Cornelius, a Just Man Who Feared God

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jerry Shugart, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Jerry Shugart

    Jerry Shugart
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    Here we read what is said about Cornelius before he was saved:

    "And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee" (Acts 10:22).

    How can that be explained?

    Here is what Peter said to him before he heard the gospel and was saved:

    "Then Peter opened his mouth, and 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 with him" (Acts 10:34-35).

    How can that be explained?
     
  2. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Just more of your 'cultish practices.':laugh: (according to Biblicist, that is:rolleyes:)
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    First we have to examine the GK, then allow Biblicist to determine a context that will fit his predetermined ends, and then Biblicist will have to tell us who this passage was being written or spoken to, ...
    Did I miss any particulars we first need to first address? I am dead serious. This is precisely how every discussion has been approached by some. Here is the logic employed.: If we don't like the testimony of Scripture, we will simply change it to fit our desires by whatever means we deem fit to use.
     
  4. Jerry Shugart

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    Yes, I am waiting for the Biblict or any of the Calivinists to correct me. However, at this point it seems as if the Calvinists are avoiding this thread for some reason.

    Why would they leave me in ignorance by not informing me how I took things out of context? They have never been shy about setting me straight before!
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Maybe Cornelius was just another 'isolated incident' like the infilling of John the Baptist 'from his mothers womb.' :rolleyes:

    Why is it that some just ignore these men like the plague, and will not apply the truth Scripture reveals to us concerning them to their notions of inherited moral depravity from birth, all being born spiritually dead? There is no attempt at harmonization of Scriptural truth. Simply a blind acceptance of a dogma straight from the heathen philosophical playbook of Augustine.

    Patience is in order. Maybe they are simply away on a long journey.
     
  6. 12strings

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    1. The moniker "God-fearer" was a term given to those Gentiles who acknowledge that the God of Israel was the one true God, but who did not make the full immersion into Israelite life (circumcision, feasts, etc.) This describes Cornelius.

    2. When the scriptures calls a man "righteous", we must consider it in light of other scriptures that say there is "none righteous". The solution may not be immediatly apparent, but you have to admit that it does require some working out. You can't simply say, "Well, there are "none righteous...except cornelius, and Job, and Joseph." God describes several people as being "righteous," including Job, who goes on later to acknowledge his own sinfulness.

    3. God does say he will accept the righteous, but he also says none is righteous. God says if we break one point of the law, we are guilty of all of it.

    4. I'm not sure of the point of your post, but you seem to be believing the "Myth of the noble pagan." It is an old idea, promoted in movies like Tarzan, Pocahantas, Avatar...in which people who are left to themselves outside modern influence will naturally be good if only we don't corrupt them. The fact is it isn't true. All people groups, large or small, remote or not, descend into base sin and need the gospel of Christ to come and reveal to them the righteousness that comes by faith in Christ.

    5. Read Romans 10:1-4. Paul prays for the salvation of these Jews, who despite having a "zeal for God" that drove them try to be righteous; are NOT Saved. In fact their very sin is the fact that they are seeking to establish their own righteousness, rather than rely on the righteousness that God wants to give them in Christ.
     
  7. Winman

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    See how they do it? They simply reverse what the scriptures say.

    Acts 10:31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

    The angel told Cornelius his prayers were heard, and his good works are noted and remembered by God.

    Most folks would consider this a compliment, but not a Calvinist. They say Cornelius was really an evil man, not good. It is impossible (they say) for an unregenerate man to have true faith in God, or do any truly good work acceptable to God, for their motives are wrong.

    This is what Calvinism does, it reverses scripture. If scripture says you must believe to have life, Calvinism will say you must have life to believe. If the scriptures say Cornelius was a good man before he was saved, the Calvinist will say he was a bad man.

    Now, it's true, Cornelius was a sinner as we all are. But he believed in God, and did many truly good works before he heard the gospel, believed, and received the Holy Spirit. This refutes Total Depravity as Calvinism understands it.
     
  8. 12strings

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    I see part of the confusion here that I did not pick up on the first time I read this thread...which I think can be explained like this:

    This was a time of transition in that there were MANY true followers of God (Mostly Jews) who at some point believed in Jesus. Now what about those devout Jews who died right before Jesus came along? Or who died during his childhood, having never heard of him? I believe they would have fallen under the OT system of faith in God, but not knowing exactly about Jesus the NT Gospel we have. I believe they were saved. So it probalby was with Cornelius. He received the H.S. upon hearing the completed work of Christ, Just as did the disciples at pentacost (who were believers before that).

    So you see, we cals are not denying that God heard cornelius's prayers or accepted him at all, but rather I would say that He was simply an OT believer, who's faith was counted as righteousness...and whose faith was a gift from God.

    What you are accusing calvinists of in pointing to this passages is that we believe all the OT believers were righteous and good apart from the H.S. We understand there was a different kind of filling that happened in the NT, but also affirm that the spirit of God worked in the OT to bring people to himself.


    (I have often wondered about this transition from OT to NT belief, and will gladly hear other perspectives on it).
     
  9. 12strings

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    Also, the Calvinist doctrine of Total depravity does not deny that an unbeliever can do truly good works...but rather that (1) sin affects every part of the the person, and (2) sin affects even his efforts at good works, (3) none of his good works will gain him any saving favor with God.

    "All our righteousness is as filthy rags."
    "By works of the law no one will be justified."

    You cannot accuse cals of reversing scripture by saying that there is none righteous...that is exactly what scripture says. It also calls some men righteous..this must be reconciled somehow.
     
  10. 12strings

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    True righteousness...

    Rom. 10: 1-4: Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.

    Rom. 3:21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.

    Phil. 3:7 But awhatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.
     
  11. plain_n_simple

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    Amazing how these Calvin followers think.....
     
  12. Winman

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    OK, so yo believe Cornelius was regenerated by the Holy Spirit before he believed and received the Spirit. How does that work?, please explain in detail.

    How about the Samaritans who heard the woman at the well and believed on Jesus because of her words? How did that work?

    Jn 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of the city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that I ever did.

    This verse explains how and why these Samaritans believed on Jesus, because of the testimony of the woman.

    How do you explain this when we know this woman herself did not receive the Spirit until after Jesus was raised from the dead and glorified?
     
    #12 Winman, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2012
  13. The Biblicist

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    There were those who believed in the Old Testament gospel that anticipated the coming Christ (Acts 10:43) but who did not know that this coming Christ had come in the Person of Jesus of Nazereth.

    36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
    37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
    38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
    39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
    40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
    41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
    42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
    43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
    44 ¶ While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

    There was no satelite television, radio or public media to spread the word and the congregation at Jerusalem was not too concerned about reaching out to Gentiles or going to "all nations" as commissioned.

    They had heard about these things probably second hand and negatively from the Jews but God sent Peter to inform them of these things first hand.

    In short, they already were regenerated believers in the Old Testament gospel (Acts 10:43) which anticipated the coming Messiah by faith but ignorant that Jesus of Nazereth was that Messiah due to distortion by Jewish enemies.

    Finally, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon them is explained by Peter in Acts 11 as what happened on the Day of Pentecost where there was an audible manifestation (Tongues) and filling! Peter and the six Jews he brought with them witnessed another Pentecost upon these Gentile believers in the Old Testament gospel who embraced Jesus of Nazereth as the fulfillment of that gospel and thus God confirmed these Gentiles by the repetition of Pentecost and sign gift of tongues.

    Now, you have your own agenda that you need to use this text for and so you care little or nothing about the truth of it. So go ahead and continue to do what you do best - pervert the scriptures to support your heresies.
     
  14. Winman

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    Biblicist, I was addressing the Calvinists, which you claim you are not.

    The vast majority of Calvinists believe unregenerate man is completely unable to be willing to desire God, or to believe the gospel. Their nature must be supernaturally changed through regeneration before they are willing to believe. They also believe that faith is a gift received at this regeneration.

    So, my question was how Cornelius could truly have faith in God, and do works acceptable to God, when the scriptures clearly say he was not saved, neither had he received the Spirit.

    I also asked about the woman at the well, who also believed, yet did not have the Spirit, and what caused the Samaritans who heard her testimony to believe.

    Now why don't you let the Calvinist (12 Strings) who I asked this question answer for himself.
     
  15. savedbymercy

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    Cornelius was already saved if He feared God, because an unsaved man cannot fear God. Rom 3:18

    There is no fear of God before their eyes.

    This verse describes all men by nature, thats why Paul says in the very next verse Rom 3:18-19


    19Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    So it was not the natural man Cornelius that feared God, but the New Creature. Also Peter acknowledged that Cornelius had already been accepted of God, before He preached to him ! Notice his words Acts 10:34-35

    34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

    Now, it was told us way back in vs 2 that Cornelius feared God Acts 10:2

    2A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

    So he was then already accepted of God ! He was in a saved, regenerated state when God sent him the Gospel of peace !
     
  16. Jerry Shugart

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    The fact that Cornelius was able to have a fear of God proves that all men are able to do the same thing. All men have the ability to believe that God exists, as witnessed by what Paul said here:

    "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse" (Ro.1:18-20).

    Those who "suppress the truth" of that which God has made plain are "without excuse" when they deny the existence of God. Another display of God's eternal power revealed in nature, the weather, results in many having a fear or reverance of God:

    "He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard...Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty...Men do therefore fear him" (Job 37:3-4,22,24).

    The Hebrew word translated "fear" in this verse means "to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe" (Gesenius's Lexicon).

    This demonstrates that "all men" have the ability to know that God exists and all men therefore have the ability to have a reverence of God.

    Kowning that this is true we can know that even before Cornelius heard the gospel he had a reverence of God and he was an earnest seeker of God:

    "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us"</I> (Acts 17:26-27).

    Cornelius seeked God and found the true God as witnessed by the fact that he worshipped the God of the Israelites. And here is what is said about all those people who believe that God exists and earnestly seek Him:

    "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him" </I>(Heb.11:6).

    All men have the ability to know that God exists and all of those men have the ability to earnestly seek Him. Therefore all men have the possibility of being rewarded by God.

    The Calvinists teach that only some men can possibly be rewarded by God but not all.
     
  17. Jerry Shugart

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    If he was already saved then why was Peter sent to him to preach the gospel to him so that he could be saved (Acts 11:13-14)?
     
  18. Jerry Shugart

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    So they were regenerated but not yet saved?
    You are the world champion when it comes to perverting the Scriptures. When a verse does not match your beliefs you just get out your editing pen and add words to it until it does:

    "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned IN ADAM."
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Righteousness is divorced from anything you or I could even think of doing and is delegated to the realm of imputation by Christ alone. All their unrighteous deeds done subsequent to salvation have had the blood applied to them before they ever commit them. If that is not pure antinomianism, and as such a license to sin, what could antinomianism or a license to sin possibly be?
     
  20. billwald

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    If he was "just" and "feared God" then by definition he was regenerate even if he had not yet converted.
     

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