Intersection in Time: Two Visions

Acts 10:1-48

Intersecting in Time: Two Visions of Cornelius and Peter in Acts 10

D. Peter's Message that Changed the World

Acts 10:34-44

What are some observations of Peter’s sermon?

Peter was clear rather than ‘clever.’

Peter was trying to catch up with God. He was a learner. He didn’t even know why he was there. Did you notice how Peter and Cornelius both shared a little bit and then threw it back to the other person? Here in this sermon Peter really only takes a few steps forward.

Peter admits his poor understanding of what God was doing. He does not pretend to be infallible in what he understood but accurate as a witness of what Jesus Christ did.

Peter's message changed the world.

Peter's meeting with Cornelius basically changed the world. It was in this simple and straightforward message that the gospel message was released to the world. No corner of the earth was to be left out now. God had already called Paul the apostle to thrust the message forward. Here however we see what happened when the Word of God actually went out to the Gentiles. Instead of facing opposition or rejection, Peter was welcomed as an angel. Instead of becoming unholy, Peter and the others trembled at the power of God's Word. Peter basically summarized the effect of this message as, "Who dares stop God from saving the non-Jews!"

Peter testified the major historical facts of Christ’s life, ministry and life.

We need to remember that the gospel primarily is telling others what happened. Peter is very careful to carefully relate what exactly happened. He says that they know these facts too. (Is he still wondering why he is there?) The Christian's redemptive message happened in time. Numerous antagonists went to disprove Christianity only to find themselves confronted with facts of the living Christ.

Signficant Points in Peter's Message

Jesus’ home life in Galilee and baptism

“You know” shows that they in fact had heard about Jesus Christ.

  God’s anointing of Jesus by Holy Spirit 

Pay attention to this point. The same Spirit that anointed Jesus (Christ means anointed one) will in fact anoint them. God didn’t even wait for the message to be finished (10:44)!

Did good and healed those oppressed by the devil

God did these things through Jesus. It was God showing His power and love through Christ.

  They testified that they witnessed all these things

Peter and others witnessed all this. They saw all of Christ’s life in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.

They put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross

The Jews not only heard about Christ but in fact responsible for putting Him there. He died there. There is no possibility for the Swoon theory. Peter and others witnessed His death.

God raised Jesus up on the third day

God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day and had a number of people see Him alive and visible. He was no ghost or spirit.

  They were among the chosen witnesses to see Him alive from the dead

No bragging allowed. Nor was Peter alone witnessing these things.

Jesus ate and drank with them after He arose from the dead

This shows that it was a bodily resurrection. Several heresies arose claiming that the flesh is evil (influence of Greek philosophy) and therefore stated that Jesus only ‘spiritually’ arose. Peter clearly says of Jesus that he ‘ate and drank.’ Jesus bodily arose from the dead.

He ordered them to preach to the people

Peter finally catches on why he was there! God appointed him as one of the apostles to clearly declare what went on with Jesus Christ and what it all meant.

Forgiveness is granted to everyone who believes as is testified through all the prophets.

Again, we see that the Old testament is coming to his mind and sees that man is saved by faith in Christ rather than keeping the law.

Acts 10:34-44

Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)--you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.

And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.


A Few Questions

  • Why is it difficult to testify of Christ?

  • Do you think it would make it easier if we thought about witnessing as relating facts or what happened in our own lives?

  • What makes this a sermon that changes the world?

  • If God sent two visions to get them out sharing salvation with the Gentiles, what expectation do you think that Christ has of His people? What about your own life?


It might be helpful to clarify your view of world events. See a great tsunami coming over the earth. It is not here yet, but it is surely coming. God has spoken. The world is passing away. We need to prioritize sending out rescue mission teams to these places warning them of the coming of God’s Great Judgment. We know that God is not going to judge the world by water next time but by fire. We only have so much time to catch the vision.

Peter was slow in catching the meaning of these things, but God was patiently working with him. God will work with us too, but we should realize that through these two visions, God has already showed us the priority of reaching out to all the nations no matter what their customs are.

Missions is the urgent priority of life.

Acts: Other BFF Articles

Acts                Introduction and Outlines
Acts Map:       Paul's 1-2 Journeys

Acts Map:       Paul's 3 & Rome Journeys

Acts_07_        Stephen's Defense

Acts_8.2-25    Persecution & Evangelism
Acts_8.14-24  Simon & Gnosticism

Acts_8.25-40  Ethiopean Eunuch

Acts_9:1-22   Saul the Terrorist

Acts_8-9        Perspectives on Conversion

Acts_10:1-48:       Intersecting in Time: Vision #1
Acts_10:9-16        Vision #2 Peter

Acts_10:17-48      The Meeting that Changed History

Acts_10:34-44      The Christian Historical Message

Acts_13-14           Paul's First Missionary Journey

Acts_13:1-3          Sending Out Missionary Church

Acts_13:4-12        Power Encounter in Cyprus

Acts_13:13-50      Gospel Message in Antioch

Acts_13:51-14:28 Other Missionary Stops

Acts 20:28-30       
Detecting Error in the Church

Most of BFF articles such as this one is nicely formatted for printing. Check out the great number of articles on the BFF Biblical Training Libraries all for one low cost. Make sure you check out the deal!

  BFF Homepage  | Top | Back | Bible Topics

Biblical Foundations for Freedom

By Paul J. Bucknell