This content is part of a series.
Breaking Down False Boundaries
Rediscovering Church, Part 10 of 10
Text: Acts 10 & 11
Tony R. Nester
The Cornelius story shows us that God will find a way to
reach people who want to know Him no matter what. This
basic truth about God is at the heart of the Bible. It's an
old truth, not a new one. But it finds a new urgency and a
fresh application in the Book of Acts.
Today we bring to a conclusion this series on Rediscovering
Church. We end with the Cornelius story.
Here we see one of the great breakthroughs in the Bible.
False boundaries are overcome. Here is an image of what it
means to be the church - crossing boundaries and opening
doors to God.
Cornelius wanted to find more of God than he had yet found.
The Scripture tells us that Cornelius had been trying to
get closer to God.
He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his
house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping
people in need, and had the habit of prayer.
Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, fits the description of what
the New Testament calls a "God-fearer". "God-fearers" were
Gentiles (non-Jews) who admired what they found of God in
the Jewish faith. They adopted the belief in one God rather
than many gods. They read the Hebrews Scriptures. They
prayed to the God of Israel. Cornelius was seeking to know
But he could only go so far. He was not allowed to worship
in a Jewish synagogue. He was not welcome in Jewish homes.
Jews would not enter his home and would never share a meal
with him. For all his goodness and in spite of his search
for God he was nevertheless still treated as an "outsider"
by the Jews.
There was a way for "God-fearers" to become fully accepted
into the Jewish community. There were three requirements
for a man like Cornelius to gain that acceptance.
First, Cornelius would have to be circumcised. Jewish
babies were circumcised on their eighth day after birth
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