Even as Peter was saying these things [to Cornelius and the others with him about salvation in Jesus], the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God.
Then Peter asked, "Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?" So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.
— Acts 10:44-48 NLT
A host of cultural and religious questions lingered in the air for Jewish Christians after the conversion of Cornelius. He was a Gentile, someone not raised under the Torah and the covenants of Israel. As a good man but a Gentile, did Cornelius need to go through circumcision and commit to practice the food and purity laws of Israel? How could Jewish Christians share in fellowship with him before he obeyed all those laws? Typically, a convert to Judaism (called a proselyte) had to go through circumcision, commit to these other laws and traditions, and be baptized — a self-administered immersion in water — before being accepted into full fellowship. Peter declared that God had already demonstrated Cornelius was worthy of Christian baptism by the coming of the Spirit without all the other requirements. A new era of God's story, and the fulfillment of God's calling of Abraham to be a blessing to the nations (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-6), had begun.
O Father, continue to do in our day what you did in days of old. May your salvation reach the shores of all nations just as surely as the waves of the oceans touch the shores of the continents of our world. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Acts 2:38-39
- John 7:37-39; Titus 3:3-7; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Tuesday, June 13, 2023
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.