19 February 2016

Sunday School Lesson—The Church Expands

All are welcome

sunday school

Theme. The church expands

Scripture. Acts 10.1-48

A1 Outline

B1 Cornelius and the angel Acts 10.1-9

B2 Peter's vision Acts 10.10-16

B3 Cornelius's servants and Peter Acts 10.17-29

B4 Cornelius and Peter Acts 10.30-43

C1 Cornelius talks to Peter Acts 10.30-34

C2 Peter talks to Cornelius Acts 10.35-43

B5 Cornelius and his family are baptized Acts 10.44-48

A2 Notes and questions

B1 Cornelius

C1 God fearing

C2 Generous

C3 Compassionate

C4 Alms giver

C5 Centurion--a military leader of 200 to 1,000 or more men

C6 Stationed in Caesarea.

C6 Italian band

D1 View one.

Name of the archery unit of the Roman army to which the Gentile centurion Cornelius belonged (Acts 10.1 ). KJV calls it the Italian band. Probably 1,000 men who had been mustered in Italy composed the unit. Little is known about this Italian Cohort. Extrabiblical evidence exists for the presence in Caesarea of a unit called Cohors II Italica after A.D. 69. That date, however, is too late for the events recorded in Acts 10.1 . Perhaps the Cohors II actually was in Caesarea prior to A.D. 69. Or perhaps the Italian Cohort to which Cornelius belonged was a different unit.

(Copyright Statement

These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information

Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Italian Cohort'. Holman Bible Dictionary. http.//www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/view.cgi?n=3120. 1991).

D2 View two. from Wikipedia

Cohors II Italica Civium Romanorum was a Roman cohort from Italia formed from Roman citizens. A cohort based in Caesarea is referred to in the Acts of the Apostles (Greek. σπειρης της καλουμενης ιταλικης, Latin. Cohors Italica in Acts 10.1, translated as the Italian band in the King James Version, or the Italian Regiment in the Good News Translation and World English Bible), and is associated with Cornelius the Centurion, the first gentile convert to Christianity.

According to Josephus, the principal portion of the Roman army stationed at Caesarea were Syrians. and the Pulpit Commentary therefore considers it 'pretty certain ... that the Italian cohort here spoken of were auxiliaries, so called as being made up in whole or in part of Italians, probably volunteers or velones.'

The cohort was among those stationed in Syria in 157 under legate Arridius Cornelianus.

C7 Other than what the Bible tells us, we know nothing else of Cornelius.

B2 Acts 10.1-9

C1 The word devout means serious about worshiping God. It is used 4 times in the New Testament. Twice it is used in Acts 10. It is also used in Acts 22.22 and in 2 Peter 2.9. Cornelius was sincere and a serious worshiper of God. This is seen in his actions and life.

C2 Was Cornelius saved? (No, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4.12).

C3 Is God able to get the Gospel to those who are seeking no matter where they are?

C4 Note that this vision includes specific information.

C5 Could Cornelius have disobeyed and not sent men to Joppa? (Yes, You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors. You always resist the Holy Spirit! Acts 7.51. See also Isaiah 63.10, Ephesians 6.30, etc. It seems in the plain, normal sense, people can resist God.

C6 How long did it take for Cornelius to obey and send men to Joppa? How long does it take for us to obey, when we read in the Scriptures what God wants from us?

C7 What can be said about Cornelius and his family? Does Cornelius's family reflect his attitudes towards them?

B3 Acts 10.10-16

C1 Peter went on the roof to pray. Are there special places to pray or can we pray anywhere?

C2 Trance

D1 This Greek word is ekstasis. a displacement (of the mind), i.e. bewilderment, ecstasy

  • Original Word. ἔκστασις, εως, ἡ

  • Part of Speech. Noun, Feminine

  • Transliteration. ekstasis

  • Phonetic Spelling. (ek'-stas-is)

  • Short Definition. bewilderment, amazement

  • Definition. (properly. distraction or disturbance of mind caused by shock), bewilderment, amazement; a trance

D2 It is translated in the KJV as astonishment, amazed, and trance. It is that state of mind when we are in shock, as in the sudden death of a loved one. The mind seems to not hear what others are saying or doing. In Peter's case it would be an unawareness of surroundings seeing only the sheet and hearing only the voice.

D3 A dream happens when we are asleep. A vision is as an insert in a video. A trance is as an full 3-D surround screen cinema. In a trance one may look as if they are sleeping or staring at something.

D4 Can the devil bring about visions, trances, etc.? (Yes, and it is important to know, so that we may, with God's help, be wise and discerning. Remember Jeremiah 17.9 and Mark 7.21-22

C3 What kind of shock did Peter have at the announcement of "Get up, kill, and eat"?

C4 How did this experience change Peter's views towards non-Jews? How do we apply this to ourselves?

C5 In Acts 10.15-16 who is the one who "cleanses"?

C6 What does 'cleanse' mean?

D1 According to God's law to Israel, there are clean and unclean animals.

D2 Those animals listed as unclean, God has now cleansed.

D3 Jews and Gentiles can now eat clean and unclean, if they want to, without any punishment from God.

D4 Cleansed because of Jesus Messiah; see Matthew 15.11, Romans 14.14, 1 Timothy 4.4, etc.

D5 So He said to them, "Are you also without understanding? Do you not understand that everything entering a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter into his heart but into his stomach, and passes into the latrine, thus purifying all foods?" (Mark 7.18-19, EMTV) Utley in his commentary on this Mark 7.19 states, "The parentheses reflect the translators' view that it is an editorial comment (probably from Peter's experience in Acts 10). It is such an important NT truth (cf. Rom. 14.13-23; 1 Cor. 8.1-13; 10.23-33). Humans are not right with God based on what they eat or do not eat! The new covenant is not based on OT regulations (i.e., Leviticus 11; Acts 15). God looks at the heart, not the stomach!

C7 How does "So the law was our guardian [tutor or schoolmaster] until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. (Galatians 4.24-25) apply to this passage?

C8 What point is God teaching Peter? How do we apply this to today? Consider "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' And so wisdom is justified by her children." (Matthew 11.18-19, EMTV).

B4 Acts 10.17-29

C1 Acts 10.23, Peter left to go to Cornelius with the messengers as well as "some of the believers." Is it better to go as a team, single, or doesn't matter?

C2 Acts 10.19-20, God told Peter to get off his upholstery, meet the men, and go with them, for I have sent them." How is it that God sent them? Didn't Cornelius send them?

C3 Acts 10.24--Why did Cornelius invite so many people to hear Peter?

C4 Acts 10.25--Why did Cornelius fall/bow at Peter's feet?

C5 Acts 10.28

D1 What has Peter learned?

D2 The word impure or unclean has religious significance. Gentiles, in the opinion of the Jews, were worth little, which is why they are called 'dogs.'

D3 Cleansed hearts by means of faith. Faith is believing God.

B5 Acts 10.30-34--Cornelius and the others have a receptive heart.

B6 Acts 10.35-43

C1 God wants the truth in words, desires, thoughts, and deeds. How does favoritism, partiality, etc. different from truth?

C2 Is any type of favoritism OK? (Yes, it will be seen as in any given situation most would be partial to their spouse and their children).

C3 What type of favoritism is evil and wrong?

D1 Based on the amount of melanin?

D2 Based on how much money one has?

D3 Based on status?

D4 Based on age?

D5 Based on looks?

D6 Based on nationality?

D7 Based on gender?

D8 Do Jews have more favor with God than Gentiles?

D9 What about these?

E1 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. (Psalms 34.7, NKJV)

E2 As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. (Psalms 103.13, NKJV)

C4 "But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. (Acts 10.35, NKJV). Does this passage teach salvation by works? (No. The Greek word for acceptable means accepted, in other words, God is willing to save a Jew just as He would a Gentile. Robertson in his commentary on this verse writes, "Acceptable to him (δεκτος αυτω). Verbal adjective from δεχομα. Acceptabilis. That is to say, a Gentile would not have to become a Jew in order to become a Christian. Evidently Peter had not before perceived this fact. On the great Day of Pentecost when he spoke of the promise "to all those afar off" (2.39) Peter understood that they must first become Jews and then Christians. The new idea that now makes a revolution in Peter's outlook is precisely this that Christ can and will save Gentiles like this Cornelius group without their becoming Jews at all").

C5 We must remember that in the Bible God initiates salvation and completes salvation. Humans do not initiate salvation, do not seek God, and do not choose God.

C6 Acts 10.36-43 Peter summarizes the Gospel, which Cornelius and his family and close friends believe.

D1 What peace is Acts 10.36 talking about? Is there a difference in the peace that the world is seeking for today?

D2 What does "Lord of all" signify? (He is king overall and sovereign. It does not imply all are saved. Both Jews and Gentiles are included).

D3 "Sons of Israel" refers to the current generation of Israel that had Jesus in their midst.

D4 Acts 10.38, when was Jesus anointed? (This is a trick question. Jesus was baptized by John who then saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus. This is the initiation for Jesus's ministry. It should be noted that Jesus is Messiah, has always been Messiah, and will always be Messiah. There was never a time that Jesus was not Messiah. Some people/groups teach that Jesus became Messiah at His baptism, which is heresy. Consider

E1 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2.11, EMTV) He is already Messiah.

E2 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6.69, EMTV)

E3 interpreting and pointing out that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer, and to arise from the dead, and saying that "This Jesus, whom I preach to you, is the Christ." (Acts 17.3, EMTV) The witness of the prophets.

E4 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he should see the Lord's Christ. (Luke 2.26, EMTV) Simeon was old, yet was shown the Jesus is the Messiah. This was before Jesus's baptism.

E5 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb blameless and spotless, having been foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, He was made manifest in these last times for you, (1 Peter 1.19-20, EMTV). Before the foundation of the world (creation), Jesus was Messiah).

D5 Acts 10.39

E1 What is the significance of the word 'witness?'

E2 Is there any value in an eye-witness? Just one eye-witness? How about over 500 at the same time? (Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15.6, WEB).

F1 Afterwards He appeared to the eleven as they were reclining at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw Him after He had been raised. Mark 16.14 (EMTV)

F2 Why not openly to all? Clarke in his commentary answers, "But why was not Christ, after his resurrection, shown to all the people! 1. Because it was impossible that such a thing could be done without mob and tumult. Let it only be announced, "Here is the man who was dead three days, and who is risen from the dead!" what confusion would be the consequence of such an exposure! Some would say, This is he; others, He is like him; and so on; and the valid testimony must be lost in the confusion of the multitude. 2. God chose such witnesses whose testimony should be unimpeachable; the men who knew him best, and who by their depositions in proof of the fact should evidently risk their lives. And, 3. as multitudes are never called to witness any fact, but a few selected from the rest, whose knowledge is most accurate, and whose veracity is unquestionable, therefore, God showed not Christ risen from the dead to all the people, but to witnesses chosen by himself; and they were such as perfectly knew him before, and who ate and drank with him after his resurrection, and consequently had the fullest proof and conviction of the truth of this fact."

D6 Acts 10.42

E1 Is believing and preaching the resurrection important? Why?

E2 The Lord Jesus is the Judge of the living and the dead.

F1 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth. Psalms 96.13 (NKJV)

F2 He that rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word which I spoke, that word will judge him in the last day. John 12.48 (EMTV)

D7 Acts 10.43--what is the wonderful blessing in this verse? Is there any partiality with God, or can all be saved?

B7 Acts 10.44-48

C1 What happened to those who believed?

C2 Why don't we see this today? Four times this is noted in the Scriptures.

D1 Jews--Acts 2.4

D2 Samaritans--Acts 8.17

D3 Gentiles--Acts 10.44-45

D4 Disciples of John the Baptist--Acts 19.1-7

C3 Why were the Jewish believers with Peter shocked?

C4 Do we have to be baptized in water to be saved? See here and here

D1 A common Bible verse used to "prove" this is "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be condemned. (Mark 16.16, EMTV).

D2 Another verse that is used is "which as an antitype, baptism now also saves us—(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ," (1 Peter 3.21, EMTV)

D3 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2.38, WEB)

D4 Jesus answered him, "Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can't see the Kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into the Kingdom of God! (John 3.3-5, WEB)

D5 The Nicene Creed has "I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins."

D6 Most Christians on conversion believe in the "ordinance" of baptism and are baptized.

D7 It all boils down to, what happens to a person who believes but dies before they can be baptized? The Roman Catholic Church teach and believe that there is also a "Baptism of desire" and a "Baptism by blood." The first refers to Old Testament believers and any person who desires baptism but died before they could be baptized. The latter refers to those who believe but were martyred before they could be baptized in water.

D8 Seven baptisms

E1 John's--John 1.25-28, Acts 1.5, Acts 11.16, Acts 19.4. This is because the people had repented of their sins.

E2 Moses--1 Corinthians 10.1-4. This was into Moses's authority. They also, under Moses, left slavery for freedom, and Pharaoh's authority for Moses' authority. Now Christians are baptized into Christ (Galatians 3.27 and Acts 8.16).

E3 Jesus--Matthew 3.13-15, Luke 3.21--This was "to fulfill all righteousness," that is, an official sign to begin His ministry.

E4 Water--Acts 10.47 and many places

E5 Fire--Luke 3.16, Ephesians 5.26, Titus 3.5

E6 Washing--Mark 7.4 (utensils, hands, etc.) and Hebrews 9.10

E7 Holy Spirit--Mark 1.8, Acts 1.5, Acts 2.38 (the gift of the Holy Spirit is after water baptism), 1 Corinthians 12.13, Ephesians 4.5 (commentators are divided on whether baptism refers to water or the Holy Spirit).

D9 What came first the pouring out of the Holy Spirit or water baptism?

D10 Were they saved/born again before or after water baptism?

D11 Were they truly saved before water baptism or after the pouring out of the Holy Spirit?

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