"God Is No Respecter Of Persons"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 194

Context: The author tells of Peter's being led by the Spirit to baptize a Gentile into the Christian faith. Cornelius, a Roman centurion stationed at Caesarea, fears God, but he has never embraced the Jewish faith. An angle tells him in a vision to send for Simon Peter, who will instruct him in salvation. Just before Cornelius' deputies arrive at Peter's house in Joppa, Peter, too, has a dream inspired by God. In Peter's dream a large vessel, like a sheet with the corners joined, descends from heaven, filled with all kinds of animals. A voice instructs Peter to kill and eat, though the animals are considered unclean and inedible for Jews. The voice tells Peter not to call anything, made by God, common or unclean. At this moment the messengers from Cornelius arrive and summon Peter, who now realizes the significance of his vision. When Peter and the deputies arrive at Cornelius' house, they find a group already assembled:

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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.

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