Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Real Men - Acts 10:1-2

Real Men Acts 10:1-2

  • Act 10:1
    There was a certain man in Caesarea
    called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,
    • Centurion - 100, then 300 and then 600 men in his charge. Low pay, not often paid, made fortune by ill-gotten gains, plundering and looting. Tough. They were the backbone of the professional army and were the career soldiers who ran the day to day life of the soldiers as well as issuing commands in the field.
    • The Roman centurion was distinguished by his uniform: his armor was silvered, he wore his sword on his left side rather than his right, and the crest of his helmet was turned so that it went sideways across his helmet like a halo. His armor was silvered, he wore greaves on his legs, and the crest of his helmet was distinctively turned perpendicular to the front and they wore chain mail armor. It is believed that he also wore his decorations and awards prominently on his torso in battle, to show his bravery to friend and foe alike. He also carried a short staff (stick) - usually a vine stave, called vÄ«tis - as a symbol of his authority.
    • Centurions were nicknamed "Give me another" because of their habit of breaking there staff across the backs of their men.
    • A man in Roman army who wanted to become a Centurion had to meet many qualifications.
      • First, the man had to have several letters of recommendation from important people. Therefore, it would help if one trying for the position was befriended to several important senators, or even the consuls/emperor themselves/himself (depending on the time period).
      • A man who desired to be a Centurion would have had to have been at least thirty years of age. Therefore, if he had entered the army at age 16, he would have spent almost half his life in the military, giving him the experience he needed so that he would know how to sufficiently command his cohort.
      • As stated above, the aspiring centurion needed good connections to be recommended for the post. These connections might have been easier to achieve if the centurion was of a higher class.
      • One of the tasks of the centurion was to relate his superior officers' written commands to the men in his cohort. Therefore, he had to be able to read and write. In order to do this, he needed at least enough education to be literate. Also, the more educated one was, the better chance he had of becoming centurion.
    • Centurions had the privilege of riding on horseback during marches and, if they had been given permission to marry, to live with their family while in garrison.
    • Hazards - These officers were responsible for their men during battle, and led from the front, fighting alongside their soldiers. Their increased prominence put them at higher risk, and casualty levels for centurions were correspondingly high.
    • Italian Regiment - had to be able to be around the higher class and be well educated. He would have to have be the rough and ready to battle type, yet, Corny would have also have be able to work with in the circles of high society.
  • Act 10:2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.
    • Devout man – a dedicated spiritual man, one who would have been a man of scripture and holing to Godly disciplines, careful to fulfill his Christian duties. The only other time this phrase is used it the Bible is it followed by the with idea of the person having a good testimony.
    • Feared God – loved and revered God, he understood the power and majesty of
      God, held respect to the ultimate degree for his Creator.
      • Exo 18:21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to
        rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
      • Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.
    • All his household – Godly father/husband, family leader, even inspiring to his family, a role model of faith,He brought up his family in a religious way, as every good man should; and which was very remarkable in a Gentile, a soldier, and an officer: He took care to instruct his family in the knowledge which he himself had received; and to establish the worship of God in his house.
    • Gave alms generously to the people – was faithfully practicing Judaism. He was a Jewish proselyte. But a good Jew was a Christian. Additionally, he was not self motivated, cared about others, charitable and compassionate, caring for those who are less fortunate and sharing the blessing they have been giving, this was an uncommon characteristic of a pillaging, merciless solider.
    • Prayed to God always – constantly communicating with God, intense personal relationship, seeking God for strength, wisdom, and help
    • Felt himself a dependent creature; knew he had no good but what he had received; and considered God to be the fountain whence he was to derive all his blessings.
      • He craved contact with his Creator.
      • 1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
      • He prayed to God always and he was ever in the spirit of prayer, and frequently in the act. What an excellent character is this!

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