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16. The Spreading to the Gentiles
a. Cornelius's Vision
1 Now there was in Caesarea a certain man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort,
2 Devout and one who feared God with all his household, giving many alms to the people and beseeching God continually.
3 He saw clearly in a vision around the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him and saying to him, Cornelius.
4 And he looked intently at him and became terrified and said, What is it, Lord? And he said to him, Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa and send for a certain Simon, who is surnamed Peter;
6 This man is lodging with a certain Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.
7 And when the angel who was speaking to him went away, he called two of his household servants and a devout soldier of those who waited on him;
8 And relating all things to them, he sent them to Joppa.
b. Peter's Vision
9 And on the next day as they were journeying and drawing near to the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray around the sixth hour.
10 And he became very hungry and wanted to eat. And while they were preparing, a trance came upon him;
11 And he beheld heaven opened, and a certain vessel like a great sheet descending, being let down by four corners onto the earth,
12 In which were all the four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth and birds of heaven.
13 And a voice came to him: Rise up, Peter; slay and eat!
14 But Peter said, By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything common and unclean.
15 And a voice came to him again a second time: The things that God has cleansed, do not make common.
16 And this occurred three times; and immediately the vessel was taken up into heaven.
c. Peter's Visit
17 Now as Peter was utterly perplexed in himself as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made diligent inquiry for Simon's house, stood at the gate.
18 And they called out and inquired whether Simon, who is surnamed Peter, was lodging there.
19 And while Peter was pondering over the vision, the Spirit said to him, Behold, there are three men seeking you.
20 But rise up, go down and go with them, doubting nothing, because I have sent them.
21 And Peter went down to the men and said, Behold, I am he whom you seek; what is the cause for which you have come?
22 And they said, Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous man and one who fears God and is well attested to by the whole nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear words from you.
23 So he called them in and lodged them. And on the next day he rose up and went away with them; and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him.
24 And on the next day they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius was awaiting them, having called together his relatives and intimate friends.
25 And when Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and falling at his feet, worshipped him.
26 But Peter raised him up, saying, Rise up; I myself am also a man.
27 And as he talked with him, he entered and found many who had come together.
28 And he said to them, You understand that it is unlawful for a man who is a Jew to join himself to or come near one of another race; yet God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29 Hence, even without objection I came when I had been sent for. I ask therefore, For what reason have you sent for me?
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago to this hour I was praying at the ninth hour in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31 And he said, Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa and call for Simon, who is surnamed Peter; this man is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.
33 Therefore I sent men at once to you, and you have done nobly in coming. Now therefore we all are present before God to hear all the things that have been commanded to you by the Lord.
d. Peter's Message
34 And opening his mouth, Peter said, In truth I perceive that God is not a respecter of persons,
35 But in every nation he who fears Him and works righteousness is acceptable to Him.
36 The word which He sent to the sons of Israel in announcing the gospel of peace through Jesus Christ (this One is Lord of all)
37 You yourselves know, the word which has been spoken throughout the whole of Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John proclaimed:
38 Jesus, the One from Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all those who were being oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
39 And we are witnesses of all the things which He did, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem; whom also they did away with by hanging Him on a tree.
40 This One, God raised on the third day; and He has made Him manifest,
41 Not to all the people, but to witnesses appointed beforehand by God, to us, ones who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead.
42 And He has charged us to proclaim to the people and solemnly testify that this is the One who was designated by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead.
43 To this One all the prophets testify that through His name everyone who believes into Him will receive forgiveness of sins.
e. The Gentile Believers' Baptism in the Holy Spirit
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those hearing the word.
45 And the believers who were of the circumcision, as many as had accompanied Peter, were amazed, because on the Gentiles also the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out;
46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and magnifying God. Then Peter answered,
f. The Gentile Believers' Water Baptism
47 Can anyone forbid the water so that these would not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit even as we?
48 And he charged them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.