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.November 28, 2021


Devotional Reading: 

Background Scripture reading: Acts 10:34-47

Lesson Scripture reading: Acts 10:34-47 

Golden Text: Then Peter began to speak: “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. Acts 10:34-35  

By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to: 

i.  Identify reasons why there is much discrimination among Christians; 

ii. Explain the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer; 

iii. Resolve to spread the good news to all notwithstanding differences in tribe, culture and language. 


A traveller had an opportunity to travel to a foreign country. When he returned, he shared his experiences with some friends. He narrated a high level of discrimination against foreigners in that country to a point that he became disgusted and frustrated. Even though they believe that Jesus came for all, they still discriminated against other races by refusing them the right to enjoy some rights or enter some places like supermarkets, churches, offices and other important places. This experience describes the hostility and disparity that existed between the Jews and Gentiles. Paul’s letter to the Galatians shows that there was actually tension between the Jewish Christians and the Gentiles. The Jewish Christians presume that It is not possibIe for Gentiles to become followers of Christ without following the Mosaic low of circumcision. Paul, however, disclosed that being a Christian is “faith working through love” Rather than being circumcised. Even toddy, people are separated because of cultural, racial, language and other barriers. As believers, we should be willing to associate with people from different backgrounds because Jesus has broken every barrier. Therefore, we have been united by a common cause. 

Today’s lesson focuses on the story of Peter’s encounter with Cornelius. While he was in Joppa, he received an invitation in a vision to take the gospel message to Cornelius, a Gentile officer who was living in Caesarea. Ordinarily, Peter would not associate with a Gentile because of the long hostility between them. Nevertheless, because God had spoken to him three times in a vision not to call anything, which God had made clean, unclean (W. 14-15), Peter obeyed the voice of God. He preached to Cornelius, his household and friends. They believed his message, they were baptised and received the gift of the Holy Spirit. 


A. Peter’s Speech Acts 10:34-38

After the vision God showed Peter, he was convinced of God’s plan of salvation for the Gentiles and the task of preaching the good news to Cornelius and his household. According to verse 23, the next day, he got ready dnd went to Caesearea with some believers from Joppd. Cornelius, hdving ndrrdted his vision and the instruction the angel gave him, Peter began to speak to the group. Based on his vision in verses 6 to 15, Peter confessed saying, “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” In other words, God does not treat individuals based on their tribe but purely on their intimate relationship with Him. He made further declarations from verse 36 about 

▪︎ God’s message to the people of Israel concerning the good news of peace through Jesus Christ who is Lord of all (both the Jews and Gentiles). 

▪︎The events that happened throughout Judea from Galilee after the message of baptism that John the Baptist preached (Matthew 3:16). 

▪︎ How Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, which enabled Him to perform miracles of healing and deliverance because God was with Him. 

Undoubtedly, the meeting of Peter with Cornelius’ household was facilitated by the visions given to both of them, even though they were separated by several miles (Acts 10:1-16). However, Peter’s speech was all encompassing. With a new understanding of God’s love for all humankind and the universality of the sacrificial death of Jesus, he preached with passion to Cornelius, his family members and friends. In verse 34, he confirmed God’s equal love for everyone who come to Him without discrimination. Surprisingly today, some Christians discriminate against other believers for reasons that are attributed to mode of dressing, beliefs, method of worship and other things. Truly, Christians should be guided by the experience of Peter and Cornelius, which was divinely planned. We should also reflect on the words of Apostle Paul in his letter to the brethren in Ephesus that Jesus Christ has “broken down the dividing wall” between Jews and Gentiles and offered peace to all....” (Isaiah 57:19) Therefore, all believers, our different tribes and denominations notwithstanding, have been united through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and have “access in one spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:11-22). 

Discussion Time 1 

l.Discuss the consequences of division in any church and how to avoid it. 

2. Describe the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as a unifying factor among God’s people. 

B. Peter’s Testimony Acts 10:39-43

Peter’s message was uncommon. It was devoid of the usual conventional style of preaching and asking people to accept Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. The summary of his message was an eyewitness account of the testimony of Jesus’ ministry and everything He did in Jerusalem and in all Israel. Particularly, he emphasised the death of Jesus, how He was raised after three days and His appearance to the witnesses that God had already chosen. Apparently, Peter was referring to Jesus’ 

disciples who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection. 

Peter’s testimony is a confirmation, according to the account of Luke when Jesus appeared to His disciples saying, “The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:46-47) In verse 42, Peter acknowledged that Jesus has commanded them to preach the Gospel and testify that He is the appointed Judge of the living and the dead. Of course, all the prophets have testified about Him that as many who believe in Him will receive forgiveness of their sins through His name. 

Peter’s experience and style of preaching the Gospel to Cornelius should serve as a guide to believers as to the diverse ways of preaching the good news apart from the conventional ways of simply telling people to accept Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. Like Peter, our message can be based on our encounter with Jesus and the testimony of His miracles. The story of the Samaritan woman (John 4) is a proof. Having had an encounter with Jesus, the Scripture says that she ran to the city and many of the Samaritans believed in Jesus because of her testimony (John 4:39). More importantly, Christians should be reminded that it is our duty to preach the Gospel to all people, according to Peter’s declaration in verse 42, so that those who believe will have their sins forgiven through the power in the name of Jesus. 

Discussion Time 2

1. How can churches be mo committed to witnessing? 

2. Is it important for Christians to attend a special training to be able to witness? 

C. The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit Acts 10:44-47 

It is evident from the passage that Peter’s message was comprehensive. While he was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came down upon those who were listening to him. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit also. They heard them speaking in tongues (a sign that God’s Spirit was upon them) praising the greatness of God. They failed to understand that God’s initial plan of redemption is for all people including the Gentiles (John 3:]6). Peter who probably would have sensed the reason for the amazement of the Jews said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptised with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” (v. 47) Immediately, he ordered them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. After then, they asked him to stay with them for a few days. Of course, this may be an indication that they have been accepted fully into the Christian community with the right to have fellowship together with the Jews. 

The same way the apostles received the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, so Cornelius, his family members and the other guests were endowed with the Holy Spirit__ This was evident when they began to speak in strdnge tongues. Certainly, it was on dffirmdtion that God hds extended the gift of solvotion not only to the Jews, ds it was presumed by them but also to the Gentiles. Previously, Jesus promised His disciples that they would systemdtiCdlly bredk down the bdrriers between the Jews and Gentiles when they are filled with the Holy Spirit and become His “witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) This promise was fulfilled when Peter was led to preach to Cornelius, his household and friends with the conviction that God has given the Holy Spirit to the new believers. Therefore, both Jews and Gentiles could fellowship 

together without discrimination or hostility. Without doubt, the 

significance of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer cannot be overemphasised. Apart from the benefit of the gift of speaking in tongues, such a Christian will live an obedient life to God, bear the fruit of the Spirit and become a model to others. Therefore, Christians should avoid segregation but intensify their effort to the task of the Great Commission in order to reach all people around the world for Christ. 

Discussion Time 3 

1. According to verse 44, Peter was still speaking when the Holy Spirit came upon those who were listening to him. Discuss the current trend of some pastors forcing people to speak in unknown tongues. 

2. ls there any need to speak in tongue after being filled with the Holy Spirit? 

Take Home

-▪︎Jesus came for all people and not one particular group of people. 

-▪︎There should be no segregation among believers; Christians should work for unity and not division. 

-▪︎The Holy Spirit can help 

believers to preach the Word of God. 

-▪︎ We should be ready to associate with people of 

different backgrounds because we have been united with a common purpose. 

-▪︎God still reveals Himself to His people through visions.

NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR NOVEMBER 28, 2021 : TOPIC – GOOD NEWS FOR ALL NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR NOVEMBER 28, 2021 : TOPIC – GOOD NEWS FOR ALL Reviewed by Muyiwa Abodunrin (Muyilight) on November 28, 2021 Rating: 5

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