God’s Salvation of Jew and Gentile into One Body – Acts 10:9-43

14 May, 2022

Book: Acts

God’s Salvation of Jew & Gentile into One Body

Acts 10:1-43


  • The story in our text stands as a Great Landmark in Salvat’n History
  • To Understand the height, of the significance, of this text, we need to take some time this morning to zoom out, to see the story-line of the Bible from a High Perspective, then zoom back in & focus on the text, itself


  • The Message of the Bible is a Message for all Humanity
  • God deals w/ the problems of the whole of humanity, in Script.
  • God reveals Himself to us & Describes Mankind’s Grt. Problem
    • God is Holy, Righteous, Just, & Good
    • Man is sinful, wicked, separated from God becoz of sin
    • Man’s inevitable end is to face God’s judgement for sin
    • These are problems universal to all of mankind.


  • And so, fr. 1:26 – 11:32, God deals w/ humanity as a whole,
  • The Line of Adam’s Godly descendants is God’s witness of Himself to Mankind: Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Terah & Abram.


  • Beginning in Gen.12, God moves to dealing primar. w/ 1 family
  • 12:1-3 forms Opening Parenthesis of God’s dealing with Abraham’s family-nation
  • Fr 12–Acts 10, God deals primar. w/ Heb.->Israel->Jews
  • 10-11 marks the close of God’s primar. dealing w/ Jews.
  • So 10 stands as a Closing Parenthesis opposite Gen.12
  • Acts 10 -> God deals w/ Humanity: (Jew & Gentile) together
  • Dealing w/ all Humanity (to just Israel), back to all Humanity


Genesis 12:1-3, God promised to give Abram a Seed,

  • to make of him a nation, and
  • that In him, all families of earth would be blessed
  • The Hebrew race is 1st identified w/ Abram in 14:13
  • 12-50, Abram’s family grows fr. 2 to 70+ persons
  • 1-14, God’s delivered Abram’s family (Israel) fr. slavery in Egypt & formed them into a nation of kings and priests to God.


God had 7 purposes (that I can see) for creating Israel as a nation

  • They’re listed on your notesheet…
  • 1st) They might be a Kingdom/nation of Priests to God
    • But, Israel Immediately sinned ag. God, so only Levites
  • 2nd) His Holy Law might be given to them, Exodus 19-20
    • But, Israel broke God’s Laws, repeatedly all thru OT
  • 3rd) His Covenants might be made, Exodus 19-24
    • But Israel broke God’s Coven’t thru Idolatry, 11:10
  • 4th) His Promises might be received, (Deuteronomy & OT)
    • But Israel largely ignored God’s Promises
  • 5th) His People-Israel would be God’s Witness to the Gentiles
    • But Israel failed, seeing their position as God’s people a cause for pride, not the basis of humility
  • 6th) His Inspired Word thru His Prophets might be preserved
  • 7th) God’s Greatest Purpose was that His Anointed Saviour:
    • Jesus Christ might be brought into the world…
    • But, Israel rejected & handed Him over to be crucified


And where Israel failed, in all God’s Purposes for their Creation,

  • Christ did much more succeed:
  • Christ fulfilled all the Law’s demands, he did it for us
  • Christ is God’s Perfect Witness-Revelation of God to: World
  • Christ, is Fulfilment of All God’s promises: “yea/amen in Christ”
    • 1:20
  • Christ is the fulfilment of the Covenants… and…
  • Christ is Mediator of Super. Covent founded on Better Promises


Fr. Gen.12 – Acts.10 God primar. dealt w/ Heb./Jew. people

But, Not Exclusively There’re multiple ref. to God’s inclusion: Gentiles:

  • 38, Tamar the Canaanite, who is included in Jesus’ ancestry
  • 2-5, Rahab the Canaanite, included in Jesus ancestry
  • 1-4, Ruth the Moabittess, who’s included in Jesus’ ancestry


God Always Intend. to Include Gentiles amongst His Elect People

  • God repeatedly promised Gentile inclusion thru-out OT:
  • 49:10, All Nations will Obey God’s Future King (Christ)
  • 2:8, The Gentile-Nations will be Inheritance of God’s King
  • 2:2-4, The Gentile-Nations will worship God in His House
  • They’ll call ea. other to go up, & be taught, to walk in His ways
  • 7:13-14, The Son of Man (Christ) was given: dominion, glory & kingdom, that all Peoples, Nations, Language. might serve Him
    • That’s 4 texts out of 91 similar passages in OT, Promising Gentile Inclusion among God’s People.
  • One of Dr Luke’s Purposes in writing Luke-Acts is to re-assure Gentile believers that our inclusion in the People of God was always God’s Intended Purpose.
  • Growing up, I was told repeatedly the NT Church was a plan B
  • We’re an unexpected Parenthesis in Salvation History: Not True!!
  • We’re here, included in God’s People, by God’s Eternal Design


The Gospels describe Jesus Christ’s Coming, Living, Dying, Rising-again

  • Christ Achieved Salvation for All God’s People, Jew-Gentile, Slave-Free, Male-Female, Wise-Foolish…
  • And, both: End of Gospels & Beginning of Acts describes Jesus’ Commissioning of the Apostles, to continue His work of witness
    • to the Jews in Jerusalem & Judea, Acts.1-9
    • to the Samaritans Acts.8, and…
    • 3rdly, to Gentiles, to the Ends of Earth, Acts.10-28
  • Which Finally, at long last, brings us back to Acts 10:1-23
  • Dealing w/ all Humanity (to just Israel), back to all Humanity



God has always been at work, to redeem & preserve a Witness to His

  • Salvation by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone,
    • as revealed by alone, to the Glory of God alone.
  • Now, here in our text we see God bringing Peter His human leader of His Church to understand, a radically new idea 4 Peter
  • That God has Declared the Unclean to be Clean,
  • That God has Reconciled both Jew and Gentile to Himself,
  • That God’s Grace for Salvation extends-includes the Gentiles,
  • Notice Beloved, in our Text the works of God to bring the somewhat stubborn Peter to understand what God is doing…


First: God Reveals Himself

  • Notice God Reveals Himself to those who’re dedicated and faithful in prayer
  • 1-8, God revealed H-self to Cornelius (we saw 2 weeks ago),
  • Peter goes up to rooftop to spend time in prayer B4 the Lord
  • He falls: trance = ecstasis, ecstatic, trans: amazed, astonished
  • The meaning is that by God’s intervention, Peter’s normal conscious state was suspended, so that something supernatural might be revealed to him by God or an angel.
  • Peter was not unconscious, he was obviously deep in thought immediately after, & retained a clear memory of what he saw
  • Peter was not in an ‘out-of-body’ state or anything like that
  • It was a miraculous occurrence, and not something we should have any expectation of experiencing ourselves. It was a special moment for a highly significant reason: God’s Revelation
  • (vs.17) Peter knew he was seeing a vision, so it is unlikely that what he saw was real-physical
  • Peter recognised that this vision is God’s revelation of a significant message
  • Notice in 11, Peter saw the ‘sky opened up’, it was an indication to Him of revelation coming
    • In 3:21-22,the Heaven was opened’
      • before God spoke in regard to Christ
    • In 7:56, Stephen saw the heavens opened and revealed that he saw Jesus standing at God’s right hand.
  • Peter sees heaven opened, sees the vision, hears the voice speaking, and responds
  • The episode is repeated 3x to make the point: God is speaking,
  • No doubt it would have reminded Peter of similar triplets
  • 3x in total Peter has Refused Jesus words-actions.
    • He refused to accept Jesus death, 16:22
    • He refused to allow Jesus wash: feet, 13:8
    • Here, He refuses 3x to rise, kill & eat, 10
    • In All 3 situations, Peter later submitted,
      • and Jesus words were proven true….
    • 3x Peter Denied Knowing the Lord Jesus, 26
    • 3x Peter was Asked by: Jesus if he Loved Him, John.21
    • 3x He was Commanded to Feed Jesus’ Flock, John.21
    • I wonder if Jesus’ command to Feed His flock, and Jesus words in 10:16, that He had other sheep, not of this fold, them He must also bring, and they will hear Jesus’ voice, and become One flock with One Shepherd…
    • I wonder if Peter thought of those words of Jesus as he thought about the meaning of this vision?
    • The Point is that God was Revealing Himself to Peter, as leader of the church, about the next major step forward in the witness for Christ to the ends of the earth.


Beloved, By Way of Application,

  • It is significant that Peter is Praying when God Reveals H-self
  • Those who devote time & effort in the presence of God in prayer with the Lord, are often the ones to whom God reveals Himself.
  • God revealed Himself to Zacharias, during his time of Prayer
  • God revealed Himself to Cornelius in his time of Prayer
  • God Revealed Himself to Peter thru this, one-off, ecstatic experience, while he was praying
  • And, God Reveals Himself, to us, thru His completed Word, as we read, and meditate and Pray over and about those words
    • As the Spirit of God draws our attention to His Word.
    • As the Spirit of God brings other verses of scripture to mind, in context with what we are reading & meditating on.
  • God Reveals Himself, to us, as we pray and ask questions of God about His scriptures
  • My often repeated question of Lord over texts of scripture is:
    • What is the message of the text for me,
  • What is the message of the text for us as a church?
    • It’s not always immediately apparent.
  • How is what I am reading applicable to all of us at NPEBC?
  • As we spend time in prayer, in conjunction with time in His word, God reveals Himself to us, thru the Word and by His Spirit.


Secondly: God Reconciles His People

Notice vs.13 They-we are reconciled to God and to each other.

  • Now, U ask: Where’s that in the text?
  • How is this text saying that?
  • Seeing this, is not at first, plainly obvious…
  • But, What we are seeing in the text is like the icing on the very top of the cake, without being able to see the cake beneath it…
  • It will take some unpacking, and some careful attention to see it


So, Notice: Vss.11-15

  • Peter saw: Sheet-like object, held at 4 corners, lowered down
  • Inside the Sheet are 4-footed animals, crawling creat., & birds
  • W/O details we can conclude: there’s both clean & unclean creat.
  • Peter is told to ‘Rise, Kill and Eat’
  • Peter refuses: he’s never eaten anything Unholy or Unclean
  • Response: What God has cleansed, don’t consider: unholy/comm.
  • Peter’s refusal is in keeping with the Dietary laws, given in both
    • 11, & Leviticus.20:23-26.
  • Peter’s refusal to kill-eat clean animals is also in keeping with OT laws re: slaughtering animals for food.


  • Now, The purpose of those OT Dietary Laws was to keep the People of God separated fr. idolatrous, pagan influences of surround. nations.
  • Israel was to be a People, Holy to the Lord. – sadly weren’t
  • The Ungodly Influence, of those pagan peoples, was, at its greatest, during fellowship over shared food – a meal
    • You sit down, you share the food, you talk, you eat,
    • You gain an understanding of ea. other as U eat together
    • That Fellowship easily leads to a sharing of ideas, beliefs, and practices, etc.
    • Eating together could lead: shared practices of idolatry
    • Often: Eating Social Meals was accompanied Idol-Worship
  • God’s desire in estab. Dietary Laws: Separat’n-Holiness of Israel
  • The OT issues of “clean/unclean” meant that anyone who participated in eating ceremonially-unclean food, became ceremonially unclean, themselves, as well.
  • The Gentiles, who ate unclean foods, were, to the people of Israel, unclean – like their food.


But now… As God reveals, in His Vision and Explanation to Peter…

  • God’s cleansing of all foods, meant that the Gentiles who ate of those foods were No longer considered Ceremonially Unclean.
  • God’s cleansing of all foods meant Jew & Gentile could now: eat together, fellowship together, worship together,
  • God’s cleansing meant that Peter, (and all Jews) could-must no longer consider the Gentiles to be unclean (not just the food)
  • Hence Peter says: in 28, God has shown me that I should not call any… man unholy or unclean.
  • Peter, (dumb like brick), was getting the point: it was not the foods that were the issue, it was his separation fr. Gentiles
  • God has removed-abolished the ‘thing’, the ordinances, that kept Jews & Gentiles alienated
  • God has provided Reconciliation of Jew-Gentile both to Himself, and to each other.

Question you’re asking is: How did this happen?   I’m So glad U asked!

  • {Read} Ephesians 2:11-15
  • Paul is writing to Gentile Ephesian Christians, notice what he says


In the distant past: the Gentile Ephesians (and us) were, in Vs.12:

  • Separated from Christ
  • Excluded from the Commonwealth of Israel
  • Strangers to the Covenants of Promise
    • Those 3 statements are parallel: saying the same thing
  • They Had no Hope & were W/O God in World (Gen.12-Acts.10)


In the immediate past, (Gospels) vs.13:

  • Christ brought far-off-Gentiles: Near, By His Blood
  • Christ’s death reconciled His People to Himself


And then Paul gives the explanation of it in vs.14:

  • Christ is our Peace – He is the Central Gathering point for all mankind, to be reconciled to God
  • Christ made both groups (Jew & Gentile) into One!
  • Christ broke down the barrier of the dividing wall – How
    • By Abolishing in His Flesh the enmity, which is the Law of Commandments contained in Ordinances
  • e., Jesus Suffering and Death on the cross, Answered all the Demands of the Law, even the Holiness demands contained in ordinances such as Dietary Laws, so J. & G. Could Be Reconciled


Then Paul gives the Purpose in vs.15:

  • So that in Himself, He Might make the two (Jew & Gentile) into One New Man, thus establishing Peace.


Going back to Acts 10….

  • On the basis of Christ’s work on: Cross:
    • God has declared all unclean foods as clean, all Holiness laws are fulfilled in Christ
    • God is now drawing all men, regardless of race, colour, language or location, to Himself, Becoz Christ is our Peace
  • God has indeed Reconciled Us To Himself and to Each Other
  • Peter: Rise, Kill & Eat, coz: food laws are finished-abolished
    • I have reconciled you & Gentiles, to each other
  • Peter: Get up, Go Down, & Go with them, without doubting…
    • I’ve reconciled them to Myself and I will receive them as they hear, believe & obey the message of the Gospel


  • So, 1st, God Reveals Himself
  • Then, 2nd, God Reconciles His People


Thirdly: God Receives His People

  • Peter goes down, he talks with Cornelius’ men
  • Peter welcomes them into Simon-Tanners home,
  • Peter would have eaten the late afternoon meal, with them
  • Peter and the three travel the next day to meet Cornelius & Co.
  • Peter in his discussion w/ Cornelius reveals his own journey from separation from Gentiles, to acceptance of them, since, in 28, He says… “God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean”
  • With Peter’s usual slowness to understand, He’s getting: Point
  • Cornelius relates to Peter his side of this reconciliation story
    • God revealing to him in Prayer
    • God’s command to send for Peter
  • Cornelius then relates their desire in Peter’s coming:
    • 33, “We are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord”
  • How many of us can relate the same desire? Are we here, in the presence of God, to hear what the Lord has commanded?
  • e., Are we here to hear a Word from the Living God?


  • Peter finally, fully understands, notice what he says, vss.34-35
  • Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation, the man who fears Him, and does what is right is welcome to Him.
  • Peter goes on to explain the Word which God sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ
  • The Romans already know something of both John & Christ
    • Jesus’ Baptism by John the Baptiser
    • Jesus’ early ministry in Galilee after his baptism
  • They already knew of how God had anointed Jesus of Nazareth
  • They already knew of his healing the sick, and casting out demons


  • And now, to what they already know, Peter adds:
  • That We – Apostles – are witnesses:
    • of all the things Jesus did in Judea & Jerusalem
    • That Jesus was put to death, by hanging on a cross
    • That God has raised Him up on the third day
  • We have been ordered by Christ to Preach to the people that:
    • This Jesus is the One, appointed by God to be: Judge
    • And, Thru Jesus, everyone who believes in Him, receives Forgiveness of Sins…


To Unpack it, from Peter’s earlier comment:

  • 34, God shows no Partiality
  • God Receives all who:
    • Believe in Him,
    • Fear Him, and…
    • Do what is right, in God’s eyes.


1st, God does not show Partiality!

  • God does not divide on the basis of race, colour, language
  • All, men, women, children, from any background,
  • from any nation on the face of the earth…
  • from any people, race, or ethnicity
  • from any lifestyle, outside of Christ, they’re all Sinful
  • God’s Gospel is open and proclaimed to them all….


2ndly, God receives those who come in Faith, Believing God’s Word

  • My friend Con, often repeats Jesus words: Do You Believe this?
  • Do You Know the facts of God’s Salvation? – Let me tell you…
    • That God is Holy, Righteous, Just & Good
    • That Mankind, U&I are sinners, w/o regard 4 God
    • That Christ came, as God’s Unique, Beloved Son
    • That Jesus Christ: Truly Man/Truly God, w/o sin
    • That Jesus Christ was made to be sin, for us
    • That He died in our place, to pay our sin’s penalty, so we might be forgiven
    • That this Jesus was buried in Joseph’s tomb – 3days
    • That this Jesus was raised by God from death
    • That Christ has ascended up to Heaven
    • That Christ has been exalted to God’s Rt Hand
    • That Jesus Christ offers full forgiveness sin
    • That God now commands all men everywhere:
      • to Repent of sin and
      • to Believe in Christ for Salvation
    • If, knowing these facts to be true…. You Trust in God, for His forgiveness, You are forgiven!
    • Do You Believe,? not just the facts of salvation, but…
    • Do You Believe in God, who raised Jesus from Death?


3rd, God receives all those who Fear Him

  • We cannot truly fear the Lord our God, if we do not first believe in Him, Trust in Him for salvation
  • But having believed in God for that Salvation…
    • Are We living in the Reverential Fear of the Lord?
    • Are We constantly amazed, astonished at so great a Saviour, so great a Salvation?
  • How do we develop that Fear of God?
  • How do we develop that reverential awe, amazement, & astonishment at God?
    • By Meditating on God, on our Saviour, on God’s works
      • of creation and
      • of salvation and
      • of the judgement yet to come….
    • Do we, are we, are U&I living in the fear of the Lord?


4th, God receives all those who Do what is Right.

  • The Bible makes it clear that attempting to come to God & be received by God, on the basis of good works, will not succeed.
  • God sees our works of righteous. as filthy stained revolt. Rags.
  • But the outflow, the product, of God-pleasing Faith, is works of righteousness, which Paul says God has prepared for us to do…
  • Beloved do you see those faith-authenticating good works?
  • Beloved do we see in our lives, like the saints in Heb.11, the good works that display and evidence our faith
  • Salvation is by Faith alone in Christ alone
  • But Saving faith does not remain alone, it is proven by Works
  • Time prevents me from saying too much more.



  • What is the end-result of this time in God’s Word?
  • What do we do with this?
    • Be amazed,
    • Be astounded, People of God,
    • Be in speechless awe & wonder
      • at the work of God to accomplish your Salvation…
    • Be Humbled by what God has done for you


  • Be Amazed! God has Revealed Himself to You thru His Word
    • Thru the Word as it was preached to you..
    • Thru the Word, as you read and meditated on it
    • Thru the Word, as you prayed over it & wrestled with it
    • Thru His Word you came to know Christ & His Salvation


  • Be Humbled! Give thanks! Live Your Lives to the Glory of God!
  • For God has Reconciled You to Himself and to each other, as brothers and sisters in Christ
    • God reconciled us thru the Work of Christ on the cross
    • God has reconciled us by answering-meeting all the Law’s demands of against us….
    • Christ has removed the offence our sin brought to God
    • Christ has met all the Law’s demands
    • God in perfect righteousness has extended to us:
      • His Grace to forgive us,
        • to declare us righteous in His Sight….
        • to redeem us, to save us,
        • to adopt us as Sons & Daughters
        • to clothe us with Christ’s righteousness
      • Oh what a God we have, to do this for us….



  • We come now, at the end of our time of worship
  • We come to The Table to participate in a meal
  • This Table of Fellowship speaks and preaches the Gospel to us
  • It tells us of Christ’s Body Given for us
  • It tells us of Christ’s Blood shed for us
  • It tells us of the fellowship we have with God Himself as we partake, symbolically, of Christ in the Bread & Juice
  • It tells us of the fellowship we have in Christ and with each other, as we share in the bread, passing it from hand to hand, each taking a piece, all cut from the same loaf
  • We are fellowshipping in and sharing in Christ!


1 Corinthians 11:23–26

  • 23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;
  • 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
  • 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
  • 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.





Benediction: Revelation 5:9–10

  • And they sang a new song (to the Lamb), saying, “Worthy art Thou to take the book and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 “Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”


Closing Prayer: