In Acts 10, you will come across Cornelius, the first gentile convert to accept Jesus Christ together with his entire household. The account written about the life of Cornelius is full of lessons to learn from as the first gentile convert into Christianity. Here are some 20 lessons to learn from his life.
1. No one is too busy to worship God (Acts 10:1). Cornelius was a Roman Centurion, a commander over hundreds of soldiers and yet, he managed to worship God and prayed regularly. Don’t use your busy schedules as an excuse not to worship God.
2. The house of Cornelius is a God fearing devout Christian family (Acts 10:2). It behooves every believer to introduce Christ to the entire family. The love of God you have encountered and the light you have seen is more beneficial when it reaches everyone and shines through the entire family.
3. Your generosity and good deeds are public announcers (Acts 10:2). The lives you touch with your good deeds and character will testify about you. The whole of Acts 10 was about the life Cornelius. In life, your good deeds and achievements will always announce your presence and take you far; hence, all nations and tribe now read about Cornelius and take lessons from his life.
4. God is a rewarder of every act of generosity, good deeds and service to both God and mankind. Whatever you do on this earth, know that God will surely reward you for any act of service to both mankind and God Himself. Sometimes, men may not see your secret deeds and acknowledge you but the God who sees all secret things will reward you at the right time. If you are not living your life well and right with God, then note that punishment may await you.
5. Consistent and regular prayer life are non-negotiable in your Christian walk. Cornelius prayed regularly. He had a disciplined prayer and devotional life. As a leader and a believer, you cannot go far in life if you are not disciplined with your devotional life with God.
6. Your divine vision opens doors into another realm (Acts 10:3). The continuous acts of generosity and prayers of Cornelius opened the heavens for angelic visitation. Prayer opens doors. Seeing visions are real; it is not something abstract.
7. Your ability to identify whom you are dealing with keeps you focused. Cornelius realized that the man who had appeared to him was not just any human being but an angel of the LORD (Acts 10:3-6). Each day, many angels may walk into the life of people but they may not know and mishandle them. Hebrews 13:2 advises Christians to be hospitable and in so doing, entertained many angels unaware.
8. Knowledge about the people you meet and deal with helps you to address them appropriately. Cornelius, having realized whom he was dealing with asked: “What is it, Lord?” Until you have knowledge and catch revelation about whom you are dealing, you will not address them appropriately and honour them accordingly.
9. Your direct and indirect acts of kindness to the poor and prayers go to God directly (Acts 10:6). Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done (Prov. 19:17). Never be tired of becoming kind to the poor and never stop praying for them. Whatever you do for them is onto the LORD Himself.
10. Great testimony of humanity and divinity. Acts 10:1-2 and Acts 10:22 details the account men gave about Cornelius while Acts 10:5-6 details the account heavens gave about Cornelius’ good deeds and prayers. Surprisingly, the two accounts are not different. They were almost the same. What men say about you is good but what heaven says about you is more important, critical and final. Be interested in heavenly applause and commendations than the applause of men which may fall below the standards of God.
11. Worship the only true and living God. Cornelius was a Roman by birth and Romans worship multiple gods. As an Army Commander over hundreds of soldiers, Cornelius would have gone for many gods for protection but He chose to worship the only true God. He did not copy wrongly by tradition and customs (Acts 10:2 & 22).
12. Divine encounter goes with divine revelations and directions that require obedience. Anytime there is an angelic visitation, there is revelation and direction given and this requires obedience to activate and usher you to access his blessings. Cornelius was told in the vision to send men to Jopa to bring a man named Simon Peter (Acts 10:5-6).
13. Being actively religious alone is not Christianity and cannot save you. The good deeds of Cornelius were on the lips of everyone and heaven even attested to that fact but he and his entire family were not saved. Salvation is not by works and good deeds; it is by first accepting Jesus Christ as LORD and personal saviour before exhibiting love and compassion of Christ to people through your good deeds.
14. Godly mission demands godly men as messengers (Acts 10:7-8): When the angel had departed from Cornelius, he called two of his devout soldiers who were godly men and sent them to Jopa to look for Simon Peter. Never send out ungodly men to carry out a godly mission for you. Whenever God wants to send out men on missions, He sends out godly people.
15. Do not condemn people that are so dear to God: In a vision received by Peter while the two soldiers were still on their way to meet him, the Holy Spirit told Peter the second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (Acts 10:15).
16. Cornelius was a soul winner – a great evangelist: He invited his close friends and relatives to meet Jesus through the Gospel Peter preached (Acts 10:24-27). The day salvation reached the house of Cornelius, he invited all his close friends and relatives and Peter was amazed to see a large gathering of people waiting for him. Learn to extend your salvation experience to other friends and family members that have not seen the light yet.
17. God is no respecter of persons. The love of Christ brings all people together as one (Acts 10:28): Upon reaching the house of Cornelius, Peter first announced that it was against the law for a Jew to associate with a gentile or even visit him. Christ came to die for all and together, we can all meet as one people regardless of tribe, race or nation and worship God together. Peter said, “Now I have realized that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right” (Acts 10:34-35). God is never bias to any race. Job 34:19 says that God is not partial to any race, the rich or the poor but all; for we are all the works of His hands.
18. The Gift of the Holy Spirit is for all (Acts 10:44-45): The other believers that came with Peter were astonished that the Holy Spirit had baptized all the gentiles who were present in the house of Cornelius while Peter was still speaking. The prophet Joel had prophesied about this in Joel 2:28 and repeated in Acts 2:17 about the outpour of the Holy Spirit on all flesh.
19. You can be baptized in the Holy Spirit first before water baptism (Acts 10:47-48): After they were all baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, Peter baptized them in water.
20. Honour men of God but don’t worship them: Cornelius and his entire household, friends and relatives were waiting for Peter and upon his arrival, fell at his feet and gave him reverence but Peter asked him to stand and said:” Stand up, I am only a man myself like you” (Acts 10:26). Do not give the honour and worship of God to men of God. Honour men of God but do not bow down and worship them.
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