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Week 6 of Reading The New Testament 5×5, Acts Chapter 10 – Acts Chapter 14

Acts 10:4 NLT

“Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering!”

I love this verse, our gifts and prayers are received as an offering to the Lord. Wow, I wonder if there are people who understand this? When we pray God hears our prayers and he receives them as a offering to Himself. In other words, God like to hear the voice of his children. I think of how much I love to talk with my three boys and oh how much God must love to hear our voice. I will say it again, wow.

Acts 10: 9-36 NLT

I am going to challenge the norm on this passage of scripture.

The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, 10 and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance11 He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners.12 In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.”14 No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” 15 But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” 16 The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven. 17 Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, 18 they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. 19 Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. 20 Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” 21 So Peter went down and said, “I’m the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” 22 They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” 23 So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa. 24 They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” 27 So they talked together and went inside, where many others were assembled. 28 Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. 29 So I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. Now tell me why you sent for me.” 30 Cornelius replied, “Four days ago I was praying in my house about this same time, three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man in dazzling clothes was standing in front of me. 31 He told me, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God! 32 Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you.”34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

Most people take this passage of scripture and use it to teach that no food is unclean. Trust me, I see where you could get that but I challenge that interpretation of this passage.

God told us in the Old Testament what animals we could eat and what we could not eat and between us, I don’t believe that has changed. When God told us to only eat clean animals there was a reason for that. The unclean animals carry with them lots of disease. God placed some creatures on the earth and in the sea to clean the places they were in. For instance, the pig is an animal that will eat almost anything, it is an animal that God placed here to clean up the garbage. Shrimp and crab are bottom feeders and are meant to clean up the oceans, the waters. They were never intended for us to eat as food. Dr. Rex Russell says, “God never intended for us to eat the garbage can.”

If you will take an honest look at this passage you will see that God took something Peter would understand to illustrate what He meant. What he meant is that Christ came for all people, no matter the race, no matter the ethnicity, no matter, every human being is valuable to God and all can be saved. It was a real problem in the 1st Century, Jews and Gentiles did not mix company. This passage is not about food! Go back and read the highlighted passages.

Acts 10:43 NLT

43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

Now hear what I am saying, God never told us in scripture that the unclean animals were good for food.

no perfect people allowed (3)

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February 26, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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