THE CHARACTER OF CORNELIUS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

good-character

CORNELIUS THE CENTURION

One of the most interesting characters in the book of Acts is Cornelius the centurion, on occupation in Palestine on behalf of the Roman government. You could hardly find a better person morally either in or out of the church. Luke gives this description of the character of Cornelius: “A devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God” (Acts 10:2 ESV).

CORNELIUS A JUST MAN

The men who were sent down to invite Peter back to his house further described Cornelius as “a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews” (Acts 10:22 NKJV).

CORNELIUS NOT A SAVED MAN

If you were to ask people today if that man were saved, they would probably reply yes. But that is not what the Bible teaches. Even though Cornelius was a good man and highly respected among the people, he still needed to hear words whereby he and his family could be saved. The angel of the Lord gave Cornelius this command: “Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do” (Acts 10:5-6 NKJV).

After having presented the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Peter commanded Cornelius and those present, to be baptized in the name of the Lord: “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:47-48 NIV). Back in the beginning when the church was first established, Peter said baptism was for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). And now with the Gentiles he orders the same command.

CORNELIUS WAS A BELIEVING BAPTIZED MAN

It is interesting that the last thing that Peter said before his sermon was interrupted was about faith: “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43 NKJV). But the first thing Peter said after the interruption ceased was a command to be baptized:

““Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days” (Acts 10:47-48).

Therefore, no one can be saved just because they are a good person for all have sinned: “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin” Romans 3:9). Even good people are sinners in some form or fashion. “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Acts 3:10).

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

What is the Church?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

What-is-church-PAGE

Contrary to the popular notion that one may join the church of his choice, the Bible teaches that there is just one church. In fact, Jesus Christ never promised to build but one church. In the area of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16: 18). Jesus did not say, “I will build my churches,” but he said, “I will build my church,” singular. Jesus built but one church, and he called it “my church.”

The One Church in Ephesians

In the book of Ephesians, the one church which Jesus promised to build is mentioned several times as an established reality. In the first chapter, Paul affirmed the supreme authority of Christ as the head of the church, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (Ephesians 1: 22-23). This one church is spoken of as the body of Christ. The word body is in the singular.

Christ is the Head of the One Body—the Church

Christ is the one head, and the church is his one body which together forms a unit. This is a figurative reference to the human organism which has one head and one body. The idea of modern denominationalism is foreign to the teaching of the New Testament. In New Testament times there were many congregations, but they all formed one body or one church.

The Jew and Gentile Are Reconciled unto God in One Body

In Ephesians chapter two, Paul speaks of the alienation of the Jew and the Gentile being reconciled together in one body by the cross of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2: 16). The gospel is a gospel of peace to both the Jew and the Gentile, for it is through Christ that both have access unto the Father by the one Spirit into the one body. Continue reading “What is the Church?”