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The Story of Cornelius
Before the Lord Jesus went up into Heaven, He gave command to the Apostles to disciple all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. In view of the far-flung purpose of God to reach the Gentiles, Saul had been recently saved and commissioned. However, while Saul was in preparation of this larger work, God was turning in mercy toward a people who knew Him not.
It is for this reason, that our interest deepens as we come to the story of Cornelius, a centurion of Caesarea. Let us seek to discover the inside meanings of this marvelous Divine record of the first distinctively Gentile ministry wrought by Peter.
As we study let us mark the effect of this ministry upon the larger and later ministry of Paul We detect in back of the remarkable scenes of Acts 10:1-48 , the hand of God preparing the hearts of Peter and of the Jerusalem saints to give to Paul a cordial right hand of fellowship as he turned to the Gentiles with the message of the grace of God.
When Peter saw the Holy Ghost fall upon Cornelius, a Gentile, he said, "I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him." Peter could never retract this statement. He had put himself on record. Thus was the calling of the Church enlarged to include the Gentiles, and thus was the Jewish contingency effectually won over to sanction the Gentile missionary journeys of Paul.
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.
Read the first section of the Scripture assigned.
I. LET US OBSERVE A GENTILE, CORNELIUS THE CENTURION, CALLING UPON GOD (Acts 10:1-2 )
Cornelius the centurion was a centurion of a band called the Italian band. One would have thought such a man, of such a race, of such an age, and of such an occupation, to have been wholly corrupted by sin, and wholly neglectful of God. Not so. Cornelius was a devout man. He feared God, and his whole house feared God with him. More than that Cornelius gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
Where Cornelius received his knowledge of God, we do not know. He may have been greatly moved by the mighty marvels that God had wrought during the past several years. The life and ministry of Christ, with His death and resurrection, had not occurred in a corner. The whole world had felt the impact of those great events. The coming of the Spirit, the talking in tongues, the baptism of about 3,000 the unparalleled liberality of the Christians, the healing of the lame man at the beautiful gate of the Temple, the death of Stephen, the conversion of Saul, the deliverance of Peter from a Roman prison; much, or all of these events; had come to his hearing.
Cornelius was different than many, Others passed up the things they saw and heard; Cornelius gave heed. Others centered their life in the things of self, and the things under the sun; Cornelius centered his life in the things of God, and in the things beyond the sun. Others laid by for themselves treasures where the moth and rust corrupt; Cornelius cared for the poor, and laid up treasures in Heaven.
II. LET US CONSIDER HOW GOD TOOK COGNIZANCE OF CORNELIUS (Acts 10:3-4 )
"The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him."
We do not assert that Cornelius was a saved man; we do assert that his sincerity of heart, his alms toward the poor, and his prayers to God, all found favor with the Lord.
God watches the man who seeks to please Him. God looks upon the heart. He studies the motive which prompts action in men. He who walks in the flesh cannot please God; yet, the men in the flesh, who seek after God and call upon His Name will be found of Him. Whosoever calleth on the Name of the Lord will be saved. The sacrifices of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord; he that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but, whoso confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall find mercy. The publican will find God ready to hear, when he prays, "God be merciful to me a sinner."
Blessed fact God is interested in men; He is watching for men who seek His face. He who sees the sparrow does not fail to see the seeking soul. It was when the prodigal was still the prodigal, and still a great way off that his father saw him, and ran, and had compassion, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Peter conceded the fact that Cornelius feared God and wrought righteousness. Therefore God came to His rescue. Cornelius lived up to the light that he had, therefore God gave him more light.
It will not take long for a seeking sinner, and a seeking Saviour, to meet. When one yearneth for God as yearns the hart for the waterbrook, God will be found of him.
III. LET US PONDER THE RELATIONSHIP OF ANGELS TO HUMAN MINISTERING (Acts 10:3 )
Cornelius saw in a vision, an angel of God coming to him, and saying unto him, "Cornelius." All of us believe in the ministry of angels, for God has said, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
However, the ministry of angels as we experience it, is an unseen ministry. Throughout the ages past, angels did, from time to time appear unto men; and, in Apostolic days angels appeared on various occasions to direct or to deliver saints. All of these cases as we weigh them seem to carry exigencies that could not otherwise be met than by angelic aid.
Of one thing we may rest assured, God was tremendously interested in the almsdeeds and prayers of Cornelius. We dare not doubt that God sees and rewards our deeds; nor, dare we doubt that He hears and answers our prayers.
There is just one other word we would say before we pass to our next consideration when God does speak by a vision, and by angel, let us not neglect His message or warning. "We need to remember, that words spoken by angels are steadfast.
IV. LET US WEIGH THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY AN ANGEL (Acts 10:4-6 )
The angel, in a vision, said to Cornelius several things we need weigh,
1. He said that the prayers and alms of Cornelius had come up before God as a memorial. From this we learn that God not only sees, but that He remembers; and, we may add, that He records our Godward earth deeds. The word "memorial" is a strong word. A "memorial" is the recognition of a worthy accomplishment. A "memorial" is a monumental recognition. A "memorial" is a published and proclaimed recognition. A "memorial" is a not-to-be-forgotten recognition a perpetuated recognition.
We are sure that God knows what we are, and what we do in this earth life. We are also sure that He makes indelible the record of these things.
What value does all of this, place upon our earthly deeds, and upon our manner of life? It lifts everything out of the trivial and the inconsequential, and adds dignity and far-reaching effect to each step of our way.
If what we are and what we do in this life is memorialized in Heaven, we had better weigh well our acts.
V. LET US NOTE THAT CORNELIUS SHOULD SEND MEN TO JOPPA, AND CALL FOR ONE SIMON, WHOSE SURNAME IS PETER (Acts 10:5-6 )
To what lengths will God go to answer prayer! He first sent an angel to Cornelius to give him instructions to send for Peter; He next sent the same angel, or another angel to Peter to prepare him, in heart, to go to Cornelius. Thus, God joined Heavenly and earthly ministrations, all to make grace effective in behalf of a soul that sought His face.
Let us then assure our hearts that God is always interested in our word and work as we preach redemption. Let us guard against prayers, wherein we plead with God as though He was unwilling to save some lost sinner. Let us rather see the willingness of God to save, and pray that we may heartily join with Him in His great work, by carrying the message of salvation to the lost. We still believe that God will move Heaven and earth to save a seeking sinner.
Sometimes we speak of personal work. That is well and good. But personal work must be done by the person appointed. The angel said, "Call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter." It was not the maid who answered the knock of the servants and soldiers, it was Peter. It was not any other of the saints who dwelt in Joppa, it was Peter, We take it that Peter was prepared to tell Cornelius what God wanted Cornelius to know. We take it that Peter was better prepared the best one available whom God could send to Cornelius. God wanted Peter to go, for Peter could do the work desired.
However, back of Cornelius' need for Peter, we feel that God had another purpose in commanding that Peter be called. Peter needed the lesson that God was about to show him. Indeed, if God had sent some other disciple of smaller influence among the saints of the Jerusalem district, there is but little doubt that Peter and the rest of the Church would have raised objection. In sending Peter, who was a pillar, an Apostle, and an outspoken leader, God made Cornelius more welcomed among Jewish saints.
The command of Christ had been to the Jew first, and on to the end of the earth; but the "circumcision" had made it to the Jew first, and to the Jew all of the time.
Now we see the reason for the carefully worded instructions, "To Joppa," to "Simon, whose surname is Peter." "He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side." It is evident that God wanted Peter and none other, to be called to the house of Cornelius; and He guarded against any mistake.
No wonder then that when Peter had completed his task, and he had seen Cornelius saved, he said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted."
A little later, as we open chapter 11 of Acts, we will discover new light on the wisdom in God sending Peter to this Gentile, Cornelius. We will learn that the Apostles and brethren in Judea even contended with Peter, saying, "Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them." What then, would have happened if a man of smaller weight had gone? Even with Peter, it was only when he had fully rehearsed the vision of the net, and the call of the angel, and the falling of the Holy Ghost upon the household of Cornelius, that the "circumcision" "held their peace, and glorified God."
VI. LET US MARK THE PROMPT OBEDIENCE OF CORNELIUS TO THE ANGEL'S INSTRUCTION (Acts 10:7-8 )
As soon as the angel who was sent unto Cornelius had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier (mark the word, "devout") and declared unto them all things that had happened. Then he sent them to Joppa.
We are reminded of the visit of the angel to the shepherds, and of how he said, "Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." Then the shepherds said, "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." Then they came with haste and found all things as the Lord had told them.
Let us never hesitate to follow the voice of the Lord. If we have the obedience of faith our obedience will be rewarded, for God is always true to His Word.
VII. PETER'S VISION (Acts 10:9-48 )
While the men from Cornelius were en route to Joppa to seek Peter, the Apostle was being prepared to receive them.
As he prayed on the house top, he saw a net let down from heaven, filled with wild beasts, and creeping things and fowls of the air. Then there came a voice, "Arise, Peter; slay, and eat." Peter was quick to reply, "Lord, I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean." The voice spoke and said, "What God hath cleansed, call thou not common." This was done thrice.
While Peter wondered what it all meant the men sent by Cornelius stood at the door asking for Peter.
When Peter heard their story, he at once understood his vision. Then Peter went down, and said to Cornelius, "Ye know that it is an unlawful thing, for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or to come unto one of another nation, but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean, therefore came I unto you."
Having spoken thus, Peter opened up unto Cornelius the plan of salvation, preaching the old story in a simple way.
While he yet spake "The Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." Thus they were baptized, and God had demonstrated forever that there is no difference, but that alt who call upon Him should be saved.
In all of this there is God's call to us to go far hence and preach the Gospel to every creature.
There are yet many Corneliuses asking the way for salvation.
After His Resurrection
As introductory to what shall follow, we wish to call attention to the fact that the early Church gave an unchallenged testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Scribes and the Pharisees dared not attack this testimony because they knew that the populace accepted the statement of the disciples.
The Eleven, and many others had seen Christ after His resurrection. We have just read how God raised up Christ on the third day and showed Him openly; not to all the people, but "unto witnesses chosen of God." We have also just read how the disciples did eat and drink with Christ after He rose from the dead, and how the Lord commanded them to preach unto the people that it was Christ who was ordained of God to be the Judge of the quick and the dead.
There are three outstanding things to which we call your attention.
1. The disciples testified to that which they had seen. They were eyewitnesses of a Risen Christ.
At Pentecost Peter preached to the multitude that they had taken and crucified Christ with wicked hands. Then He said: "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it."
It was this testimony of Peter to the Risen Christ which brought such tremendous conviction upon the people, and led to the salvation of about three thousand souls.
It was because Jesus Christ, whom they had crucified, was now raised from the dead, that led so many of the Jews to repent and to believe.
After Pentecost Peter did not hesitate to tell the rulers that they had killed the Prince of life, whom God had raised from the dead, whereof they were witnesses. Peter even said unto the rulers and elders of Israel, "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole."
The message Peter gave was the message given by all of the disciples. It was the message also of Paul and of the early Church. It should ever be the message of every heralder of Christ even unto this day.
2. The disciples insisted that they did eat and drink with Christ after His resurrection. The resurrection to them was real. The Lord Jesus did not appear unto them as a Spirit, but as One clothed with a body of flesh and of bone. He carried with Him the nail-prints in His hands and feet. He could say to the disciples, "Handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have." He could eat the broiled fish and the honeycomb; and He could drink with them, because His body was real.
All of this is very vital to the faith of saints, for we too shall have bodies fashioned like unto His glorified body; we too shall be visible, and physical, and tangible in the resurrection. There is altogether too much of a limited conception concerning the resurrection. Heaven is real. Its walls are real; its river is real; its fruit trees are real; its Risen Christ is real. We too will be real over there, and our bodies will be real.
3. The disciples were commanded to preach that Christ was the Judge of the quick and the dead. He who came forth from the tomb is ordained of God to judge all men, both the living and the dead. The saints must stand before Him at His judgment seat in the air; the wicked must stand before Him at the Great White Throne. There is no comfort in this post-resurrection command of the Risen Christ for the annihilationist. He may proclaim that the dead cease to exist, and that the wicked pass out into nonentity: however, contrary to this, the disciples were commanded to preach that Christ would judge the dead as well as the living.
I. CHRIST APPEARED UNTO PETER (Luke 24:34 )
The Apostle Peter had had a somewhat checkered experience in the days immediately preceding the crucifixion. (1) He had first been boastful of his own prowess and fidelity, (2) He had next gone to sleep when he should have been praying. (3) He had, shortly after, sought, by cutting off the ear of the servant of the high priest, to prove his devotion. (4) He then may have followed afar off with wounded feelings, because Christ had commanded him to put up his sword. (5) He went in, and stood with the enemies warming himself at the fire. (6) He finally cursed and swore saying, "I know not the Man."
After the successive events, noted above, the Lord turned and looked at Peter, and Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Later on, at the Cross, Peter had stood as an eyewitness of the sufferings of Christ. To the thief, to John, and to Mary, Christ had spoken; but not one word was said to the man who stood afar off, weeping because of his denial, and because the One he loved was suspended upon the Cross.
Finally Christ was taken down from the Cross and laid in Joseph's tomb. Those must have been three anguish-filled days and nights which Peter spent after the Lord's burial. It was after three days that the angel had spoken to Mary those memorable words, "Go * * tell His disciples and Peter." The Lord, evidently, knew that Peter had ceased to count himself "in" among the Eleven. He had felt himself utterly unworthy of having fellowship with the Lord. It was then that he was begotten again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Christ.
Following the words of the women, Peter and John had run to the sepulcher, but John did outrun Peter. Then, afterward came Peter, and he rushed into the sepulcher. John, then, also entered in, and when he saw the linen clothes lying, and the napkin, lying, folded in a place by itself, he believed.
It was after Peter's visit to the empty tomb, that the Lord appeared to him. The Scriptures do not give us any word of the conversation which ensued. We know that it was an hallowed hour. We are satisfied that this appearance to Peter had to do with Peter's denial of the Lord. We are sure that the Lord affirmed His faith in Peter's love and devotion, and that He expressed Himself a Saviour, willing to pardon the one who had, so manifestly, a broken and a contrite heart.
II. CHRIST APPEARED UNTO CERTAIN DISCIPLES (John 21:1 )
It was after that gracious appearance unto Peter that Simon Peter said unto the disciples, "I go a fishing." They say unto him, "We also go with thee." All that night they fished and caught nothing. "When the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus."
The Lord inquired of the disciples as to whether they had caught any fish, and they answered Him, "No." He then quietly commanded, "Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast, therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes."
When John saw what was done, he said unto Peter, "It is the Lord." Simon Peter then girt his coat about him, and cast himself into the sea.
When they had all come to the shore, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon and bread. The Lord said, "Bring of the fish which ye have now caught." When, therefore, they had drawn in the net, they counted a hundred and fifty and three great fishes.
1. A memorable dinner. The Lord Jesus now said unto the disciples, "Come and dine." It must have been a marvelous hour as the Lord came, and took of the bread, and of the fish, and gave unto them!
We also are invited to eat with our Risen Lord. He has said, "I will come in to [thee], and will sup with [thee]."
"Come and dine, the Master calleth, Come and dine,
You may feast at Jesus' table all the time."
We wonder, moreover, if this feast with the Risen Christ did not anticipate that hour when, in the Kingdom of God, Christ will take of the bread and of the cup once more with His own.
2. A startling question. "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs."
Three times did Christ ask a similar question; only, the third time He dropped the word He had been using for "love" and used another word expressive of filial devotion, saying, "Lovest thou Me?" This grieved Peter. Nevertheless, however, Peter understood the meaning of it all. He knew that the Lord was gently rebuking him for his erstwhile self-confidence, and for his feeling of priority over the other disciples. He knew, also, that the Lord was now giving back unto him his work, even as He said, "Feed My lambs," "Feed My sheep."
3. A striking command, "Follow Me." Peter had, of old, been more or less self-willed, walking whithersoever he would. Christ told him that when he was old other hands would gird him, and carry him whither he would not desire, naturally, to go. Then he said, "Follow Me."
Peter immediately asked, "What shall this man do?" He referred to John. However, Jesus said, "What is that to thee? follow thou Me."
Of one thing we are certain, the disciple must follow his Lord.
III. THE FINAL APPEARANCE WITH THE DISCIPLES (Luke 24:50-53 )
There were other appearances beside the ones we are considering. Christ appeared unto James; He also appeared unto over five hundred brethren at once. Of these appearances we know but little.
The final appearance, however, which led up to the "ascension" is most marked in the Scriptures.
1. It was then that Christ gave command unto His disciples about their world-wide testimony. Matthew, Mark, and Luke each give statements of the last great commission. These statements are not just the same, because they were, no doubt, given on several different occasions after His resurrection. Either this, or else the statements in the three Gospels, together, include the whole of the scope of Christ's final command.
Matthew says: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them."
Mark says: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."
Luke says: "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
In Acts we read: "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
We have no doubt that Christ said each of the above, as severally recorded in three of the Gospels and in Acts. This four times given command, at least places great emphasis upon the fact that Christ's final words were a call and a command to faithful witnessing. Another comparison is worthy of note:
In Matthew Christ said, "All power is given unto Me, * * Go."
In Mark Christ said, "These signs shall follow them that believe."
In Luke Christ said, "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
In Acts Christ said, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."
Thus, in connection with the great post-resurrection command, we have in each case assurance that Christ will be with His witnesses backing them with His power, as they are anointed of the Spirit.
2. It was then that Christ gave command that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father. The Lord plainly taught that His disciples should be baptized in the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When the disciples asked Him if this meant the restoring of the Kingdom to Israel, He told them that it meant to them the receiving of power from on high.
It was when He had spoken these things that He went up. Let us therefore lay great weight to this final promise of our Lord, remembering that He who hath sent us forth has promised to panoply us with power from on high. It is just as necessary for us to be empowered today in our testimony, as it was for the disciples to be empowered in their day for their testimony.
3. It was then that Christ was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. That was a wonderful conclusion to the words and work of the Master. He began His ministry as others begin it; but He did not close His as others close theirs. Our testimony and witnessing is completed at our decease; His overlapped His decease, and was not completed until His ascension.
IV. HE APPEARED UNTO STEPHEN (Acts 7:56 )
Stephen was one of the seven chosen to look after the affairs of the Jerusalem Church. He fulfilled his calling so faithfully, in attending to temporals, that God blessed him in the spirituals.
1. Stephen became a spirit-filled witness to Jesus Christ. The Bible record of his last sermon is found in Acts 7:1-60 , and it discloses the marvelous knowledge of God's dealings with His people, which Stephen possessed, Stephen concluded his stirring recitation of Israel's history by saying, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye."
Stephen contended that the fathers had persecuted the Prophets, and had slain them who had foretold of the coming of the Just One; and that now they, themselves, had been His betrayers and murderers.
2. Stephen became a martyr to his testimony. As Stephen yet spoke, the crowd rushed upon him, gnashing their teeth, for they were cut to the heart. Not for one moment, however, did this matchless man hesitate. Having loved his Lord, he was faithful to the end. He did not quail; he did not cry out with fear.
3. Stephen saw the Lord standing at the Father's right hand. Here are the words of Holy Writ: "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into Heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God."
Then Stephen said, "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God."
This presents unto us one of the two visions of Christ which were both post-resurrection and post-ascension.
What a glorious testimony is the dying message of this early Church martyr! We can almost see his shining face, lighted with the glory as of an angel. We can also see the gathered multitude, as, swayed with anger, they rush upon the Lord's witness: we see them running against him, with their fingers in their ears; we see them catching up stones from the wayside, and casting them at Stephen, More than all we can hear Stephen praying his last audible prayer, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."
V. HE APPEARED UNTO PAUL, AS ONE BORN AN ABORTIVE (1 Corinthians 15:8 )
"And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time."
1. The Lord's appearance unto Saul of Tarsus magnified the grace of God. Paul afterward said, "When it pleased God, who * * called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me."
Saul had before been a persecuter and injurious. Some one has suggested that
"The proudest heart that ever rose,
To hate God's cause, and aid His foes,
was conquered, and subdued in Saul's conversion.
2. The Lord's appearance to Saul of Tarsus manifested the power of prayer. Saul afterward spoke of certain of his relatives, Adronicus and Junia, whom he said, "Were in Christ before me." These kinsfolk were of note among the Apostles. We can readily discern their part in testimony, but more particularly in prayer, in behalf of their persecuting kinsman.
3. The Lord's appearance to Saul of Tarsus marked his call as Apostle of the Gentiles. Paul wrote of how God revealed His Son "in me," "that I might preach Him among the heathen (Gentiles)."
To Ananias God said of Paul, "He is a chosen vessel unto Me." Thus did God see in a great persecuter, a great preacher. Thus did God, who trieth the hearts, discover that it was in ignorance and in unbelief that Saul strove against Him; but that the same Saul, with physical eyes closed and spiritual eyes opened, would be a willing martyr to the faith. And therefore God showed the persecuter how great things he should suffer for His Name.
4. The Lord's appearance to Saul of Tarsus revealed to the world the compassion that the Lord has for His suffering saints. The Lord said unto Saul, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" The Lord came by the Damascus loadside to shield and to protect His own from the tyranny of a self-seeking and Satan-driven man. The Lord is risen indeed; and He is still interested in those who bear His Name,
5. The Lord's appearance to Saul of Tarsus demonstrates God's willingness to save the chief of sinners. If the Lord appeared to Saul, may He not appear to the worst of men? "The Lord is * * not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
6. The appearance of the Lord to Saul of Tarsus was a foreshadowing of His final appearance to Israel. Paul wrote, in the Spirit, "Last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time."
"Out of due time," means as "an abortive." In what sense was Saul of Tarsus born ahead of his time? In this sense: he was an ensample of them who should afterward believe. That is, Saul's conversion was a type of the conversion of his own race and nation.
(1) Saul was saved by the forth-shining of the Lord, so shall Israel also be saved.
(2) Saul looked on Him whom He had derided, and against whom he had fought; so shall Israel look upon Him whom she has despised and against whom her tongue has run throughout the whole world.
(3) Saul heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Why persecutest thou Me?" Israel shall also awaken to the fact that she has fought her Messiah, in the blindness of her unbelief.
(4) Saul cried, "Who art Thou, Lord?" Israel shall also cry a similar strain as she sees the print of the nails in His hands, when the Lord appears in the glory cloud, Saul cried, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" Israel shall yet so cry, Saul was commissioned to go to the Gentiles. So one happy day shall Israel hear the voice of the Lord sending her as His witness that He is God, even unto the ends of earth. Then shall the Gentiles come into the light of the Lord.
A lady who was living a life of pleasure, and revelling in the realms of fast society suddenly gave up her worldly life. She made a public confession of her faith in Christ, united with the church, and became active in Christian service. It was whispered around among her friends that her strange actions and her religious pursuits were due to disappointment in love. This was based partly on the fact that she had told one of her former worldly companions who had asked her why she had become religious that the secret was in a locket which she wore on a chain about her neck.
In after years when she lay dead her old companion opened the locket expecting to find the picture of her supposed lover. Instead, however, a little faded piece of paper fell out. When this paper was examined it was seen to be a clipping from the Bible, and the words printed upon it read, "Whom having not seen I love. In whom though yet not seeing, but believing, I rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
It is only when fellowship with this risen, ascended and seated Lord is ours, and when we live in touch with our beloved Lord, that we will live separated from the world, and dedicated to the service of God.
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Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Acts 10". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29