SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT CORNELIUS
1. There have been many sermons preached about Cornelius.
A. Usually, such sermons take into consideration his goodness, etc. But it is also noted that he was not a saved man.
1) Therefore, goodness alone will not save one.
2. In our study on the subject of Cornelius, I want us to look at his attitude.
A. Yes, I realize that there have been many lessons taught on attitudes, Matt. 5:3-12 Phil. 2:5.
1) But how many lessons have you heard on attitudes using Cornelius as an example?
I. THREE MIRACLES.
A. There were three miracles used in this story and every one of them deals with attitudes.
1. The first miracle was to change the attitude of Cornelius, Acts 10:3-6; 11:13,14.
a. He had to realize that he was in a lost condition, in spite of his many commendable traits.
1) It is obvious that this miracle accomplished its purpose.
2. The second miracle involved the attitude of Peter; his attitude toward Gentiles had to be changed, Acts 10:9-20; 11:5-10.
a. Peter now realizes that salvation through the gospel is to be extended to the Gentile world.
1) Reread Peter's explanation to his fellow Jews back in Jerusalem, 11:4-17.
a) Not only does his changed attitude show through, but the attitude of his Jewish brethren also shows a change, causing them to say: "God also to the Gentiles has granted repentance unto life."
3. The third miracle changes the attitude of those Jewish brethren that travelled with Peter to the house of Cornelius, 10:23; 11:12,13.
B. Now, having looked at these things, we are ready to learn some lessons on attitudes from Cornelius.
II. THE PREACHER.
A. "And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him," Acts 10:25.
1. Obviously, Cornelius goes too far and is rebuked by Peter.
a. However his attitude toward Peter was right.
1) To fully understand this, we need to realize that Peter's function was a witness of the Lord and a message bearer to the world, Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15,16; Acts 2:39.
2) Cornelius needed this message, 11:14.
a) Indeed, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace..." Rom. 10:15.
2. Peter was one of God's "sent ones", and Cornelius was trying to show respect for the Lord's messenger.
a. The importance of Peter was not to be found in his person, but in his message.
1) And so it is today with gospel preachers.
a) What is your attitude toward God's messengers?
III. THE WORD OF GOD.
A. Cornelius' attitude toward the word of God can be seen in Acts 10:33, "Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God."
1. His spiritual food was vested in this man Peter, he had the words whereby Cornelius might be saved, 11:14; Jno. 17:17; 8:32.
a. A few years earlier some three thousand souls had gladly received this word, 2:41.
1) Cornelius now has the same attitude as they toward the word.
a) Concerning this word, look at these passages: 2 Tim. 4:1,2; Titus 2:14.
IV. TOWARD HIS RELATIVES AND FRIENDS.
A. His attitude toward his relatives and friends would put most of us to shame, 10:24.
1. He was concerned about their spiritual welfare.
a. He knew that he needed the words of this preacher for his own salvation and welfare.
1) He also knew that his relatives and friends needed the same word as well.
a) Can't you just imagine him telling them: "There is a man that is coming to my house to tell me words whereby I might be saved."
b) "Relatives and friends please come and let us meet him together, and receive the blessings that he will tell us of."
c) He did not encourage them to come and see this man's mannerisms and what type of clothes he wears, etc.
V. LOOKING AT HIMSELF.
A. His attitude toward himself had changed.
1. He had come to the realization that he was lost and undone.
a. This was a fact that could not be ignored.
1) He didn't ignore it but acted upon it immediately.
VI. APPLICATION FOR TODAY.
A. Can we moderns learn lessons from this story of Cornelius?
1. I believe that we can.
a. Let us look at it mathematically:
1) Right attitude toward the preacher + right attitude toward the word + right attitude toward relatives and friends + right attitude toward self=success.
If we develop the right attitudes in all that we do, successes will surely come our way.
By Jim Sasser
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