A Soldier's Mission.

On Memorial Day, we honor those who have brought our nation physical safety. Even greater honor is due to the one man who brought spiritual safety to many - Jesus Christ.

Acts 10 tells the special story of God's care to save a member of the Roman military. The narrative focuses on the soldier Cornelius and the apostle Peter, but God is always the hero. He uses human instruments to achieve his eternal plans.


The book of Acts tells about the early days of the church. God's design was that the Gospel would go to Jewish people first. As the message spread, Jewish Christians were wondering, should the Good News of Jesus Christ go to the Gentiles? Three pivotal converts early in the church's history helped answer this question with a resounding yes. One commentator said that Acts 10 is about "the church opening up its arms to the world." This chapter tells the story of one early convert, Cornelius the Roman centurion.

God is pleased to draw men to Himself (Acts 10:1-8).

Cornelius showed moral virtues before he received the gift of salvation. He was not saved until the end of Peter's sermon, but the image of God and common grace allowed him to be "a devout man and one who feared God" (verse 2). Cornelius had found the Roman gods insufficient and instead led his family to observe devout Judaism. God through the Holy Spirit was already drawing Cornelius to Himself, beginning to arrest his attention.

An unsaved person can be devoutly religious, sincere, and even agree with the Gospel intellectually. They can be emotional affected by the work of Jesus and even do good works, yet still be unsaved. Cornelius needed to surrender his will to Jesus as Lord.

God is pleased to use simpletons to help many (Acts 10:9-23).

A centurion in the Roman army led 300-600 soldiers. It was not a high rank, but formed the backbone of the Roman army. By sending Peter to Cornelius' household, God demonstrated that He is impartial. All people are welcome to be saved.

God is pleased to use anyone to advance His cause. Peter was a simple guy before Jesus called him and appointed him as an apostle. In the grand scheme of the Roman empire, Cornelius was a nobody. When God is at work, the content and invitation of the Gospel are never expendable. Peter could have assumed that Cornelius was already saved because of his good works, but he needed to make sure.

God is pleased to save (Acts 10:24-48).

God is omnipotent, powerful to save. It takes the full influence of the Godhead to save and cleanse a soul and give new direction for their lives. All three members of the Trinity are mentioned in this passage. All three are active in drawing a person to the point of salvation.

God's grace and power are displayed through us as ambassadors of His message. He is the one who draws, convicts, and saves. We are privileged to be used by Him as loyal, faithful soldiers.

Application Points

  • Is your will surrendered to Jesus Christ as your Lord? You can agree with the Gospel intellectually and even be emotionally affected and still be unsaved. The only way to be truly saved is to place your faith in Jesus alone.
  • Never underestimate the power at work in salvation. Thank God for the miracle He has done in you! Always be amazed when He saves another soul.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • 1 John 2:2-3 - God is impartial.
  • Ephesians 3:20-21 - God is omnipotent.
A Hymn to Encourage: "Chosen As His Children"

Chosen by the Father’s mercy,
Set apart to serve His Son,
Sanctified by His own Spirit—
Praise the Holy Three in One!

Saved by resurrection power,
Shielded in His faithful love;
Now, no enemy can tarnish
My inheritance above!

I’m Born again!
I’m God’s own chosen child of mercy!
Born again! What love and grace!
Father, keep me walking worthy
‘Til I look upon Your face.

Led by wisdom into suff’ring,
Grieved by many trials below,
Yet rejoicing in His purpose,
That my faith as gold may glow.

Granted faith for overcoming,
Filled with love for Christ unseen;
Even angels cannot fathom
What salvation God will bring!

Fixed upon this hope completely,
As obedient children fear;
For the Holy One who called you
Purchased you with blood so dear.

Born anew from seed eternal,
By His lovingkindness spurred,
Lay aside all tasteless yearnings—
Crave the true and living Word!

Built on Christ, the sure foundation,
We are free from guilt and shame;
He is fitting us together
As a house to praise His name!

We are chosen as God’s people,
Called from darkness into light;
O what mercy now entreats us
To proclaim His glories bright!