Acts Chapter Ten, Peter's Race Lesson...

In our study of Acts chapter ten, we look at Peter's lesson from God in race relations. Peter was a Jew and they had been God's people since the days of Abraham but God had to teach him that He loved all men.

Acts 10:1 & 2

"At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly." NIV translation

In this passage we meet the commander of a group of Roman soldiers. We are told that this man and his family believed in God and that belief affected their actions and those around them noticed.

It may seem odd that God would accept and even use a Roman soldier after they were the people that insulted, tortured, and crucified God's Son but that is our merciful God. There is hope for us in this as, no matter what our background, God offers the same mercy and grace to us as well.

Acts 10:3 & 4

"One 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!' Cornelius 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.'" NIV translation

Here we see an example of God communicating with one of his people. Cornelius saw a vision and an angel spoke to him. Notice that, when the angel spoke to him, Cornelius immediately knew that it was from God as he called him Lord. He made himself available to listen to what God would have him to hear. That should be our reaction as well. When God speaks to you, what is your answer?

Acts 10:5 & 6

"'Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.'" NIV translation

We see in these verses the purpose God gives angels. When God sends angels to his people, they have a message for the person or persons that they are sent to. This message almost always is to give the people what God commands of them. In this case, the angel tells Cornelius to send for Peter.

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