Church of God, Carmichael, CA
H. M. Riggle, 1900
[Original Page Numbers]
Their conversion. "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the  people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. ... When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."Acts 8 :5 8, 12. Surely no one will deny that a great revival took place, which resulted in many souls being converted to God.
1. They "received the word of God."Ver. 14. "Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls."James 1:21. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul."Psa. 19 :7.
2. They "gave heed" to the things which Philip spoke.
3. "They believed." "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God."1 John 5:1. "All that believe are justified."Acts 13:39.
4. As a result of their conversion, there was "great joy" in that city.
5. These converts "were baptized, both men and women."
THEIR SANCTIFICATION. "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.... Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." Acts 8 :14 17. "Being sanctified by the Holy Ghost." Rom. 15:16. "He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified; whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us."Heb. 10 14, 15.
WERE JUSTIFIED. "And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?"Ver. 1, 2. 
1. They were "disciples." Let us see what it implies to be a disciple. "Whosoever cloth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hash, he cannot be my disciple."Luke 14 :27, 33. "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed."John 8:31. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another."John 13:35. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."John 15:8.
2. They "believed." Hence they were born of God (John 5:1)were justified (Acts 13:39). Having proved that these Ephesians were clearly justified when Paul came to them, we shall now prove that they were wholly sanctified after his coming.
THEIR SANCTIFICATION. After Paul gave them proper instruction, and baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus, he "laid his hands upon them, [and] the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."Ver. 6. About eight years later, Paul wrote a letter to these brethren, in which he testifies as follows: "After that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." Eph. 1:13.
Was justified, before Peter came to him.
1. He was a "devout man."Ver. 2. "A pious man." Sawyer.
Devout. "Yielding a solemn and reverential attention to God in religious exercises, particularly in prayer; pious; devoted to religion; righteous."Webster. "Religious awe and piety: to worship, to adore God."R o b i s o n ' s Lexicon. It is said that there is no word in the English language that ascribes a more full and intense religious character, than the word "devout."
2. He "feared God with all his house."Ver. 2. "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil."Prov. 8:13. "By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil."Prov. 16 :6. "God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he  that feareth him and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."Acts 10:34,35. "It shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him."Eccl. 8:12. "Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of shine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. ... Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord." Psa. 128:1 4. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."Psa. 34:7. "O fear the Lord, ye his saints."Psa. 34:9.
What a beautiful wreath of heavenly truth! The man who reads the above scriptures, and says that Cornelius and his household were in an unconverted state when Peter came to them, simply presumes to make God a liar, and exposes his utter blindness.
3. He was "a just man."Ver. 22. "A man, righteous."Young. "The way of the just is uprightness." Isa. 26:7. "Such as are upright in their way are his delight." Prov. 11:20. "He blesseth the habitation of the just." Prov. 3:33. "Just persons . . . need no repentance." Luke 15.7. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Prov. 4:18.
4. His prayer was heard. It is said that Cornelius "gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway."Ver. 2. Surely his life was an example, even to many who profess holiness today. He "prayed to God alway." Neither were his prayers dry and lifeless; for the angel said to him, "Thy prayers and shine alms are come up for a memorial before God."Ver. 4. "Thy prayer is heard, and shine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God."Ver. 31.
"His prayers were heard" and were held in remembrance in the sight of God. Reader, consider this. Was he a sinner? Let the Word answer. "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."John 9 :31. "The Lord is far from the wicked: but heareth the prayer of the righteous."Prov. 15 :29. 
This chain of testimony so clearly establishes the fact that Cornelius was a justified man when Peter came to him, that there is no appeal from it. We will next notice that he received a second experience of saving grace when Peter came, even
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