Imagine Peter, who’s the leader of the church in Jerusalem, being invited to dine with Cornelius, a centurion who the Bible describes as a righteous man. Cornelius has a connection with God and wants to be drawn into the faith, but doesn’t know what to do. He wants to eat with Peter, but Peter is reluctant to do so because he’s a Gentile. To facilitate this encounter, Peter has a vision from God, and God says “don’t call unclean what I have called clean.” So Peter eats with Cornelius and the gang, and they become Gentile Christians. This is an important moment in the Acts of the Apostles.
When Peter returns home and tells people that he’s eaten with these Gentiles and that the Holy Spirit came upon them, at first they’re very critical of Peter. They questioned, “How could you eat with sinners and those who are not Jewish?” Peter replies with this, as found in Acts 11: “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us in the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?’ ”
Friend, “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God saying, ‘so then even the Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.’ “ We as believers today can rejoice; we are allowed to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and come into the Kingdom of God.