The text for this lesson is Acts 10.
- In church, we receive the Good News that, although we are judged unrighteous and deserving of death, God mercifully declares us holy, righteous, and innocent because of Christ and His work.
- Law: Jesus is the judge of the living and the dead and rightfully condemns me to death and hell because of my sin.
- Gospel: Because of His saving work on the cross, Jesus forgives my sins and promises me eternal life.
- As you sit in church on a Sunday morning, waiting for the service to begin, you notice a person that you’ve never seen before at church. Judging from the way this person is dressed, and from the way this person fumbles his way through the liturgy, you conclude that he must not attend church often. Do you try to meet this person after church to talk with him? Why or why not?
- Read Acts 10:1–8. Summarize the vision that Cornelius has. What does the angel mean when he says that Cornelius’s prayers and alms “have ascended as a memorial before God” (v. 4)? See James 5:16. What does the angel instruct Cornelius to do (Acts 10:5–6)?
- Read Acts 10:9–23. Summarize Peter’s vision (vv. 9–16). Why does Peter respond as he does to the Lord’s command to kill and eat? See Leviticus 11:4–7, 10, 13–19. What pronouncement does God make, and why is it important? How is Peter’s attention turned from pondering his dream to welcoming his guests?
- Read Acts 10:24–43. Whom does Cornelius assemble to welcome and meet Peter? Why is this important? When Peter arrives in Caesarea, how does Cornelius greet him, and how does Peter respond (vv. 25–26)? How does Peter apply the message of his dream to his encounter with Cornelius and the assembly at his house (v. 28)?
- In Acts 10:34–43, Peter proclaims the Gospel to this Gentile crowd at the home of Cornelius. What great truth does Peter pronounce in verses 34–35? In verse 38, whom does Peter proclaim in addition to Jesus of Nazareth? In verse 43, what life-changing meaning does Peter attach to his summary of what happened to Jesus? What similarities can you see between this sermon and the one that Peter preached in Acts 2:22–36?
- Read Acts 10:44–48. This section of Scripture can be called “Pentecost for the Gentiles.” What similarities can you see between this Pentecost story and the more famous Pentecost story in Acts 2:1–11? What strange thing do we see in the order in which these Gentiles receive the Holy Spirit and the Sacrament of Baptism?
- In today’s story, we see God, especially the Holy Spirit, directing Peter to preach the Gospel to Cornelius and his relatives and friends. How does the Holy Spirit direct the Church’s mission work in our day?