I was talking to an old pastor friend and he cited the example of Cornelius receiving salvation and the Holy Spirit before being baptized. He said this was proof that it isn't baptism that saves us but the confession of faith stated in Romans 10:9-10, and that baptism merely confirms our salvation. Is this true? I’ve started your book The Spirit, but I wanted to throw this out there, because it might be a while before I find an answer in it.—Chidiya Ohiagu
Peter comments in Acts 11 that Cornelius received the same gift he had received at Pentecost. Actually, I was just reading this in my own study two days ago. But did Peter receive salvation at Pentecost? Surely not. He was already saved (see the beginning of John 15, for example). In fact he already had the ability to do miracles (see beginning of Luke 9).
Cornelius could only be forgiven through the name of Jesus, as Peter said in his preaching in Acts 10. Please read 10:43, then 10:47-48. Thus it was when Cornelius was immersed in the name of Jesus that he was forgiven. So whatever Cornelius received when the Spirit fell on him, it wasn't salvation.
This article is copyrighted an is for private use and study only. © 2006. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.