Acts 10:1-8 :
Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man, and one who feared God with all his house, who gave gifts for the needy generously to the people, and always prayed to God. At about the ninth hour of the day, he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God coming to him, and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
He, fastening his eyes on him, and being frightened, said, “What is it, Lord?”
He said to him, “Your prayers and your gifts to the needy have gone up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and get Simon, who is surnamed Peter. He lodges with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.”
When the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier of those who waited on him continually. Having explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
It sounds like this man, Cornelius, was a member of an elite group of soldiers in Rome and even though he probably had money and fame, he worshiped the God of the Jews. He didn’t keep his money to himself, but willingly “gave gifts for the needy generously.” He was also a praying man.
It is wonderful to see that God loved Gentiles too and kept a watchful eye over them as well as His favorite people, the Jews. The time had now come that, spiritually, there would be equality between the Jews and the Gentiles. I believe that this is the beginning of that part of history.
Most of the people we have heard about up to this point were Jewish or half Jewish. We know that, so far, the Africans were made aware of the Gospel when Philip shared with the man on the road to Ethiopia and the Samaritans as well. Most of the rest of the people involved with Christianity were Jewish at this point.
Now we have a situation in which God tells a Gentile to go visit Peter, the Jewish Christian.
Notice that Cornelius was a man of faith because when he heard the instructions, he followed them.