One Thing Missing
“A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.”
When analyzing Cornelius’ attributes, it is hard to see that this man is not someone whom Christians should emulate. He was a leader, and obviously the type of leader who many enjoyed following. He was a devout man, not only to his boss, but also to His God. He was a man who understood and lived in the fear of God. He was a man who led his family in the right ways. He was a man who cared for the needs of others, and when he saw those needs, he made sure they were met. He was also a man of prayer, not just a man who had a time to pray, but a man who “prayed to God alway.”
We would see churches influencing more people if every church had members like Cornelius. You would be hard-pressed to find a better man in the Scriptures than Cornelius. However, there was one thing lacking in his life that kept all these attributes from making the greatest impact on his life and the lives of others. The thing that Cornelius lacked is found in verse 44 where it says, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” The lack that Cornelius had was the power of the Holy Ghost. In other words, as good as of a man that he was, without the power of the Holy Ghost, he still could not do the works of God that were intended to be done. Several observations can be learned from this man’s life.
First, Holy Ghost power is what makes the Christian a complete package. As good a man as Cornelius was, he still lacked the one thing that made him a complete Christian, and that was the power of the Holy Ghost. It doesn’t matter how good of a Christian you are, you will never be what God wants you to be without being empowered by the Holy Ghost. It is the power of the Holy Ghost that makes your attributes powerful and influential.
Second, Holy Ghost power is what influences others to believe. When others saw the Holy Ghost fall on Cornelius, they began to “magnify God.” You will never become a life-changing Christian until you are empowered by the Holy Ghost. Only the Holy Ghost can take your weaknesses and turn them into strengths to help change the lives of others. If you want to be a life-changer, you had better be empowered by the Holy Ghost.
Third, Holy Ghost power will reveal your shortcomings. It is interesting that it was after Cornelius was empowered by the Holy Ghost that he saw his need to get baptized. The only reason a Christian never sees their shortcomings or weaknesses is because they are not filled with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will reveal to you the areas of your life that need to be strengthened or changed.
Fourth, Holy Ghost power creates a desire to learn more. In verse 47, they prayed that Peter would “tarry certain days” because they had a desire to learn more about the LORD. If you lack a desire to learn more from the Scriptures, one of the reasons could be that you are not empowered by the Holy Ghost. Always remember that the Holy Ghost will point you to Christ. When your eyes are stayed on Christ, you will see how little you know about the Scriptures, which will create a desire to learn more. Christian, no matter what your Christian attributes may be, the one thing you must not lack is Holy Ghost power.