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Oppressed Of The Devil Acts 10: 38




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Acts 10

Peter and Cornelius
Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much charity to the Jewish people and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God, who came to him and said: Cornelius. 4 And he, fastening his eyes upon him and being afraid, said: What is it, Lord? And he said to him: Your prayers and your charity have gone up as a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa and fetch one Simon, who is surnamed Peter. 6 He lodges with someone called Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea side. 7 And when the angel that spoke to him had departed, he called two of his household servants and a devout soldier of them that served him continually. 8 And having related all things to them, he sent them to Joppa.
   9 Now the next day, as they were on their journey, and drew near to the city, about the sixth hour, Peter went upon the housetop to pray. 10 And he became hungry and desired to eat, but while they made the food ready, he fell into a trance. 11 And he saw the heaven open and a certain vessel descending, as if it were a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth, 12 wherein were all manner of fourfooted animals, and creeping things of the earth and birds of the sky. 13 And there came a voice to him: Rise, Peter. Kill and eat. 14 But Peter said: Not so, Lord. For I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. 15 And a voice came to him again the second time: What God has cleansed, do not call common. 16 And this was done three times; and immediately the vessel was received up into heaven.
   17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men that had been sent by Cornelius, having made enquiry for Simon's house, stood before the gate, 18 and called and asked whether Simon, who was surnamed Peter, were lodging there. 19 And while Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said to him: Look, three men seek you. 20 So, rise and get downstairs and go with them, without doubting. For I have sent them. 21 And Peter went down to the men and said: I am the one you seek. Why have you come? 22 And they said: Cornelius a centurion, a righteous man and one that fears God, and who is praised by all the nation of the Jews, was instructed by a holy angel of God to summon you to his house and to hear words from you. 23 So he called them in and lodged them. And the next day he arose and went with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him.
   24 And the next day they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his relatives and his near friends. 25 And when it happened that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet and did homage to him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying: Stand up. I myself am also a man. 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many gathered together. 28 And he said to them: You yourselves know how it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to join himself or come to one of another nation; and yet to me God has shown that I should not call anyone common or unclean. 29 Therefore also I came without objection, when I was sent for. Therefore, I ask with what intent did you send for me.
   30 And Cornelius said: Four days ago, about this hour, I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer in my house, and a man stood before me in bright apparel, 31 and said: Cornelius, your prayer is heard and your charitable acts are held in remembrance in the sight of God. 32 Therefore, send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is surnamed Peter. He lodges in the house of Simon a tanner, by the sea side. 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Therefore, now we are all here in the presence of God, to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord to say.
   34 And Peter opened his mouth and said: Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; 35 but in every nation, he that fears Him and works righteousness is acceptable to Him. 36 The word which He sent to the children of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he being Lord of all!), 37 that message you yourselves know, which was published throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached- 38 about Jesus of Nazareth. How God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil. For God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. Whom also they slew, hanging him on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and gave him to be revealed, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses that were chosen before by God, to us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he ordered us to preach to the people, and to testify that this is he who is ordained by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness- that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
   44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then said Peter: 47 Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these who have received the Holy Spirit just as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.


10:1 Being a soldier isn’t a good choice for a Christian, but there’s no evidence Cornelius left his job after his conversion (see too Lk. 3:14).

10:5 Peter was in Joppa, the very place where Jonah had failed to understand his call to preach to the Gentiles. God arranges circumstances so that we have the chance to learn from the mistakes of others; He reminds us of them, as Peter must have been reminded of Jonah by being in Joppa.

10:6 Tanners were a low class profession, who were so despised they had to live out of town, e.g. on the beach. Cornelius was humble enough to accept teaching and baptism from someone of a lower social class.

10:13 The unclean animals which Peter was to “kill and eat” [possibly a reference to sacrificing them] represented the Gentiles. Paul speaks of the conversion of the Gentiles as an acceptable offering to God (Rom. 15:16). Yet Jesus had previously told Peter to go into all the world and baptize people from all nations into Christ (Mk. 15:15,16). Peter had been very slow to understand this; just as we are slow to realize the extent to which we too are to preach the Gospel to all people.

10:15 The idea that Christians can only eat ‘clean’ food is therefore wrong. We aren’t any longer under the Law of Moses.

10:31 Good works alone will not justify us to God; we need to have the knowledge of the Gospel and baptism into Christ. The greatest thing we can give someone is the knowledge of God and Jesus- this is far more than any material gift.

10:36 Lord of all- Now Peter appreciated the significance of the little word “all”- it included not just all Jews, but all peoples. We too are often taught by God the huge implications of terms and phrases we are over familiar with.

10:40,41 God didn’t show the resurrected Jesus to everyone, but to just a few people, who would then go and testify this fact to the rest of the world. God always loves to work through people- rather like how Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, but insisted on distributing them to the crowd through the hands of the disciples. God is also eager to use you today as His witness in this world.