Coachlight Bible Study - Acts Chapter 10
Divine Commission - Oikos Evangelism
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Up to now in the Book of Acts, both at Jerusalem and every where else where the preaching of the Gospel came, it was brought only to the Jews, or those Greeks that were circumcised and added to the Jews’ religion. Now, "Lo, we turn to the Gentiles;’’ and to them God's plan to open the door of faith to the heathen is started.
The apostle Peter is the man that is first used by God to admit uncircumcised Gentiles into the Christian church, and Cornelius, a Roman centurion or colonel, is the first with his family and friends is added to the church.
I. How Cornelius was directed by a vision to send for Peter, and sent for him (v. 1-8).
A. Who is Cornelius?
1. He was a great man and a good man - not an idolitor like most Gentiles..
2. He was an officer of the army, v. 1.
a. He is now quartered in Cesarea, a strong city, lately rebuilt and fortified by Herod the Great, and called Cesarea in honour of Augustus Caesar. It is on the sea, very convenient for the keeping up of a correspondence between Rome and its conquests in those parts. The Roman governor or pro-consul ordinarily resided here, ch. 23:23, 24; 25:6.
b. In Cesarea there was a band, or regiment, of the Roman army, which probably was the governor’s life-guard, and is here called the Italian band, because, so that they could be sure of his faithfulness. They were all native Romans, or Italians. Cornelius had a command in this part of the army. His name, Cornelius was much used among the Romans, among some of the most ancient and noble families.
c. He was an officer of considerable rank and figure, a centurion. We can learn a little more about this rank in the healing of a centurion's servant being heald by Christ in:
5. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6. And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
3. He was a devout man and one that feared God with all his house (3624). He believed in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and was willing to be subject to His authority,
3624 oikov oikos oy’-kos
AV-house 104, household 3, home + 1519 2, at home + 1722 2, misc 3; 114
1) a house
1a) an inhabited house, home
1b) any building whatever
1b1) of a palace
1b2) the house of God, the tabernacle
1c) any dwelling place
1c1) of the human body as the abode of demons that possess it
1c2) of tents, and huts, and later, of the nests, stalls, lairs, of animals
1c3) the place where one has fixed his residence, one’s settled abode, domicile
2) the inmates of a house, all the persons forming one family, a household
2a) the family of God, of the Christian Church, of the church of the Old and New Testaments
3) stock, family, descendants of one
4. He was a religious man - as far as his knowlege took him.
1. He gave to the poor
2. He prayed to God always
3. He was praying and fasting (Vs. 30)
B. He saw a vision - delivered by an angel
1.It was about the ninth hour of the day, 3:00 PM - Cornelius was now at prayer
2. He knew the angel to be more than a man and he was afraid
a. He is assured that God accepts him in walking according to his knowlege - Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God
b. . Prayers and giving must go together
C. Told To Send For Peter - He obeyed
II.Peter directed by a vision to go to Cornelius, though he was a Gentile. (v. 9-23).
A. It was about the sixth hour - noon - when Peter went up upon the house-top to pray.
B. He had this vision immediately after he had prayed, as an answer to his prayer for the spreading of the gospel
C. he became very hungry - God speaks to us in our language.
D. The heavens opened - a sign of the opening of a mystery
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
E. The Apostle Paul tells us that the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles, and the bringing of those who had been strangers and foreigners to be fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, were such a mystery to the apostles themselves, and such a surprise:
Ephesians 3:1- 6
1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel
F. He saw a sheet come down full of animals - to be eaten - clean and unclean to the Jew
1.Beasts of the earth and birds - tame beasts and wild
2. No fish - no fish in particular was unclean, but whatever had fins and scales was allowed to be eaten.
G. He did not want to yield to the temptation - he had been taught not to eat anything deemed unclean by the law
H. He is asked if what God cleaned could be unclean
I. God made His point clear - the vision happened three times
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
III. Peter and Cornelius at Cesarea (v. 24-33). - Though Paul was designed to be the apostle of the Gentiles, and to gather in the harvest among them, and Peter to be the apostle of the circumcision, yet it is ordered that Peter shall break the ice, and reap the first-fruits of the Gentiles.
1 ¶ And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
6 ¶ And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
A. Peter is directed by the Spirit to go along with Cornelius’s messengers
B. Cornelius fell down at his feet, and worshipped him - Peter told him to "Stand up"
C. Peter told that God directed him to come to those Gentiles - It had been an unlawful thing or an abomination, for a man that is a Jew to keep company with a Gentile.
D. Peter was sent by God to preach the same Gospel to the Gentile that he preached to the Jew.
IV. Peter's sermonin the house of Cornelius to him and to his friends - "oikos" (v. 34-43).
A. The Word which God sent, preaching ( 2097 )
2097 euaggelizw euaggelizo yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo
from 2095 and 32; TDNT-2:707, *; v
AV-preach 23, preach the Gospel 22, bring good tidings 2, show glad tidings 2, bring glad tidings 1, declare 1, declare glad tidings 1, misc 3; 55
1) to bring good news, to announce glad tidings
1a) used in the OT of any kind of good news
1a1) of the joyful tidings of God’s kindness, in particular, of the Messianic blessings
1b) in the NT used especially of the glad tidings of the coming kingdom of God, and of the salvation to be obtained in it through Christ, and of what relates to this salvation
1c) glad tidings are brought to one, one has glad tidings proclaimed to him
1d) to proclaim glad tidings
1d1) instruct (men) concerning the things that pertain to Christian salvation
B.The Gospel - He died, rose again,commanded us to preach - by His Name those that believed would receive remission of sins
C. To Him Gave the prophets witness
V. Baptizing of Cornelius and his "oikos" with the Holy Ghost first, and then with water (v. 44-48).
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.
VI. Application - Oikos Evangelismo
A. The Biblical model of Oikos Evangelism
1. The primary focus of each Christian should be outreach
2. What defines our Oikos?
a. Your family and relatives
b. Those that have common interests with you
c. Those who live in the same geographical location as you
d. Those that have a common vocation
e. Others with whom you have regular contact
3. Biblical Examples of Oikos Evangelism
a. Luke 5:27-32
b. Luke 8:39
c. Luke 19:9
d. John 1:40-42
e. John 1:44-45
f. Acts 16:25-34
4. The most natural way to fulfill the Great Comission
a. Make a list of your entire Oikos
b. Prayerfully pick two or three of them
c. Begin to pray regularly for their salvation
d. Ask the Lord to show you ways to demonstrate His love
e. Ask the Lord to set up a Divine Appointment for you with them