Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This is just too cool!

Okay, reading in Acts 10 and it's just too cool. Just watch what God did.

Here's a man, has a dream/vision. Send for Peter.
"Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. 6He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside."
In the meantime.....Peter has a vision/dream, nothing is unclean. Even though Peter didn't quite get it.
and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13And there came a voice to him: "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." 14But Peter said, "By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." 15And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has made clean, do not call common." 16This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
These three men come to get Peter (also known as Simon). And Peter is told he should go with them.
7Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood at the gate 18and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. 19And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you. 20Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them." 21And Peter went down to the men and said, "I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?" 22And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say." 23So he invited them in to be his guests.
Peter goes with them and then the dream makes sense to him! Nothing is unclean.
"You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me."
The gospel is opened up to the Gentiles. Peter preaches to them just as he would to jewish folk.

The last few verses are fun to read...
44While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47"Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Can't you just see the amazement? The Jews would be so used to the gospel ONLY going to theJewish folk, but here the Holy Spirit himself is coming upon the Gentiles. WOW! Just blow their socks off! AND!!!! They were baptized too! It's just wow! This was an earth-shaking time for the Jewish believers, to realize that preaching to the Gentiles was also allowed. Gentiles were no longer to be shunned, but to be welcomed as part of the body of Christ.

I just think it was so neat watching how God pulled it all together. And he still does it today.

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