(photo credit: frstephensmuts.wordpress.com)
*dusts cobwebs off this blog*
I haven’t been here in a while; I’m sorry about that. I have something for you today though and it’s about a certain Roman soldier. We find his story in the Book of Acts, chapter 10. Let’s read a few verses:
Acts 10:1-2 (emphasis added) “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.“
Here we see a Roman that the Bible recorded was a devout man that feared God. When I read this passage, I wondered what “God” he feared. I don’t know about you but I sort of had this notion in my head (from the Old Testament) that only the Israelites knew the True God and every other human being either didn’t know God or knew some other god.
Well, we know from the rest of the chapter that it was the “God God” that this Roman soldier feared and prayed to. But that’s not where I’m going with this article. Moving on: this soldier feared God so much and did good deeds enough that God sent an angel to him in a vision (vs. 3-6). I think seeing an angel is a pretty “divine” thing. (Disclaimer: I’m not saying we should seek visions of angels).
We have gotten to the point I’m trying to make: Even though this man feared God and was devout and did good works, not even all these could “save” him; if they could save him, God would not have asked him to send for Peter who preached salvation through believing Jesus Christ.
Paul puts it this way in Romans 3: 20-22:
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…“
Food for thought:
There’s no amount of ‘righteousness’ acts/deeds that can bring us salvation. However, when Jesus died for us, His righteousness was imputed to us who believe as 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.“
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Note: This article does not discuss the place of good works after salvation.