The Mission Is Inaugurated Through Peter (9:32—11:18)

When does God "outflank" and when does he make a "frontal assault" to advance the gospel? It depends on whether those who stand in the way are essential to its success. The Jerusalem church, as the mother church and guarantor, is essential to the inauguration of a successful, sustainable Gentile mission that will preserve the church's unity and its continuity of mission. So after strategically placing Peter near Caesarea (9:32-43), God through a combination of visions and acts of human obedience brings Cornelius and Peter together so that the Gentile might hear the gospel and be saved (chapter 10). When challenged by the church at Jerusalem, Peter so defends the Gentile mission that all the church can do is break out in praise of God (11:18).

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