May 1, 2014

Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles

By: Tom Lowe

                              


Lesson III.D.6: The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit (10:23-48)    


                                    

Scripture (Acts 10:23-48)


23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?

30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.



Commentary


23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.


Peter and the three messengers set out the next morning accompanied by several of the Jewish Christians from Joppa. According to Peter’s report in Jerusalem there were six from Joppa (11:12{1]). The company that journeyed those thirty miles from Joppa to Caesarea were ten in all: the three who had been sent—two household servants and a soldier; the apostle himself; and six men whom he took with him—Christian Jews who are designated as, “they of the circumcision” (v. 45). It would take at least two days to complete the journey to Caesarea. 


Peter had seen the vision; some gleam of light had broken upon his mind, and he was quite conscious that the journey toward the house of the Gentile was an entirely new movement; so he took with him six brethren for witnesses (three times the number needed in a court of law), Hebrews, who were Christians, and could protect him from any charges which might be made later.



24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.


After spending the night en route they arrived in Caesarea on the fourth day from Cornelius original vision (v. 30). Cornelius must have expected a positive response from his invitation to Peter, because he had invited a number of relatives and close friends to hear Peter, and they were all gathered at his home when the party from Joppa arrived. This man was a witness before he was a Christian and he must have had quite an influence on his family and friends. This would prove to be of considerable importance to subsequent events. The movement of the Spirit in Cornelius home would not be an isolated conversation but would involve a considerable number of Gentiles, what Luke called “household salvation” (11:14{2]).



25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.


As Peter entered the house, Cornelius was elated and fell at his feet in a gesture of reverence and respect{3, 5]. Peter protested vigorously—“I myself also am a man.” Paul and Barnabas had a similar experience when the Gentiles in Lystra attempted to worship them as gods (14:14-15{4]).


Cornelius was a follower of Judaism, but he was not circumcised, and that was what made the difference and kept him from being fully accepted as a Jew.



27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.


After a polite introductory conversation with Cornelius, Peter related the unusual circumstances of his coming. He did not tell of his vision but rather of the conclusion he had drawn from the experience. Everyone had to realize how unacceptable it was for a Jew to associate closely or even visit in the home of a person of another race{6]—some Jews referred to Gentiles as “dogs.” It was “an unlawful thing” (v. 28), something that was not done. Peter is breaking taboos. He had followed Jewish standards and traditions his whole life; but God had shown Peter that he should not call another person common or unclean (v. 28). Actually, Peter’s vision had only related to unclean foods, but he had understood fully the symbolism of the creatures in the sheet. All were God’s creatures; all were declared clean. God had led him to Cornelius, and God had declared Cornelius clean. The old purity laws could no longer separate Jew from Gentile. Since God had shown Himself no respecter of persons, neither could Peter make such a distinction anymore.



29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?


This is remarkable, that Peter would ask this question. Didn’t he know he had been summoned there to preach the gospel? Had he forgotten the Acts 1:8{19] commission to go to “the ends of the earth?”


Peter still had not realized the full implication of God’s sending him to Cornelius. He did not yet understand that God intended him to accept Cornelius as a Christian brother. So he asked Cornelius why he sent for him. This amazes me. Why didn’t he immediately begin to tell them about Jesus Christ? Well, you see, the Spirit of God is in charge here, and he keeps Peter from rushing right into this. 


We need to be led by the Spirit of God. I personally believe that the finest kind of evangelism today is prayer evangelism. I mean that we should begin by praying for an individual. Then the day will come when we need to put legs on the prayer. Ask God to lead you. Dear reader, I know he will lead you. If you have been praying for a loved one, or a friend, or a stranger, don’t just go to him in your own strength and in the power of the flesh. If you do, you will fail. Let God be the one to lead you. That is what Peter is doing.


Cornelius responded by reiterating his vision (vs. 30-32). 



30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.


This is now the third time we have encountered this narrative. It is virtually a summary of verses 3-8 with slight variations, such as the remark that it was now four days since the vision occurred and the fact that he spoke of a man in shining clothes rather than an angel. A man in shining clothes{7], of course, was an angel, so it is merely a variation in expression. Even Peter’s location in Joppa is repeated in detail. The emphasis and reason for the repetition is to underscore the importance of the divine direction that led to this scene. Peter was not yet fully certain why he was at Cornelius’ house.



33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.


Everyone there, was certain of one thing: God had brought them together. Cornelius also knew that God brought Peter to him to share something important. That is why he assembled family and friends. All were now waiting to hear the Lord’s message from Peter. They were not interested Gentiles asking for a lecture on Jewish religion. They were lost sinners begging to hear how to be saved. God had led him to Cornelius house. But Peter had a message, the message, the Word of life. It was now clear to him why God had led him there. He was to witness the gospel before this gathering of gentiles. 



34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.


Peter’s sermon is somewhat unique among the speeches in Acts. Since it was addressed to Gentiles, one would expect it to differ somewhat from the other sermons of Peter, all of which were directed to Jews. Still, it is quite different from Paul’s sermons addressed to the Gentiles of Lystra (14:15-18) and Athens (17:22-31).


Cornelius and his family were already worshippers of God, and therefore, had some preparation for the gospel. Peter probably assumed such knowledge on their part and did not begin with the basic monotheistic message of faith in God as he did when preaching to pagan gentiles. Peter’s sermon at Cornelius’ home basically followed the pattern of his prior sermons to the Jews but with several significant differences. One is found at the very beginning, where he stressed that God shows no favoritism, accepts people from every nation, and that “Jesus is Lord of all.” This emphasis on the universal gospel is particularly suited to a message to Gentiles. Peter’s vision had led him to this basic insight that God does not discriminate between persons, that there are no divisions between “clean and unclean” people from the divine perspective. The Greek word used for favoritism is constructed on a Hebrew expression meaning to lift a face. Peter saw that God does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnic background, looking up to some and down on others. But God does discriminate between those whose behavior is acceptable and those whose attitude is not acceptable. Those who reverence God and practice what is right are acceptable to him (v. 35; Lk. 8:21{8]).


Peter was basing this statement specifically on Cornelius. Throughout the narrative his piety had been stressed—his constant prayers, his deeds of charity. This raises the problem of faith and works. Was God responding to Cornelius’ works, “rewarding” him, so to speak, by bringing Peter with the saving gospel and granting him his gift of the Spirit? One must be careful not to introduce Paul’s theology into a context that is not dealing with the same issues, but one should also note that even Paul was capable of describing the impartial justice of God as being based on one’s good and evil works (Rom. 2:9-11{9]). The early church struggled with the question of faith and works in Cornelius, and perhaps Augustine’s view offers as good an answer as any. Cornelius, like Abraham, showed himself to be a man of faith and trust in God. God was already working His grace in him, and it manifested itself in his good deeds. Now God would show him His greatest grace in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the gift of the Spirit. The stress on both Cornelius’s devoutness and his works is perhaps, then, a good corrective to an abused doctrine of grace with no implication for behavior and a reminder of James’ pronouncement that faith and works are inseparable; good works flow from a heart of faith. 


Acts 10:35 does not teach that we are saved by works, otherwise Peter would be contradicting himself when he said “whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (v. 43). “He that feareth him, and worketh righteousness,” is a description of the Christian life. To fear God is to reverence and trust Him (Micah 6:8{30]). The evidence of this faith is a righteous walk. 



36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)


Just as with Peter’s other sermons in acts, considerable stress is placed on God’s redemptive act in Jesus Christ. This theme is introduced here in verse 36, where Peter stressed the good news which came through Jesus Christ. There is an interesting interplay in the verse between the limited nature of the gospel’s meager beginning and its ultimate scope. God sent the gospel message to His people, “the children of Israel.” But its content was peace, the peace Christ brings, who is “Lord of all.” From the very founding of the nation of Israel, God made it clear that the blessing would be from Israel to the whole world (Ge. 12:1-3{31]). If he is truly Lord of all, then the gospel message and Christ’s peace is for all people, not just the people of Israel. Verse 36 echoes Isaiah 52:7{10] and 57:19{11]. In Ephesians 2:17{12], Paul employed the latter passage to argue the universal gospel and the reconciliation of Jew and Gentile in Christ. Peter had also come to see that it is a natural consequence that there shall be no barriers between those who confess Christ as “Lord of all.” He could not allow such nonessentials as restrictive Jewish food laws to separate him from Gentiles like Cornelius who were, like him, those for whom Christ died. Where Christ is “Lord of all,” a worldwide witness and a worldwide fellowship of believers free of all cultural prejudice are absolutely essential. 



37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.


Verse 37 begins the explicit treatment of Jesus’ life, which continues through verse 42. The public at large knew about Christ’s life, ministry, and death, but only the apostles and a limited number of other believers were witnesses of his resurrection. Did you know that there is not a single sermon preached which is recorded in the Book of Acts that does not mention the resurrection of Jesus Christ? That is the very heart of the gospel. Until that is preached, the gospel has not been preached. Jesus Christ died, He was buried, and He rose again from the dead. Those are the historical facts. Your relationship to a risen Savior determines your eternal destiny. He died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He was raised again for our justification (Rom. 4:25{33]). 


This section is unique among the speeches of Acts in the amount of attention it gives to the ministry of Jesus. The other speeches of Peter emphasizes the death and resurrection of Jesus as does this speech (vs. 39-40). Only the sermon in Cornelius house, however, provides an outline of Jesus’ ministry (vs. 37-38). In fact, these verses are almost a summary of the outline of Jesus’ life, as presented in Mark’s Gospel: the baptism of John, the Galilean period with its extensive healing ministry, the death and resurrection. That Peter began the summary of Jesus’ career with “you know” (v. 37) is interesting. He could perhaps have assumed that Cornelius, living in Caesarea, would have heard some prior report of John baptizing and Jesus’ reputation for miracles. Paul later made a similar assumption that these events could not have escaped King Agrippa’s knowledge because they “did not happen in a corner” (26:26{13]). His reference to Jesus being anointed with the Spirit (v. 38) most likely refers to the descent of the Spirit on Jesus at His baptism (Lk. 3:22{14]), where God declared Him to be the Messiah. In turn, the anointing with the Spirit is closely tied to Jesus’ miracles in Luke’s gospel, as it is here (Lk. 4:18{15]), citing Isaiah 61:1{16].


Peter in his speech, emphasized Jesus’ miracles and mighty works, especially His healing of those who were “oppressed of the devil.” Jesus’ triumph over demonic power was never more evident than when, at the return of the seventy, after hearing the report of their cures in His name, Jesus cries out, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”



39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.


In verse 39 Peter turned to his role as apostolic witness to the entire ministry of Jesus (1:22{16]) and above all to His death and resurrection. One of the qualifications of an apostle was that they must have been with Jesus and saw the miracles and heard him speak. As in Acts 5:30{17], Jesus’ crucifixion is described as “hanging Him on a tree.” As always in Peter’s sermons, the crucifixion is attributed to the residents of Jerusalem. In verse 40 the familiar down-to-earth formula occurs: they killed Him, but God raised Him up on the third day. Particularly striking and unique to this sermon is Peter’s stress on Jesus’ appearance to the apostles after His resurrection, even His eating and drinking with them. This emphasis would have been particularly important in preaching to Gentiles like Cornelius for whom the idea of a bodily resurrection was a new concept (17:18{18]). Peter concluded his treatment of the apostolic witness by referring to Jesus’ command for them to preach the Word (1:8{19]) and especially to testify that Jesus is the one anointed by God as eschatological{20] judge (v. 42). The role is that of Danielic Son of Man, and Peter perhaps was interpreting the title in terms that would have been comprehensible to a Gentile.


In verse 41 the reference to Jesus eating and drinking was no doubt meant to counter the objection that He was merely a ghost (Lk. 24:39{26])


One characteristic element of other sermons by Peter as to this point has been lacking in this one—the proofs of the Old Testament Scriptures. Peter seems to have been moving in this direction when he referred to the witness of the prophets to Jesus (v. 43), and he connected this closely with repentance and forgiveness of sins. Perhaps Peter’s line of thought was related to Jesus’ words to the apostles after the resurrection, where Scriptures that predict Christ’s suffering and resurrection are also closely tied to repentance and forgiveness in His name (Lk. 24:46-48{21]). In any event Peter seems to be moving toward his appeal with reference to the coming judgment and to repentance and forgiveness in Jesus’ name. He was, however, cut short. The miracle of repentance and forgiveness occurred before he could even extend the invitation, and the Spirit sealed the event.


Peter wanted his hearers to know that Jesus “was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead,” that is, to undertake the supreme function traditionally delegated to Him as the “Son of Man”: “But just remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead” (1 Pe. 4:5); and, “And so I solemnly urge you before God and before Christ Jesus—who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1).



43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.



Forgiveness of sins (v. 43) is an idea greatly emphasized in Acts. Peters speech in Acts 2:38{27] claims that the messianic promises are fulfilled by the gift of the Spirit and the forgiveness of sins; and in Paul’s speeches the climax to which everything leads up is the forgiveness of sins: “Brothers, listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins” (Acts 13:38).


As they listened to Peter’s words about forgiveness (the gospel message) for everyone who believes in Christ his congregation believed and the Holy Spirit suddenly descended on all the Gentiles assembled in Cornelius house (v. 44) and interrupted the meeting (11:15). I find it interesting that God the Father interrupted Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:4-5), and God the Son interrupted him in the matter of the temple tax (Matt. 17:24-27). Now, God the Spirit interrupted him—and Peter never was able to finish his sermon. [If only preachers today would be interrupted in this manner.] They began to speak in tongues and to praise God (v. 46). It was an audible, visible, understandable objective demonstration of the Spirit’s coming upon them (There is no reference to a different language.). Peter and the Jewish Christian brothers from Joppa witnessed the event and were astounded that God had given the gift of the Spirit to the Gentiles (v. 44). It has often been described as the “Gentile Pentecost,” and that designation is appropriate. In verse 47 Peter practically gave it that designation when he described the Gentiles as having received the Holy Spirit “just as we have.” Like the Pentecost of Acts it was a unique unrepeatable event. It was barely practical. The sequence, for one, was most unusual, with the Spirit coming before their baptism. The pattern of a group demonstration of the Spirit invariably accompanies a new breakthrough in mission in Acts. We see it in the initial empowering of Pentecost, the establishment of the Samaritan mission (8:17-18{22]), the reaching of former disciples of John the Baptist (19:6{23]), and the foundation of the Gentile mission and the legitimation for the Jerusalem church.


Always the demonstration of the Spirit serves a single purpose—to show that the increase in witness comes directly from God, is totally due to divine leading. This was especially important in this instance. Peter had already shown his hesitancy to reach out to Gentiles. More conservative elements in Jerusalem would be even more reticent. Only an undeniable demonstration of divine power could overrule all objections, and God provided exactly that in Cornelius’s house. Surely the Spirit had already moved among the Gentiles gathered there in a more inward experience of repentance and faith. Luke hinted at this. The very last words in the Greek text of Peter’s sermon before the Spirit descended are “everyone who believes in Him.” The faith of the Gentiles is even more fully revealed in Peter’s report to Jerusalem, where he compared his own experience of belief in Christ and receipt of the Spirit with the experience of Cornelius and his fellow Gentiles (11:17{24]).


Peter called for the baptism of the Gentiles (v. 47) in language that is highly reminiscent of the Ethiopian eunuch’s request for baptism (8:36{25]). As with the eunuch, there was now no barrier, no way anyone could hinder the baptism of these Gentiles and their full inclusion into the Christian community. These Gentiles were not saved because they were baptized but because they gave evidence of being saved. The experience of Cornelius and his household make it very clear that baptism is not required for salvation. From now on the order will be hear the Word, believe on Christ, and receive the Spirit, and then be baptized and unite with other believers in the church to worship and serve God.


Another obstacle had been overcome in the ever-widening scope of Christian mission, the barrier of national and racial particularism and separatism, the barrier of prejudice that looks down on others as “unclean.” It is interesting that Peter gave orders for them to be baptized. Evidently he did not baptize them himself but committed it to some of them who had accompanied him from Joppa. This is further evidence that the early Christian leaders put no premium on who administered the rite. Also, Paul said, “For Christ didn't send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News” (1 Co. 1:17). Peter “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord,” which was the earliest method (8:19{28]; 19:5{29]), and was later replaced by the Trinitarian formula: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).


There are three supreme lessons that this story teaches:

1. Peter said, “God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (v. 28).

2. And he also said, “I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (v. 34b-35).

3. The Holy Spirit coming upon Gentiles even though the apostles had not laid hands on them, and without them having already been baptized.

These are striking revelations for a man like Peter who may have recited one of the prayers from the Talmud every day: “Oh God, I thank thee that I am not a Gentile, that I am not a slave, that I am not a woman.”


The narrative concludes with the note that Peter spent several days with his new Christian brothers and sisters in Caesarea (v. 48b). This inevitably involved table fellowship, but that now presented no problem for Peter. It would, however, constitute a major difficulty for more conservative Jewish-Christians in Jerusalem.


This entire experience is an illustration of the commission of Matthew 28:19-20. Peter went where God sent him and made disciples (“teach”) of the Gentiles. Then he baptized them and taught them the Word.


That same commission applies to the church today. Are we fulfilling it as we should? 




SCRIPTURE REFERENCE AND SPECIAL NOTES:


{1] (Acts 11:12) The Holy Spirit told me to go with them and not to worry about their being Gentiles. These six brothers here accompanied me, and we soon arrived at the home of the man who had sent for us.


{2] (Acts 11:14) He will tell you how you and all your household will be saved!


{3] Even the angel of Rev, 19:10; 22:9 refused such gestures of worship. Such strict monotheism was absolutely essential in a Gentile culture where humans were often revered as being related to divinities.


{4] (Acts 14:14-15) But when Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting, "Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings like yourselves! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.


{5] Such behavior would not be unusual for a Gentile like Cornelius. Prostrating one’s self at the feet of another was a common Near Eastern gesture of respect, and Cornelius surely identified Peter with his angelic vision, and may well have seen him as more than an ordinary man. Bowing as an act of reverence is particularly frequent in Matthew (See 8:2; 9:18; 15:25; 18:26; 20:20; Lk. 8:41; Acts 9:4; 22:7)


{6] No specific law forbade Jews from associating with Gentiles, but the purity regulations rendered close social interaction virtually impossible.


{7] For dazzling garments representing heavenly beings see Lk. 9:29; 24:4; Acts 1:10.


{8] (Lk. 8:21) Jesus replied, "My mother and my brothers are all those who hear the message of God and obey it."


{9] (Rom. 2:9-11) There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on sinning—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.


{10] (Isa. 52:7) How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!


{11] (Isa. 57:19) Then words of praise will be on their lips. May they have peace, both near and far, for I will heal them all," says the LORD.


{12] (Eph. 2:17) He has brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and to us Jews who were near.


{13] (26:26) And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak frankly, for I am sure these events are all familiar to him, for they were not done in a corner!


{14] (Lk. 3:22) and the Holy Spirit descended on him in the form of a dove. And a voice from heaven said, "You are my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with you.”


{15] (Lk. 4:18) "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors,


{15] (Isaiah 61:1) The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.


{16] (Acts1:22) from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us into heaven. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus' resurrection."


{17] (Acts 5:30) The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed him by crucifying him.


{18] (Acts 17:18) He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, "This babbler has picked up some strange ideas." Others said, "He's pushing some foreign religion."


{19] (Acts 1:8) But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."


{20] (eschatological) any system of doctrines concerning last, or final, matters, as death, the Judgment, the future state, etc.


{21] (Lk. 24:46-48) And he said, "Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day. With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.' You are witnesses of all these things.


{22] (Acts 8:17-18) Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given when the apostles placed their hands upon people's heads, he offered money to buy this power.


{23] (Acts 19:6) Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied.


{24] (Acts 11:17) And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to argue?"


{25] (Acts 8:36) As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look! There's some water! Why can't I be baptized?"


{26] (Lk. 24:39) Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it's really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don't have bodies, as you see that I do!"


{27] (Acts 2:38) Peter replied, "Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


{28] (Acts 8:19) The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.


{29] (Acts 19:5) As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.


{30] (Micah 6:8) No, O people, the LORD has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.


{31] (Ge. 12:1-3) Then the LORD told Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you."


{32] (Acts 11:15) "Well, I began telling them the Good News, but just as I was getting started, the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning.


{33] (Rom. 4:25) He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God.










 

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