Talks for Growing Christians
The Visions of Cornelius and Peter
Lesson Number 18
- The vision of Peter reveals God’s concept of the Church.
- The vision of Cornelius reveals God’s concern for the lost.
- Let’s be glad that Peter was not like Jonah.
- Who was Cornelius?
- When did the Church begin?
- Describe Peter’s vision.
- Did Peter accept the Lord’s revelation?
- What background did Cornelius have from his Roman culture?
- He was a Roman centurion, a leader over 100 soldiers. Cornelius was also a semi-proselyte to Judaism, believing in the one true God of Israel.
- The Church began on the Day of Pentecost as 3000 Jewish converts were baptized.
- Peter saw a sheet coming down from heaven holding both clean and unclean animals, according to the Old Testament law.
- Not right away. He had to be told three times that uncircumcised Gentiles were no longer to be considered unclean, but were on an equal footing with the Jews when brought together in the Christian church.
- Cornelius came from the pagan Roman culture- a culture that had many gods and did not acknowledge the one true God.
- Discuss the great truth of God’s concept for the Church, which was revealed in Peter’s vision. Refer especially to Acts 10:15 and Galatians 3:28.
- Discuss how the story of Cornelius helps us answer the question, “What about people who have not heard the gospel?” With Cornelius we see God’s concern for the lost. Discuss this in relation to Romans 1:18-20. Does God operate the same way today?
- Aren’t you glad that Peter obeyed the call of God to go to Cornelius’ house? This opened the door of the gospel to the Gentile world.
- “[Peter] saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.” Acts 10:11-12
- “Rise, Peter; kill and eat… What God has cleansed you must not call common.” Acts 10:13,15
- “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house.” Acts 10:22