Day 36

Cornelius



Acts 10:1-48, Galatians 3:27-29

BY Rebecca Faires

What is the answer to inequality?

We clamor for solutions for true freedom, equality, individual rights, ethnic and racial tensions, and economic disparity. By themselves, our ideas and even our very best intentions are not enough. But really, we do know the ultimate answer to things like lasting change and reconciliation: the gospel of grace.

Cornelius’s life is a reminder of the great mystery of the gospel. In that day and age, there were distinct lines drawn between Jews and Gentiles, separating them by belief and ceremony, and many other practices, both cultural and religious. And so Cornelius’s story is a reminder that salvation belongs to our God, and the gospel is freely given to all who choose to receive it (Revelation 7:10; Matthew 10:8). From the beginning, the only answer to the tumult of human struggle, to the walls of social division, to the lines of entrenched hatred, is the gospel. God alone can do something new, transformative, and lasting, making “a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). As the first Gentile to put his trust in Jesus, Cornelius was forever changed by a visit from an angel at three o’clock in the afternoon, a vision that put him on a journey that completely reframed his entire worldview.

Peter also had a vision around that same time, and the clean and unclean animals are a reminder of this truth. This was not chiefly a social realization; it was the direct act of a gracious God who, in His own time, opened the eyes of man to see exactly what Christ’s coming truly meant: that sinners of every race, clan, tongue, and nation, could be made new and holy by faith in Jesus Christ. God sent a vision to Cornelius, even as He sent the vision to Peter. However, the chief character in this story is not Cornelius, nor is it Peter—it is God Himself. In the same way, we do not receive salvation by our own actions or merit, but because of the merit and actions of Christ Himself. In each case, it is God who calls and justifies, sanctifies and glorifies. Our salvation and reconciliation to God are not of ourselves.

A remarkable scene ensues after Peter agrees to go to the house of Cornelius. We are told that Peter stands and begins to deliver the message of the gospel to the Gentiles assembled there, and “while Peter was still speaking… the Holy Spirit came down on all those who heard” (Acts 10:44), making the message very clear: the salvation of man is not of man, but wholly of God—in God’s time, in God’s way, by God’s own doing. “What God has made clean, do not call impure” (v.15).

Like Peter, we need to remember that we are all human, but that through Jesus Christ alone, we all have access to salvation (vv. 36). We can join with all the people of the world, united in our calling to be about the business of “declaring the greatness of God” to a world that desperately needs to hear it (v.46), just like you and I do.

Post Comments (37)

37 thoughts on "Cornelius"

  1. AZ Walker says:

    Laura, I am praying for your daughter and that our loving God will go after her — and comfort you. Also, wanted to share that I just read an article in another devotional this morning from a pastor / speaker / author who went thru hard times and years of rebellion with 3 teenagers / young adults. She wrote that she and her husband prayed Daniel 10:12 for years. I googled her – Lorie Hartshorn and she has a study called Finding Freedom. She and her family also made some Utube videos.

  2. Tabitha Coleman says:

    Great word!

  3. Pam Williams says:

    Praying for Jill and Laura.

  4. Pam Williams says:

    I pray that I may be a minister of reconciliation to God 1st, and then to others during these contentious times. Amen

  5. Tricia C says:

    Laura, Jill K, Sarah D, Diana Fleenor, and any others who have family that are running away from our Savior- I am praying for them. Just ad I am praying for my three children And their children. Heavenly Father, bring them in to Your fold. I pray that they would seek You and not run away from You. I pray that You would bring someone into their lives who will speak Your truth to them.
    I’m so thankful that we can agree together in
    Prayer sisters. No matter our backgrounds or circumstances.
    Blessings to you!
    Tricia

  6. Churchmouse says:

    The ground at the foot of the cross is level. Grace and mercy is offered to all who humble themselves there.

    1. Elizabeth Carlock says:

      Amen.

  7. Angie says:

    LAURA, I prayed the song by Chris Tomlin for your daughter today.
    May her earthly birthday bring light to her need for an eternal/spiritual birthday.

    Jesus Loves Me…by Chris Tomlin

    I was lost, I was in chains the world had a hold of me.
    My heart was a stone, I was covered in shame when He came for me.
    I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence.
    I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His arms.
    Jesus, He loves me, He loves me. He is for me.
    Jesus, how can it be, He loves me. He is for me.
    It was a fire, deep in my soul, I’ll never be the same.
    I stepped out the dark and into the light, when He called my name.
    I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence.
    I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His arms.
    Jesus, He loves me, He loves me. He is for me.
    Jesus, how can it be, He loves me. He is for me.
    He holds the stars and He holds my heart.
    With healing hands that bear the scars.
    The rugged cross where He died for me.
    My only hope.
    My everything.
    Jesus, He loves me, He loves me. He is for me.
    Jesus, how can it be, He loves me. He is for me.

    I add your family members SARAH D. and JILL…and my own.
    Praise God for His amazing love.

  8. Lindsay C. says:

    I keep going back to how Cornelius invited a large gathering of relatives and close friends to hear Peter. The angel had not asked him to do this, yet Cornelius was eager to share in whatever news the Lord was bringing him. Because of this, the Holy Spirit was able to reach the entire room of people instead of just Cornelius himself.

    In my sin and pride and pain, I may have been tempted to meet with Peter alone, to hoard up this good news for myself, dropping morsels of it to others in ways that would glorify me instead of God. As I read and delight in God and His word, mainly keeping it to myself, I stop and wonder if that’s not exactly what I’m already doing.

    God chose Cornelius because He knew Cornelius would respond in obedience. May I live worthy to respond as such.

    1. La AnnLow says:

      This is an important piece of insight for me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *