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Explain the story of Peter and Cornelius in the book of Acts (35)

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Introduction

´╗┐Karen Aston 13a Explain the story of Peter and Cornelius in the book of Acts (35) The story of Peter and Cornelius is the story of Gentiles being allowed in to the church and Peter?s conversion of his mind set. Peter was staying at the house of a tanner, a tanner is someone who processes animal hides into finished leather, this would have been ?unclean? to Peter according to kosher, and Peter was staying here as God was preparing his mind for what was to come, he was slowly coming around the idea of Gentiles being allowed in the church. Cornelius was a Roman centurion and a Gentile. He was a generous, righteous and God-fearing man, who prayed every day. One afternoon he had a vision in which a Holy angel told him to send men to bring Peter back to his home. So Cornelius sent two servants and a soldier to go and bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter to him. ...read more.

Middle

So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.? The men told Peter that they had come from Cornelius and that a Holy angel told them to bring Peter back. The next day Peter went with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along too. The following day he arrived in Caesarea, Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered the house Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence; Peter made him get up as he refused to accept such respect which should only be offered to God. Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He firstly channelled why he was there and his unwillingness to go to the house of Gentiles. It is against Jewish law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile as they saw Gentiles as unclean. Peter then goes on to interprete his vision God was telling him not to call anyone impure or unclean. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was seen as the Gentiles Pentecost as this was the first time the Holy Spirit had been received by Gentiles. Peter said ?Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water.? He ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. This shows that Peter has been converted into believing that God?s message should be for everyone who believes and is righteous, not just the Jews. The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went to Jerusalem, the circumcised men criticised him for breaking Jewish laws. Peter then tells everything that had happened to defend himself. He then challenged them by asking ?who was I to think that I could stand in God?s way?? When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ?So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.? The fact that the story is told twice is shows how Luke wants to emphasize that God had welcomed Gentiles into his family on equal terms with believing Jews. Word count; 913 ...read more.

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