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The Conversion of Cornelius

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After the angel left Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier and sent them to Joppa. At about the sixth hour Peter went upon the house to pray He became hungry and would have eaten but he fell into a trance and saw the heavens open and saw a great sheet let down to the earth and in it had beast, creeping things, and fowls of the air.

By O. C. Marler

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The tenth chapter of Acts introduces us to Cornelius, a centurion from the Italian Band. Acts 10:1, There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian hand. (2) A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always (3) He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. (4) And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God (5) And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: (6) He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. (7) And when the angel which spoke unto Cornelius, was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; (8) And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. (9) On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour (10) And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, (11) And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: (12) Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. (13) And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill and eat. (14) But Peter said, Not so, Lord: for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. (15) And the voice spoke unto him again the second time, What God hash cleansed, that call not thou common. (16) This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. (17) Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, (18) And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. (19) While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

 

Cornelius was a man who was living for God to the best he knew how. In fact, he lived such a good life he would be thought of today as very religious. He was over qualified for most churches today. He would probably he thought of as ‘religious right’ to those who despise consecration. Yet as good as he was he did not measure up to God’s plan for full salvation. Let’s note his consecration status.

 

  1. He was a devout man.
  2. He feared God, but it was, of course not a fear like being afraid of an animal. It was a godly fear like respect or reverence.
  3. He prayed to Cod always.
  4. He prayed so much and lived so good that he saw a vision. (If someone today saw a vision it would be very difficult to inform them that their religious experience did not measure up to what God intended.)
  5. He talked with an angel at about the ninth hour of the day. Hey if I have seen an angel, don’t tell me I need doctrine.

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