THE CASE OF CORNELIUS-BY STEVE FINNELL
Cornelius, his relatives, and close friends were the first Gentiles to be saved under the New covenant. God sent the apostle Peter to preach the gospel to Cornelius.
Acts 10:34 Opening his mouth , Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partially,
Peter realized that salvation was not reserved for the Jews only, but for all men who fear God and do what is right.
Peter preached the gospel to Cornelius, the results were.
Acts 10:44-48 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit and been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Surely no can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did. 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ...
Did Cornelius and all who heard Peter's sermon receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Yes, they did. Did the baptism of the Holy Spirit saved them? No, it did not.
Jesus said you have to be born of water and the Spirit in order to enter the kingdom of God.(John 3:5) Cornelius was not saved by "The Spirit only."
Peter order Cornelius and company to be baptized in water. Why would he do that if they were already saved?
Peter knew the purpose of water baptism. Peter said: Acts 2:38 ....baptized...for the forgiveness of sins.
If there sins were already forgiven there would be no reason to baptize them.
Peter said: Peter 3:21..... baptism now saves you...
If Cornelius was already saved , why was he baptized in water?
Some erroneously believe water baptism is just an act of obedience to demonstrate men's faith to others. Peter had already witnessed Cornelius speaking in tongues and exalting God. Peter and his fellow Christians had all the evidence they needed as to the faith of Cornelius.
Jesus baptized Cornelius, his relatives, and close friends with the Holy Spirit in order to convince Peter and the rest of the Jewish Christians that salvation was for the Gentiles as well as them.
Cornelius received the Holy Spirit before water baptism. That is the "only" case recorded under the New Covenant where that occurred.
The 3000 that were saved on the Day of Pentecost received the gift of the Holy Spirit after they believed, repented, and were baptized in water. (Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.)
THE CASE OF CORNELIUS DOES NOT PROVE THAT MEN CAN BE SAVED BEFORE THEY ARE BAPTIZED IN WATER NOR THAT MEN CAN BE SAVED WITHOUT BEING BAPTIZED IN WATER.
JESUS SAID YOU MUST BE BORN OF WATER AND SPIRIT TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD. (John 3:5)
THE SPIRIT "ONLY DOCTRINE" IS JUST LIKE THE GRACE "ONLY" DOCTRINE AND THE FAITH "ONLY DOCTRINE. THERE IS NO"ONLY" FOUND IN THE BIBLE. THE "ONLY" DOCTRINES ARE ONLY FOUND IN EXTRA-BIBLICAL WRITINGS.
(All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)