusalem but existed wherever believers in Jesus were found! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in circumcision, Temple of God

 

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Salvation–God Removes All Doubt

Before going on to Acts 11, I think I should consider Peter’s speech before Cornelius and his household and friends to highlight a few things that he mentions. We shall begin in Acts 10:34 and continue to the end of the chapter. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in circumcision, salvation

 

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Cornelius and Circumcision

Acts 10 ends with the Holy Spirit falling upon and filling Cornelius and all his gentile countrymen and friends, whom he had invited into his home to hear the word of God preached by Peter. When this occurred Peter’s Jewish friends, whom he had taken with him from Joppa as witnesses (cp. Acts 11:12), became astonished at the sight. The Holy Spirit had filled these gentiles just as they were—without embracing the Jewish faith. In other words, God received these gentiles, just as he had received the first Jewish followers of Jesus at Jerusalem in Acts 2. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in circumcision, Peter and Cornelius

 

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Peter’s Heart

In Acts 10 beginning at verse-9 we have Luke’s record of Peter’s vision of unclean animals, which the Lord told him to eat (Acts 10:13) and his ultimate preaching of the Gospel to Cornelius, a gentile and Roman Centurion (verse-34 and following). This event occurred probably in the spring or summer of 40 CE during the peace believers experienced while Rome and Jerusalem were on the brink of war over Caligula’s intention of placing a statue of himself within the Temple compound at Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Gospel, Peter and Cornelius

 

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The Ends of the Earth

The Gospel being preached to Cornelius is probably Luke’s single most important record following Pentecost in Acts 2. At first it doesn’t seem so important a matter; after all, Cornelius is just one man, and we never hear of him again except by implication through Peter’s testimony in Acts 15 at the Jerusalem Council. Yet, if we look deeper we shall see that he represents the people for whom Paul was set apart to preach the Gospel. Cornelius represents the descendents of Japheth—western civilization or more accurately in Biblical terms, the people to the north. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Gospel, Kingdom of God

 

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Cornelius, the Centurion

What can we know of this man who received a vision from God? First of all, Luke tells us he is a God-fearer (Acts 10:2a). This means he worshiped with the Jews in the synagogue on the Sabbath, but had not committed himself to the whole Law. That is, he didn’t practice circumcision with all that this means, including keeping kosher. God-fearers were gentiles who found comfort in worshiping the God of the Jews. They recognized the wisdom of believing in only one God, creator of all there is. Luke also tells us that he gave much alms to the Jews who were poor and never ceased to pray to the one true God; that is, Cornelius worshiped only the God of the Jews and prayed to him alone, not to other gods (Acts 10:2b). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Gospel, Kingdom of God

 

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