Youth Bible Study – Inclusiveness of the Gospel: The Conversion of Cornelius Acts 10:1-8

Today, we’re diving into a topic that might seem a bit ancient, but trust us, it’s super relevant to your lives as teenagers. We’re going to explore the story of Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and how his conversion teaches us about embracing the inclusiveness of the Gospel and breaking down cultural barriers. Why is this important for you?

1. Diversity: Our world is diverse, and so are your classrooms and neighborhoods. Understanding how the Gospel transcends cultural boundaries will equip you to be more compassionate and accepting.

2. Faith Journey: Cornelius’s story reminds us that anyone, from any background, can encounter Jesus and be transformed. This lesson will inspire you on your faith journey.

3. Friendship: As you navigate friendships with people from different backgrounds, this story will guide you on how to be a light for Christ.

Now, let’s jump into this amazing story from the Book of Acts!

Bible Reading 1: Acts 10:1-8 (NIV)

In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God.

Explanation For Teenagers:

  • Cornelius was a Roman centurion, a high-ranking officer in the Roman army.
  • He was not a Jew but a God-fearing man who sought a relationship with the God of Israel.
  • His piety is evident through his generosity and prayer life.

Youth Group Discussion Questions:

  • What stands out to you about Cornelius from this passage?
  • Do you know anyone in your life who is genuinely seeking God but isn’t a Christian?

Bible Reading 2: Acts 10:9-16 (NIV)

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

Explanation For Teenagers:

  • Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, receives a vision from God.
  • The vision contains animals considered unclean by Jewish dietary laws.
  • God challenges Peter’s cultural understanding of clean and unclean.

Youth Group Discussion Questions:

  • How do you think Peter felt when he received this vision?
  • Have you ever had your beliefs challenged by something unexpected?

Bible Reading 3: Acts 10:17-22 (NIV)

While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

Explanation For Teenagers:

  • The Holy Spirit intervenes, guiding Peter to meet Cornelius’ messengers.
  • God is orchestrating a divine encounter between two people from very different backgrounds.

Youth Group Discussion Questions:

  • Have you ever felt a strong prompting from the Holy Spirit to do something unexpected or uncomfortable?
  • How can we learn to listen and respond to the Spirit’s guidance in our lives?

Bible Reading 4: Acts 10:23-33 (NIV)

Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.


  • Peter obeys the Spirit’s guidance and travels to Cornelius’s house.
  • Cornelius gathers his loved ones to hear Peter’s message.

Youth Group Discussion Questions:

  • How do you think Cornelius felt when Peter and the believers arrived?
  • Why is it important for believers to take the initiative in building bridges with people from different backgrounds?

Bible Reading 5: Acts 10:34-38 (NIV)

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him.”

Explanation For Teenagers:

  • Peter acknowledges that God shows no favoritism and accepts those who seek Him.
  • He shares the message of Jesus with Cornelius and his friends, emphasizing Jesus’ ministry and anointing.

Youth Group Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think Peter’s message was important for Cornelius and his household?
  • What does it mean for us to embrace inclusiveness in sharing the Gospel today?

Youth Group Game: “Culture Swap”

In this game, divide into small groups and assign each group a different culture or nationality. Each group must create a presentation about their assigned culture, including food, customs, and traditions. Afterward, discuss how it felt to learn about and share different cultures.

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, thank you for the incredible story of Cornelius and Peter, showing us that your Gospel knows no cultural bounds. Help us, as teenagers, to embrace inclusiveness, break down cultural barriers, and share your love with all people. May we be open to your Spirit’s leading in our lives and boldly proclaim the good news of Jesus to those around us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Remember, [Your Church Name] youth, you are part of a beautiful tapestry of God’s creation, and you have the power to make a positive impact in the lives of others. Keep shining your light, and may your faith continue to grow!

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