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Lord of All Acts 10:1–48

Sunday, November 4: Lord of All

Acts 10:1–48

This week we are going to look at a guy who wanted to worship God but couldn’t because he was unclean.This guy had quite a story. First, he was a slave. Somehow, he ended up in the Roman infantry, and then he so distinguished himself that he won not only his freedom but the rank of centurion. With citizenship came a new name, and he took on the name Cornelius in honor of the man who had earlier freed 10,000 Roman slaves. He was put in charge of 100 Roman soldiers and stationed in the province of Judea.

The Judeans were rascals who claimed that their God was the only true god and that the Roman pantheon was nothing but idols made by human hands. And because these people believed that the only true God was on their side, they were prone to revolt. Cornelius’ job was to discourage that by any means necessary.

But a funny thing happened to Cornelius in Judea. As he rubbed shoulders with the Jewish people, he learned about their God and he was intrigued. He found the teachings of Moses to be more compelling than Greek philosophy, and the Jewish God was certainly more ethical than those of the Romans. Sometime during his post in Judea, he decided that the Jewish God was the true God.

And so, he took up prayer. He gave alms to the poor. He did his best to live the life that God wanted him to live. But he had one problem: he wasn’t Jewish. And because he wasn’t Jewish, he was unclean. And he learned that a holy God cannot dwell with the unclean. So Cornelius was left on the outside.

Then one day, he was praying, and an angel appeared to him and said, “Cornelius. God has heard your prayers. There is this guy named Simon Peter hanging out in Joppa. Go get him.”

And through this man Cornelius, the church was changed forever.

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