To get a clear understanding about these verses, let’s read Acts 10:34-40, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly.”

This was a very important act in the early history of the church. Peter is here speaking to a group of people in Cornelius’ house. According to Acts 10:1-2 Cornelius was, “…a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” Shortly before this, was the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended and indwelt every believer. This was the beginning of the church. Of that group of believers, we read in Acts 2:5, “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” In the beginning, the church was comprised of only redeemed Jewish people.

Cornelius, however, was not Jewish. He was Italian. He was an earnest man who properly feared the Lord, but He did not know about the Lord Jesus Christ. He was faithful to what he knew, but he needed to know about Christ. So, the Lord sent Peter to Cornelius with the good news of salvation. I encourage you to read the entire chapter and see how the Lord spoke to Peter in a vision previously. In preparing Peter for this meeting, He instructed him to kill and eat all kinds of animals. From that incredible experience, Peter learned that “God is no respecter of persons.” Salvation was as much for Gentiles as it was for the Jews.

So, we find Peter now preaching Christ to this group of Gentiles who earnestly desired to know the way of salvation. In Peter’s remarks in verses 38-40, he showed how that the Lord Jesus in His life “went about doing good.” Yet for all His good deeds and manifestations of who He is, the Jews “slew and hanged on a tree” the blessed Son of God. Yet after that, “Him God raised up the third day.” In his brief, but powerful sermon, Peter spoke of the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus to these Gentile people.

What happened next was a remarkable work of God. Acts 10:44-45 tells us, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And 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.” The Holy Ghost falling on, or indwelling these people, showed that they had truly accepted Christ as their savior and were now saved! Those ‘of the circumcision’, or the Jews, were all astonished that Gentiles could be saved just as they were. The Lord Jesus had graciously foretold this great event in John 10:16 where, speaking to the Jews, He said, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” How thankful we should be that the Lord is truly “no respecter of persons.” He tells us in John 6:37, “…him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Have you come to Him and received this wonderful gift of eternal life? (160.5)