Shelby G. Floyd
In the book of Acts we have the record of Peter’s sermon which he spoke to the household of Cornelius. Cornelius was a Gentile and had invited his family and close friends to be present on this occasion.
PETER SPEAKS TO THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS
It is very interesting to read about what Peter said to Cornelius and his friends. First, Peter admitted that God had convinced him that he is no respecter of people, but will accept people from all nations who fear him and do what is right. “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right’” (Acts 10:34-35).
PETER’S SERMON WAS INTERRUPTED
Next he pointed out that Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good until the Jews killed him by hanging him on a tree. Near the conclusion Peter’s sermon was interrupted by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles. We notice that the last thing he said before the interruption began was that everyone who believed on Christ would receive forgiveness of sins:
“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:42-43).
FAITH PLUS BAPTISM EQUALS FORGIVENESS OF SIN
After the interruption was over, the first thing that he said to them was,
“Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:47-48).
Obviously, if Peter’s speech had not been interrupted, the connection between believing on Jesus and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins would also have been plain to all who love the truth of God.
THE APOSTLES OBEYED THE GREAT COMMISION
This simply is carrying out the Great Commission—the last words of Jesus before he went back to heaven: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Have you been baptized for the forgiveness of sins?
Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142