III. The Conjunction of the Two Visions: (vss. 17-22)
A. The Facts:
1. When do the messengers from Cornelius arrive?
2. How do they make inquiry for Peter?
3. Who instructs Peter as to their arrival? What is meant by “the Spirit said unto him”?
4. What does the Spirit tell Peter to do? Why is it added: “nothing doubting”? What reason does the Spirit attach to the command to Peter?
5. According to the text, did any other than the Spirit inform Peter that he had callers?
6. Who, according to the text, spoke first when Peter and the messengers from Cornelius met?
7. Of what do the messengers tell Peter?
1. Is there any importance in the fact that the messengers arrive at the exact time when Peter’s vision ends?
2. Why does the Spirit inform Peter of the arrival of the men, and also tell him to go with them? Why does he not rather let the events themselves show to Peter the meaning of the vision?
3. What element does the Spirit let Peter discover for himself? Why? Is it not true that as far as the chief thought of the vision is concerned, the Spirit does not instruct Peter, while He simply causes all the incidental circumstances of the vision to be worked out in such a way that both Peter and the messengers are unmistakably brought together by God and taught His will in the matter?
4. Was there anything in the way in which Peter and the messengers met that might also serve to convince the messengers of the reality of Cornelius’ vision and its meaning?
IV. The Visit to Cornelius: (vss. 23-48)
A. The meeting of Peter and Cornelius: (23-33)
1. How long did the journey take?
2. What was Cornelius’ attitude during this time?
3. Who accompanied Peter on his journey? Why?
4. Who were gathered at Cornelius’ house? What is the significance of this?
5. What did Cornelius do upon Peter’s arrival? How is this to be explained? How did Peter react, and why?
6. What did Peter find when he entered the house? Does this indicate an individualistic trend in the preaching of the gospel?
7. Peter’s introduction:
a. What does Peter say that God had shown him? Did the vision concern men or food? Does Peter then refer only to the vision itself, or to what followed the vision also?
b. What does Peter say concerning his own attitude after he received this revelation from God? Is he thoroughly convinced of his calling to go to the Gentiles?
c. Why does he inquire as to their intent in sending for him?
d. How does Cornelius respond? What kind of speech does he expect of Peter? In whose presence are they gathered?
e. Was this repetition of the details of the two revelations also of significance possibly for the “many” that were come together in Cornelius’ home?
B. Peter’s Preaching: (vss. 34-43)
1. Was this all that Peter preached, or may we say that this was the gist of his preaching, while his actual instruction was more detailed?
2. What kind of hearers did he have? Were they “raw pagans,” or is it evident also in his sermon that his audience was already acquainted with the gospel of Christ?
3. What is the meaning of Peter’s opening words, that “God is no respecter of persons”? Cf. also Romans 2:11; 3:9.
4. Is, according to verse 35, salvation a matter of works? If not, what is the meaning?
5. What forms the very core of Peter’s preaching?
6. Why does he emphasize that he and the apostles were witnesses of these things?
7. What, according to Peter, did Christ command them to do?
8. What must be the content of their preaching and testimony?
9. How does Peter connect the gospel with the O.T. Scriptures? Why?
10. How is the remission of sins to be received? Who shall receive it?
C. The Fruit of Peter’s Preaching
1. How did God seal the preaching of Peter? Vs. 44
a. What is meant by this outpouring of the Holy Ghost? Were not Cornelius and those with him moved by the Spirit before this?
b. How was this gift of the Spirit manifest?
c. For whom was this sign of the outpouring of the Spirit meant as a testimony? For these Gentile converts only?
2. The baptism of Cornelius and his house:
a. Why does Peter ask, “Can any forbid water…”?
b. What reason does Peter attach to his question?
c. What was the meaning of this baptism?
d. Is there any basis here for the doctrine of infant baptism?
3. What was the effect of these events on “those of the circumcision which believed”? Were these the men that had accompanied Peter from Joppa?
4. Why did they ask Peter to tarry for some days? What do you suppose took place these days?
V. Peter’s Report to the Church at Jerusalem: (11:1-18)
A. The Occasion:
1. From whom had the apostles and brethren heard about the spread of the gospel to the Gentiles?
2. Who are meant by “they of the circumcision”?
3. With what did they charge Peter? What does this accusation indicate?
B. Peter’s Report:
1. Why does Peter report all the minute details of the events that befell him and Cornelius?
2. Point out the strong evidence that Peter produces by this detailed report.
3. How does Peter sum up his report? What arguments does he adduce in support of his contact with the Gentiles? Does he present this affair as being of his own choosing or of God’s direction?
4. What was the effect upon the church? How did they glorify God?