1 Now at Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a colonel in what was known as the Italian regiment, 2 a religious man, too, who revered God with all his household, who was always liberal in his many deeds of charity to the people, and who had the habit of praying to God. 3 One afternoon about three o'clock he had a vision and clearly saw an angel of God come to him and say, "Cornelius!"
4 He stared at him and in terror asked, "What is it, sir?" The angel answered him, "Your prayers and your deeds of charity have gone up and been remembered before God. 5 So now send men to Joppa and invite over a man named Simon, who is also called Peter. 6 He is a guest of a tanner named Simon, whose house is close by the sea."
7 After the angel who had spoken to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his household servants, and a religious soldier who was one of his devoted attendants, 8 and after telling them the whole story, sent them to Joppa.
9 The next day, while those men were traveling on and not far from the town, Peter went up on the housetop about noon to pray. 10 But he got very hungry and wanted something to eat. While they were getting it ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the sky opened, and something like a great sheet coming down, lowered to the earth by the four corners, 12 which contained all kinds of four-footed animals, reptiles, and wild birds. 13 A voice came to him, "Get up, Peter, kill something and eat it."
14 But Peter said, "Never by any means, sir, for I have never eaten anything common, or not ceremonially cleansed."
15 A second time the voice came to him, "The things that God has cleansed you must not call unclean." 16 This took place three times; then all at once the thing was taken up into the sky.
17 Now while Peter was still at a loss to know what the vision he had seen could mean, the men who had been sent by Cornelius had asked for the way to Simon's house and had stopped at the gate; 18 and they called and inquired if Simon who was called Peter was staying there.
19 While Peter was meditating on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "There are two men looking for you. 20 Get up and go down, and without hesitation go on with them, for I have sent them."
21 So Peter went down and said to the men, "I am the man you are looking for. What is the purpose of your coming?"
22 They answered, "Cornelius, a colonel in the army, an upright man and one who reveres God, and a man of high reputation with the whole Jewish nation, was instructed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to listen to a message you would bring." 23 So Peter invited them in and entertained them. 24 The next day he started off with them, and some of the brothers in Joppa went along with him. The day after that they reached Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for him, as he had invited in his kinsmen and close friends. 25 When Peter went into the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet and did homage to him.
26 But Peter lifted him to his feet, saying, "Get up, I too am just a man myself." 27 As he continued to talk with him he went into the house and found a great crowd had gathered, 28 and he said to him, "You know that it is against the law for a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit one, but God has taught me not to call any man vulgar or ceremonially unclean; 29 so I have come, since I was sent for, without any hesitation."
30 Then Cornelius said, "Four days ago, about this hour, three o'clock in the afternoon, I was praying in my house, and all at once a man in dazzling clothing stood before me, 31 and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your deeds of charity have been remembered by God. 32 So send to Joppa and invite Simon, who is called Peter, to come over. He is being entertained at the house of a tanner named Simon, by the seashore.' 33 So at once I sent for you, and you have been kind enough to come. So now we are all here in God's presence to listen to anything that the Lord has commanded you to say."
34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said, "Now I really see that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who reveres God and practices doing right is acceptable to Him. 36 He has sent His message to the descendants of Israel, by telling them the good news of peace through Jesus Christ. He is Lord of all. 37 You know the story yourselves that spread all over Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and then He went about doing good and curing all who were overpowered by the devil, because God was with Him. 39 We are witnesses of everything that He did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. Yet they murdered Him by hanging Him upon a tree. 40 But God raised Him to life on the third day, and permitted Him to be dearly seen, 41 not by all the people but by witnesses whom God had beforehand appointed, namely, by us who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection from the dead. 42 He also ordered us to proclaim to the people and solemnly to testify that this is the One whom God has appointed to be the Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To this very One all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in Him is to receive the forgiveness of sins through His name."
44 While Peter was still speaking these truths, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. 45 Then the Jewish believers who had gone along with Peter were astounded because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been showered upon the heathen too, 46 for they heard them speaking in foreign languages and telling of the greatness of God. Then Peter asked, 47 "No one can refuse the use of water, can he, for these to be baptized, since they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did ourselves?" 48 So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they begged him to stay on there a few days.