Faith Promise - Vision Week Day 01

Day 01 - Monday, November 20
Acts 10

The conversion of Cornelius and his household is a massively important event in the history of the early church.  Up until this point, every person whose conversion we have looked at has been either Jewish or closely related to the Jewish faith.  Cornelius and his household are the first Gentiles (non-Jews) who accept Jesus without any move towards becoming Jewish first.  God knew this would be controversial in the early church (this will become clear further into the Book of Acts and features prominently in Paul’s epistles), so He made their acceptance very clear by repeating the same event that the original disciples experienced on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.  Acts 10 is the Gentile Pentecost.

The clearest connection is that the Holy Spirit came on the group in power, without baptism first, and manifested through the speaking of tongues.  Peter even makes this connection crystal clear when in the next chapter he reports to the ethnically Jewish Christians in Jerusalem that the Holy Spirit ‘came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.’  (Acts 11:15, emphasis mine)  God had accepted these Gentiles by His grace and through their faith, but He attested to this through the coming of the Spirit so that no one could doubt that acceptance and so that no one would revert to old prejudices and treat these new brothers and sisters as second class Christians.

Reflection & Prayer
For this reading plan we will be using a tool to guide our study of Scripture that’s called the S.O.A.P. Method.  It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.  We recommend you use a journal with this method and write out your thoughts on each of these areas for each day of reading.  It doesn’t have to be long-winded and you don’t need a fancy journal.  But for anyone that has not journaled before, the benefit is that it often helps us focus and avoid distractions during prayer and Bible study.

S.O.A.P. Method

Scripture - Pick a verse or two that stood out to you and write it in your journal.  Be looking for a “Holy Spirit Highlight.”  What did you read and think “I needed to hear that” or felt like it was written just for you?

Observation - Now write some observations about the verse(s) or passage. What is this passage or verse saying? About God? About people? How is Jesus revealed in these verses?

Application - Now write a few sentences on how this passage applies to your life. Is there truth about God that you are to believe? A promise to receive? Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of something you need to do or stop doing in light of God’s truth?

Prayer - Now write out a prayer to God in response to this Scripture. This is a way to turn God’s Word to you back to Him. Be honest and express your heart to Him. God always listens and He delights in your prayers. (Psalm 34:15; Proverbs 15:8)