Monday, 31 October 2022
who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ Acts 11:14
Peter’s previous words were citing what he was told by Cornelius. He had seen an angel in his house who directed him to call for Simon Peter who was in Joppa. Now, Peter continues relaying Cornelius’ words, saying, “who will tell you words.”
Peter is being called to specifically speak to Cornelius. One might wonder why the angel didn’t just tell him what he needed to know, but that would be overlooking the purpose and intent of Acts. Acts is given to show how the early church was established. It was also given to confirm the message and authority of the apostles. Peter was given a particular position among the apostles which was to verify those who were accepted into the church.
In other words, a plan had been set forth, the parameters were laid out in advance, and the gospel was being proclaimed within those parameters. As for Peter speaking to Cornelius, it is exactly that “by which you and all your household will be saved.”
The words of Peter were to be the good news of salvation, the gospel. Upon conveying them, those who believed would be saved. As for the term, “you and all your household,” this does not mean that Cornelius’ salvation would lead directly to the salvation of his household as if his faith was sufficient to cover everyone.
Rather, this is a new line of thought not directly introduced in chapter 10. There, it said –
“Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” Acts 10:5, 6
However, it said this previously –
“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household.” Acts 10:1, 2
The family was already a family that feared God. The saving of the household spoken of now is a salvation that was based upon the faith they already possessed. It just needed to be directed properly towards the One whom God had offered for this very purpose, meaning Jesus Christ.
This will be similar to the account in chapter 16 where Paul says something similar to the jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). After saying this, it then says, “Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household” (Acts 16:34).
Paul and Silas were not telling him that his salvation would result in their salvation, but that the necessary condition for any of them was to believe. Those who did, meaning all his household, were saved.
Life application: Since the Bible’s completion, there is now a way that man is saved that has been detailed in Scripture itself. We are to go out and tell others about Jesus. In hearing the word, and in believing that word, people will be saved.
This is explicitly stated in various verses, such as Romans 10:14-17 and elsewhere. As this is so, and as this is God’s word, there should be no reason to believe any story where someone claims that the message was conveyed any other way. Visitations by Jesus, angels, or any other such thing are not now how God tells us about salvation. It does not come through dreams or visions. Rather, it comes through people getting out and doing what the word instructs us to do.
It is our right, our responsibility, and our honor to convey this word to others. Don’t suppose that God will “get the message to them some other way.” You are the means of getting it to them if you are obedient to the word. If not you, then who? Be willing to speak!
Glorious God almighty, thank You for the simplicity of the gospel. We don’t have to learn long and difficult points of theology to direct others to You. We have a simple gospel that conveys the simple message that any can understand. Help us to be willing to speak it out to others so that they may be saved. To Your glory, we pray! Amen.
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