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The Story of Cornelius (22 of 24)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles: A Verse-by-Verse Study
February 13, 2008
INTRODUCTION: Our discussion last week had to do with the healing of Aeneas and the raising of Tabitha from the dead--two amazing stories of God's power, bringing conviction and salvation to many who witnessed the events.
Our story tonight is about a man named Cornelius. Cornelius was a Roman soldier--a centurion from Italy, stationed at Caesarea. As a centurion, Cornelius would have been responsible for a large contingent of soldiers, probably a hundred or more. However, what is important about Cornelius is not his position in the Roman Army, but rather his devotion to God.
I have three points this evening:
I. Cornelius' Devotion to God
II. God's Attention to Cornelius
III. Peter's Vision from Heaven
I. CORNELIUS' DEVOTION TO GOD
In (vs. 2), the Bible says that Cornelius was "a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house..."
A. He Was Sincere
1. Though a Roman, Cornelius had somehow been influenced by the Hebrew faith. He believed that there was one God, who was the Creator of all things. This was very unusual because Romans typically worshipped many gods. In fact, you will remember when Paul arrived at Athens, a Roman city, he found that the people had set up an altar to an "unknown god" (Acts 17:22).
2. Please notice the piety of Cornelius:
a. He feared God with all his house. Everyone under his roof had reverence and respect for the Lord. But, the question is: can reverence and the fear of God be enough to save a man? No!
b. He gave alms to the people. Cornelius performed good deeds, giving alms and help to others. But, can good works save a man? No! In Titus 3:5, we read, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
c. He was a man of ...
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