(A short sharing outline)

“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” (Acts 10:34-35 NIV)

Text: The Truth about Cornelius in Acts 10
Background: An angel appeared to Cornelius so he could send for Peter.

A. Cornelius’ characteristics

 1. Devout

 2. God-fearing

 3. Generous

 4. Prayed to God regularly.

B. The missing ingredient: HE WAS NOT YET SAVED

 1. Angels told him to send for Peter so that he and his family would be saved through his ministry.

 2. Angels do not have the privilege of sharing the Gospel; only us humans.

    -that's why we need to tell people about Jesus.

 3. It was possible to be devout, God-fearing, generous and praying regularly and YET be unsaved.

C. The Real Question: WHY?

 1. Because good works are not enough

    “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. (Rom 3:23 NLT)

 2. If good works can save us, then Jesus didn't have to die on the cross.

    “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8 NIV)

    -Jesus didn't die for good people.

 3. Salvation is having faith in Jesus.

    a. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NIV)

    - our good works bring credit to ourselves, not to what Jesus has done.

 b. There is only way to the Father in heaven: through Jesus

“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”” (Jn 14:6 NIV)

    -Jesus didn't say that He's 'a' way, or 'one of' the truth. He is THE way, THE truth, THE life.

    -If one wants to make it to heaven where the Father is, one has to go through Jesus.

 c. Salvation requires that you call out to Jesus - only.

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”” (Rom 10:9-13 NIV)

Conclusion:
Our good works are only 'good' at the foot of the cross. Without the cross, they are nothing.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8-9 NIV)

Back to Cornelius: He and his family got saved, Holy Spirit baptized, and water baptized. He was a prominent man, a man of dignity, and yet, he humbled himself and accepted that his good works were not enough. He needed Jesus in his life as Savior, just like everybody else.

Reflection:      Have you accepted the gift of God unto salvation?
                      Do you know any ‘Cornelius’  around you?