1) One of the most important conversions in the book of Acts is Cornelius and his house.
2) This conversion is described in both Acts 10 and Acts 11.
3) Cornelius was lost . He had to “hear words” to receive salvation.
a) Cornelius may have been one of the finest men that has ever lived.
b) Acts 10:22 says a lot of Jewish people looked at this man and said he was a fine fellow.
4) He was “devout” (religious), Acts 10:2
a) Today people often say someone is “saved” because they are religious.
b) Our culture seems to equate almost any type of religious faith with heaven.
5) Cornelius proves religion is not an indicator of or proof of salvation.
6) He was religious, but He did not have a right relationship with God.
7) If that had been the case, Peter would not have needed to come and instruct him about spiritual things.
8) Acts 10:2 also says Cornelius feared God – this also was not enough.
a) The world assumes that thinking kindly about God and not speaking speak badly about him results in salvation.
b) Religion and respect for God do not save.
9) Cornelius was a giver. He helped the poor.
10) We would call him a “generous” man.
11) Cornelius tells us that giving money is not the way to salvation.
a) Cornelius’ life also consisted of prayer (this is stated at the end of verse 2).
b) His prayer life was very regular, but it did not save him.
12) Because Cornelius was in a state of condemnation he had to find a preacher –Acts 10:5 – READ.
a) Acts 11 tells us exactly why Peter was needed – verse 14 –READ
b) Cornelius had to hear “words” (a message). We also learn of the purpose behind this message.
13) Cornelius learned that he had to “do” some things so He could “receive” some things.
14) A person may have what we would regard as an excellent moral character.
15) Until someone hears and obeys the words of Christ, he is lost.
16) Cornelius was told by an angel to make contact with Peter (Acts 10:3), but this did not saved him.
17) Some point out from Acts 10 that Cornelius received the Holy Spirit and this is true.
a) Cornelius and his house did receive the Holy Spirit, but this did not save him or his family.
b) Acts 11:15 – READ
18) Verse 14 does not say Cornelius was saved by the Holy Spirit. Remember what was learned earlier.
a) “Words” were going to save this man and the other people in his household.
19) Verse 15 says Peter “began to speak.” Peter did not get a chance to speak the needed words.
20) He started to speak and then came the Holy Spirit.
21) If words were supposed to save this man, why did the Holy Spirit interrupt the speaker?
22) The Holy Spirit proved that it was okay to speak the “words of salvation” (verse 14).
23) Back in Mt. 16 Jesus said Peter would have “keys to the kingdom.”
24) Peter not only opened the door for this man and his house, he commanded them to be obedient.
25) Verse 48 of Acts 10.
26) Cornelius became a “saved man” when he obeyed the gospel.
a) Cornelius could have said he did not need Peter; he had all the religion he wanted.
b) He gave, he prayed, God was an important part of his life. He could have said he was satisfied.
c) This is what we hear from many people today.
27) People have a system of religion they like, they believe it works for them, so they will not change.
28) Cornelius was a great man in part because he was willing to listen to the truth.
29) What really made him special was his being willing to obey the truth.
30) His attitude is more fully expressed in verse 33 of Acts 10 – READ
a) This man said “we want to hear it all.”
b) ALL is a key word.
31) Have we found the Father through the Son?
32) Do we use the Son on a regular basis to maintain our relationship with God?
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