B. Cornelius is now the character of focus. He was a Roman military officer. He was a Centurion. A Centurion had the Studies in Acts
B. command over about one hundred men. He was attached to the Italian Regiment.
Studies in Acts C. In Chapter 10 we find the beginning of one of the great turning points of history. God is about to place His focus on winning Gentiles to Christ.
Studies in Acts D. Most theologians would say Cornelius was the first Gentile that became a part of the Body of Christ. However, I do not believe the Bible would support that position.
1. The Bible in Acts 8:26-38 records the encounter Philip had with the Ethiopian eunuch who was a Black man and a Gentile. This black man was the first Gentile that accepted Christ as savior according to the scriptures.
Acts 8:26-38 26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
Acts 8:26-38 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the
Acts 8:26-38 27 charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Acts 8:26-38 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
Acts 8:26-38 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
Acts 8:26-38 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
Acts 8:26-38 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Acts 8:26-38 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
Acts 8:26-38 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
Acts 8:26-38 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
Acts 8:26-38 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Acts 8:26-38 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
Acts 8:26-38 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Acts 8:26-38 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Studies in Acts E. In Acts Chapter 10 we are faced with two great questions. The first question is was Cornelius saved before Peter came to his
Studies in Acts E. house; if we say Cornelius was not saved as some people do; the next question is does God hear a sinners prayers?
1. Whether he was a saved man is open to question. Those who say he was saved refer to verse 2.
Acts 10:1 1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort,
Acts 10:2 2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.
Studies in Acts F. In verse 2 we are told several key things about Cornelius.
1. He was a devout man. Devout meaning he was pious, dedicated and serious in his search for God.
2. He feared (reverenced) God and he taught his family to fear God too.
3. He was generous in his giving to the impoverished Jewish people.
4. He had a committed and consistent prayer life.
Studies in Acts G. Those who say he was saved refer to Acts 10:2 and
Acts 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
1. Those who say Cornelius was not saved point to Acts 11:14 where the angel is quoted as promising him that Peter would tell him words whereby he might be saved,
Acts 11:14 Who shall tell thee words, where by thou and all thy house shall be saved.
Studies in Acts H.. If Peter was to give Cornelius the only message that could save him which no doubt was the Gospel is a strong indication
Studies in Acts H. that he was not saved before Peter came to his house.
Studies in Acts I. Being devout does not save a man. Unsaved men are said to be devout but they were only dutiful to their religion. The Bible in Acts 2:5 says
Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
1. They were devout men but they did not know God.
Studies in Acts J. Having fear and reverence for God will not cause a man to be saved. The bible in James 2:19 says
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believer, and tremble.