After years of teaching the gospel to the Jewish people, God instructed Peter to preach the gospel to a Roman Centurion named Cornelius. Peter was hesitant at first but eventually stood in the home of the gentile soldier and spoke the words of “peace through Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:36). Eventually, Cornelius and the others who were present were “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:48).
The conversation of Cornelius teaches us that God wants everyone to be saved. Peter did not understand this at first but came to realize, “God is not one to show partiality” (Acts 10:34). He went on to say, “in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:35). There is no nation, culture, or class of people who God does not desire to be saved.
The conversion of Cornelius teaches us that we can have a powerful and eternal influence on the people around us. When Peter arrived, he “found many people assembled” (Acts 10:27).
Cornelius was so excited about the message he was about to hear that he “called together his relatives and close friends” (Acts 10:24). We should follow this example and be sure that the people closest to us hear the gospel we have obeyed.
The conversion of Cornelius teaches us that obedience to God results in baptism. Once the message was preached, and Peter realized God’s plan, even for the gentiles, “he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:48). Baptism is a necessary part of spiritual salvation and faithful obedience to God (1 Peter 3:21).