Saving the Devout Man

by Donny Weimar

baptism1Cornelius was a righteous man. He believed in God and prayed regularly. His family trusted in God because of Cornelius’ devotion to Jehovah. With all his sincerity Cornelius still had to be told what he must do to become saved. Some people take Acts 10 to teach the sinner’s prayer. We don’t read of that in Acts, however. In fact, there is no place in the entire Bible where a not yet saved person is told to pray a sinner’s prayer only. Unsaved people are told to be baptized and calling on the name of the Lord in Acts 22:16. Saved people are told to pray a prayer of confession, as Simon the former sorcerer did in Acts 8; asking for forgiveness. Yet, Simon had already obeyed the Gospel by being baptized (Acts 8:12). After being brought to Christ, he wanted to purchase the ability to perform miracles as the apostles did. Peter rebuked him and Simon requested prayer. An angel told Cornelius to send men to Joppa to bring an answer to his prayers. The angel said, “Thy prayers and thine alms are come up a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and call one Simon whose sir name is Peter…he shall tell thee what thou must do” (Acts 10:4b-5, 6b KJV). Peter goes to Cornelius and while he is teaching Cornelius’ household, the Spirit falls upon them and evidence is given the apostle that the Gentiles are welcome into the church of Christ. (The church was comprised of Jewish Christians at that time.) At the end of the chapter he says, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” (Acts 10:47-48a). Cornelius was not saved until he did what the apostle gave instructions to do. As sincere as he was in his prayer life, and as devout as he was; it was the Lord’s command that he be immersed (Greek definition of baptism).

“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16)

 

 

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