Outline of Acts 10


Outline of Acts 10


I. Acts 10 opens with the introduction of Cornelius a centurion for Rome. Cornelius is given a vision from God. He is instructed to go to Joppa and talk to Peter and Peter would tell him what to do. Cornelius sends three men – to servants and a soldier to Joppa.


II. Peter is at the house at Joppa and goes to the roof to pray. While on the roof Peter is given a vision about a sheet from heaven having all kinds of unclean animals. God says to Peter “Kill and eat” and Peter protests against the idea. God says “What God has cleansed do not call common.” Common means what man has called ceremonial unclean, not what God has called unclean by command. This sheet incident is repeated three times.

Peter does not know what the vision means and is meditating on this when he receives a call from the three servants sent from Cornelius. God instructs Peter to go with them doubting nothing. Peter takes witnesses from Joppa to testify as to what would happen. This is in Acts 11.


III. The three men take Peter to meet with Cornelius. Cornelius has his house full of people who want to know about God. Peter introduces himself and reminds them all that it is human tradition that Jews are not to keep company with one of another nation. This is not something that God commanded but is simply human tradition developed from erroneous thinking. Then Peter states what the vision meant to him – that he was not to call any man common or unclean. That he was free to share the gospel with one and all. While preaching the gospel to the Gentiles of Cornelius’ home the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentile believers and testified by speaking in tongues to testify of God. Peter was convinced that the Holy Ghost had testified that Gentile converts were equal to Jewish converts.


Peter was convinced that all was ready for the gospel to go to the whole world. There were to be not barriers of tradition to interfere with the spread of the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.


This story is repeated in Acts 11 in Jewish court, because the Jews accused Peter of violating the national traditions of the Jews. Peter is not accused of breaking the commandments of God, for the Commandments of God are for all humanity. Peter testifies of his experience with God under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The Vision given in Acts 10 is not to change the commandments of God regarding eating clean or unclean food, but to change Peter’s views of interacting with the Gentiles regarding the gospel. God’s holy will was accomplished.