Acts 10:31-36
Acts 10:31 (KJB)
And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
The word for “angel” in the Greek also means “messenger.” This angel in white clothing had a message for Cornelius. The angel had assured him that his prayers had been heard by God and that all the alms which were gracious and merciful acts toward those who were poor were remembered in the sight of God. There is a modern saying which unfortunately holds much truth and that is, “no good deed ever goes unpunished.” Just the opposite in the Kingdom of God, no good deed done to the Glory of God is ever forgotten. (Heb 6:10 KJV) For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Whatever Cornelius was praying about, God was now assuring him that he would soon receive a fitting answer to his prayers. Cornelius was not just one who prayed and did nothing, or one who did all kinds of work but never prayed. He was a man who did both to the Glory of God and now God is going to do something in his life. This verse teaches us that any good works which we do in the Kingdom of God which are bathed in prayer, will receive a response from God.
Acts 10:32 (KJB)
Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
Cornelius then goes on to repeat the command which he received in sending for Peter. This would have been a confirmation to Peter that this whole meeting was ordained of the Lord. For how would Cornelius know that Peter was staying in Simon’s home 30 miles north of him unless it was of divine origin? This was also confirmation of the timing of the visions both of them had and why the meeting was able to come together so quickly.
Acts 10:33 (KJB)
Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
Cornelius then tells Peter and all the guests that as soon as he received the instructions, he immediately sent for Peter. Now he tells him that he is pleased that Peter has responded to his request and came. Then he tells Peter that all those who have assembled are desirous to hear what God has commanded Peter to say unto those present. The Greek text is implying that Peter was about to tell them some established or unchangeable truths which were fixed by God.
Acts 10:34 (KJB)
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Respecter - One who shows partiality
For many years as a practicing Jew, he would have avoided anyone or any race which was regarded as unclean. Within the last two days, Peter has learned a major lesson concerning that mindset. God is not a respecter of persons in that He is going to save people out of every tongue, nation, and people. (Rev 5:9 KJV) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; Peter knew the words that Jesus spoke to them that the gospel would be preached throughout the whole world and that would mean to every Gentile nation in the world. Closer to home, Peter now understands fully that the Gospel is not one of prejudice and he needed to lose the life long prejudice that was built up in him because he would now have to deal with Christians of other races.
Acts 10:35 (KJB)
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Peter now admits that no matter what nation a person is in, if they fear God and do works of righteousness they will be accepted by Him. The Gospel is not limited to Israel but now will go the whole world. We must qualify this verse because some may take it out of its true meaning. There are many cults and false religions today who believe they can do good works and be accepted by God. These same religions reject Christ and the true way of salvation. Those who are in Christ, who have become saved, fear God in the right way and do the works of righteousness which God prepared for every believer. (Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Just fearing God and doing works of righteousness will not gain anyone Heaven because that would constitute a works Gospel. Salvation comes only through Christ minus any type of works. Peter then goes on in the next verse and speaks about the true way of salvation.
Acts 10:36 (KJB)
The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
Preaching - Announcing the Good News
Peter now tells the group that the word or message which He had declared unto the nation of Israel was the announcing of the good news through the Lord Jesus Christ. There are two major principles (among others) concerning the peace of the Gospel. First of all, we have peace with God. (Rom 5:1 KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: The war is now over between the Believer and God. We are now reconciled unto Him through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ through which our reconciliation is made complete. (Col 1:20 KJV) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. The second aspect of the Gospel of Peace is that it makes peace of different ethnic groups. (Eph 2:14 KJV) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; There is no longer any racial divides in the Kingdom of God. No matter what race a person is from, if they have become saved through the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no more partition between them. Peter now refocuses their attention to the Lord Jesus Christ and only through Him can salvation be attained. Peter now tells them that Christ is Lord of all and with the peace that comes, the promises of God are also included with that Gospel. (2 Cor 1:20 KJV) For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. As a child of God, the promises of God belong to us.