Virtual Kollage: Peter defends the conversion of Cornelius

Posted by / Wednesday, 25 January 2017 / No comments

Peter defends the conversion of Cornelius



PETER DEFENDS HIS ROLE IN THE CONVERSION OF CORNELIUS
The Apostles and the brothers in Judea had received the information that the Gentiles had also received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when Peter went to Jerusalem some time later, they accused him of associating with Gentiles. They asked him why he was with uncircumcised men and why he had eaten with them?

Peter explained how he was in the house at Joppa praying and fell into a trance. How in his trance-like state, he saw the heavens opened and there was something descending, being held by the four corners by ropes, onto the earth. In it were different kinds of animals, reptiles and birds and he heard a voice saying “Rise, Peter, kill and eat”. Peter said he refused saying he had never eaten anything unclean but the voice said “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.” Peter described how he experienced this on three occasions before the thing went up into the heavens again.

Peter told them how at that very moment three people came to the house he was lodging in, having been sent from Caesarea. He spoke about how the Holy Spirit asked him to follow them without hesitation so he did, together with six brethren who were with him at the time to the house of Cornelius in Caesarea.

According to Peter, when they arrived in Cornelius’ house, the man told them about how an angel of the Lord had appeared to him and asked him to send for Peter in Joppa to come and deliver the message by which he would be saved together with his household. Peter said when he started to speak; the Holy Spirit fell on them like it did to they, the  Apostles, in the beginning of their ministry.

Peter concluded his defense by saying if God gave them the Holy Spirit as he did to them, who was he (Peter) to challenge God? When the people heard this, they became silent and came to the conclusion that God had also given to the Gentiles repentance unto life.

HOW THE APOSTLES MADE GOOD USE OF PETER’S EXPERIENCE DURING THE COUNCIL OF JERUSALEM
At the Council of Jerusalem, Peter’s experience served as the bases of the acceptance of the Gentiles into the new religion. While some contended that the Gentiles must be circumcised before they could be accepted into the church, the Council concluded that no heavy yoke must be placed on the Gentiles. At that Council meeting, the question of circumcision of the Gentiles was settled once and for all.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. Narrate Peter’s defense of his role in the conversion of Cornelius.
    b. What use did Peter make of this incidence during the Council of Jerusalem? 

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