Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS
And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
You can say that the Day of Pentecost was the day of public inauguration of the Church as the Body of Christ. There was something new there that had never been before. There is a sense in which you can speak of the Church in the Old Testament, yes, but it is not the same as the Church was subsequent to the Day of Pentecost.
Look at what happened in the house of Cornelius. Peter, of course, as a Jew would obviously have found it very difficult to believe that Gentiles could really come into this unity. That was why the vision was given to him as he was there on the top of the house. As he was praying he saw a great sheet coming down with clean and unclean animals and birds upon it, and he heard God’s voice telling him to kill and eat. God said, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common” (Acts 10:15).
But is there not a further suggestion that even that vision was not enough? Certainly it was enough to take Peter to the house of Cornelius and to preach as he did. But even while Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit descended upon Cornelius and his household. And Peter and the Jews were amazed at this. They could not quite understand it, but they had to face the facts as they heard these other people speak with tongues and magnify God. “They of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 10:45).
The thing that Peter later emphasized was that while he was speaking, the Holy Spirit descended upon them: “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15). Now you see what was happening. God was declaring that the Church was to consist of Jews and Gentiles.
A Thought to Ponder
God was declaring that the Church was to consist of Jews and Gentiles.
From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 36-37.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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