Prior to Acts 10, the kingdom of God had not yet been opened to the Gentile nation. But everything changes in Acts 10. Cornelius’ conversion in Acts 10 is important for many reasons. Let’s look at four:
Being good is not good enough (v. 1-2): If ever there were a good man who not yet heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, Cornelius certainly was one. But was Cornelius saved at this point? Cornelius was still a man in need of salvation. He was lost and he needed the gospel preached unto him.
God is no respecter of persons (v. 34): A conversion takes place within Peter as well. The purpose of the vision to Peter (v. 9-16) was to get through to Peter that the Gentiles were no longer unclean. The Lord’s invitation is to all.
Get out of your comfort zone (v. 28): Do you think Peter was comfortable in Cornelius’ house? God called him out of his comfort zone. Spiritual growth requires doing some difficult things. If we only ever do what comes easy, we will never grow.
Cornelius was saved the same way we’re saved: He heard the Word (10:33); believed (15:7); repented (11:18); and was baptized (10:48). If you have not been baptized in water for the remission of your sins, you haven’t done what Peter told Cornelius to do. Do what Cornelius did so you can become what Cornelius became — a Christian.
Cornelius’ conversion also offers us an opportunity to look at ourselves. It is not enough to be good. One must become a Christian. However, it is not enough for one to be a Christian. One must also be good. It’s worth taking a closer look at Cornelius’ character to see how we measure up.
** Am I devout to God (v. 2)?
** Do I fear God (v. 2, 22)?
** Do I influence others for God (v. 2, 24)?
** Am I generous (v. 22)?
** Do I pray to God often (v. 2)?
** Am I an honest, fair person (v. 22)?
** What kind of reputation do I have with others (v. 22)?
** Am I humble (v. 7-8)?
** Am I eager to learn and to do (v. 33, 48)?
Let us all use the story of Cornelius as a means to examine our lives, and let us be determined to make the changes in our lives where they need to be made.