Cornelius’ Salvation, Acts 10

Cornelius’ Salvation Acts 10 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

This sermon examines Cornelius salvation. Cornelius was like many religious men.  He was good but he wasn’t saved.  He had to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.  Perhaps, studying Cornelius salvation will help you realize your own need of Jesus Christ.  Or perhaps Cornelius salvation will help you realize a friend’s need to trust Jesus Christ as his Savior. Examine Cornelius salvation:

Cornelius was devout but he wasn’t saved – Acts 10:2 – people who are serious about their religion are usually devout.  But just because a person is devout doesn’t mean that he is saved.  Salvation is something that Jesus did for us, not something that we do for him.  A devout Catholic, for instance, might go to church every Sunday and on all special holy days.  That doesn’t prove that he is saved.  That proves that he is devout.  No one was more devoted than Paul before he was saved [Phil 3:4-9].

Cornelius feared God but he wasn’t saved – Acts 10:2 – the fear of God is one of the best things that prepares a person for salvation.  When people fear God, they take his judgment and his word seriously.  The trouble with the current generation is that they have not been taught to fear God.  Like Rom 3:18 says, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Cornelius was a God-fearing man but he wasn’t saved.  And just because you fear God doesn’t mean you are saved.

Cornelius gave much alms but he wasn’t saved – Acts 10:2 – some people are extremely generous with their wealth.  They are truly a blessing to those they help.  However, being very charitable is not proof that you are saved.  It proves that you are benevolent.  Benevolence is wonderful but it is not salvation. You are not saved by giving. You are saved by receiving what the Lord gave you [Jn 1:12, Jn 3:16].

Cornelius prayed to God always but he wasn’t saved – Acts 10:2 – it is amazing how faithful some people are to pray.  Devout Muslims pray five time each day.  Orthodox Jews pray three times per day.  But prayer is not what saves you.  That’s why we are careful to emphasize, when dealing with the lost, that reciting a prayer is not salvation.  Salvation is believing in your heart [Rom 10:9-10].  A person who believes in his heart will confess the Lord Jesus with his mouth; but his confession is not what saves him.  It’s his belief [Acts 16:30-31].

Cornelius was a just man but he was not saved – Acts 10:22 – Cornelius was just in the same sense that Paul was just before he was saved.  He was blameless as touching the righteousness that is in the law [Phil 3:6].  As a Gentile, Cornelius wouldn’t have been following the law; he would have been following his conscience [Rom 2:15-16], which, for a Gentile, is the same as following the law.  Yet being just is not the same as being justified in salvation [1 Cor 6:11].  You must receive Jesus Christ and have his righteousness to be saved [2 Cor 5:21].

Cornelius was a good man but he wasn’t saved – Acts 10:22 – Cornelius had a good report among all the nation of the Jews.  And it is important to have a good report among men.  Nevertheless, being a good person doesn’t save you.  You must be saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ [Eph 2:8-9].

Cornelius wasn’t saved until he put his faith in Jesus Christ – Acts 10:43-44 – Gal 2:16 makes it perfectly clear that we are saved by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law.  That is there is nothing that we can do to save ourselves.  Jesus has already done the work of salvation for us.  We must trust him and receive him as our Savior.  That’s how Cornelius was saved and that’s how you will be saved when you trust Jesus.

Conclusion: if you are devout, God-fearing, charitable, prayerful, just and good and you are counting on these excellent qualities to save you, you are not saved yet.  But you can be if you will simply repent of trusting what you’re doing and trust what Jesus Christ has already done for you with his death, burial and resurrection.  He will save you and give you eternal life.  And if you are saved and you know someone like Cornelius, pray and ask God to help you be like Peter so that you can preach Jesus to him.  He needs Jesus to be saved.  Cornelius salvation shows us that salvation is in Jesus Christ [1 Tim 2:5] not in our good works [Tit us 3:5].