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Lessons from Cornelius' Conversion

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. We need more good people in this world. But if I want to go to heaven, I must be saved.

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. God wants everyone to be saved (I Tim. 2:3-4; II Pet. 3:9). The Lord’s invitation is to all (Rev. 22:17).

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). Peter does not suggest to Cornelius and his household that they be baptized, nor does he tell them it’s a good idea. Peter commanded baptism.

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.

Steven Matthews


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