Scriptures: Acts 10:1-11
Cornelius was a Roman centurion: a man many could admire. He was a humble Roman: history shows us that Rome had conquered the Jewish people 60 years before the birth of Christ. The roman people were known to show contempt for the people they conquered, yet Cornelius was devoid of prejudice. He did not look down on the Jews, in fact he worshipped the God of the Jews. Cornelius rejected his cultural background.
He was a devout Gentile: and he did not let anything keep him from praying. He lived the way he prayed, gave much alms to the people. Alms were acts of mercy, compassion, and a true demonstration of love. Cornelius was a Gentile praised by the Jews.
Cornelius was the spiritual leader of his family: he was a good example as a father and husband. He feared God with all his household, while balancing firmness and gentleness. A successful earthly father is submissive to his Heavenly Father.
Cornelius was not yet converted. He was a good man, but being good is not enough for salvation. Cornelius needed Peter to speak to him that words which would provide his salvation. Cornelius was religious, but he needed an experience with the Living God. When he heard the message of salvation, he responded with worship and action.