What is Church? – Do you want to be noticed by God? – Acts 10

What is Church? – Do you want to be noticed by God? – Acts 10

Acts 10

1At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a
centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.
2He and all his family were devout and God-fearing;
he gave generously to those in need and prayed to
God regularly. 3One day at about three in the afternoon
he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who
came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
4Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?”
he asked.
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the
poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.
5Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon
who is called Peter. 6He is staying with Simon the
tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
7When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius
called two of his servants and a devout soldier
who was one of his attendants. 8He told them everything
that had happened and sent them to Joppa.
Peter’s Vision
9About noon the following day as they were on their
journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the
roof to pray. 10He became hungry and wanted something
to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he
fell into a trance. 11He saw heaven opened and something
like a large sheet being let down to earth by its
four corners. 12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals,
as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air.
13Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
14“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten
anything impure or unclean.”
15The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call
anything impure that God has made clean.”
16This happened three times, and immediately the
sheet was taken back to heaven.
17While Peter was wondering about the meaning of
the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where
Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18They
called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was
staying there.
19While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the
Spirit said to him, “Simon, three c men are looking for
you. 20So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to
go with them, for I have sent them.”
21Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one
you’re looking for. Why have you come?”
22The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius
the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man,
who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel
told him to have you come to his house so that he could
hear what you have to say.” 23Then Peter invited the
men into the house to be his guests.
Peter at Cornelius’s House
The next day Peter started out with them, and some
of the brothers from Joppa went along. 24The following
day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting
them and had called together his relatives and close
friends. 25As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him
and fell at his feet in reverence. 26But Peter made him get
up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”
27Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a
large gathering of people. 28He said to them: “You are
well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate
with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that
I should not call any man impure or unclean. 29So
when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection.
May I ask why you sent for me?”
30Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my
house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon.
Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me
31and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and
remembered your gifts to the poor. 32Send to Joppa for
Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of
Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33So I sent for
you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now
we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything
the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”
34Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true
it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts
men from every nation who fear him and do what is
right. 36You know the message God sent to the people of
Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus
Christ, who is Lord of all. 37You know what has happened
throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the
baptism that John preached— 38how God anointed Jesus
of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he
went around doing good and healing all who were under
the power of the devil, because God was with him.
39“We are witnesses of everything he did in the
country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by
hanging him on a tree, 40but God raised him from the
dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41He
was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom
God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with
him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to
preach to the people and to testify that he is the one
whom God appointed as judge of the living and the
dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone
who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins
through his name.”
44While Peter was still speaking these words, the
Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The
circumcised believers who had come with Peter were
astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been
poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them
speaking in tongues a and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47“Can anyone keep these people
from being baptized with water? They have received the
Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48So he ordered that they be
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked
Peter to stay with them for a few days.

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