Interesting Discussion This discussion touches numerous very important and often ignored issues. The "riddle" of Cornelius, Jereboam's infant son, Rachel's Children (Jer 31), and David's infant son with Bathsheba is resolved by having a biblical definition of regeneration - namely that it imparts eternal life (Eph 2:1) and precedes the exercise of faith in time (I John 5:1, John 5:24).
Once this is established, there are numerous theological ramifications.
1) The exercise of faith is TOO LATE in the ordo salutis to EVER account for the IMPARTATION of eternal life which preceded it in regeneration.
2) God's elect people whether infants, imbeciles, or lacking any explicit gospel instruction (I Cor 15:3-4) are all saved by sovereign regeneration (Tit 3:5) in precisely the same fashion (John 3:8) irrespective of their relative conditions or the amount of gospel light they have been given.
Looking more closely at Cornelius:
A) Cornelius was devout. Search the underlying Greek word out and you'll find that the men it is used in reference to are ALL regenerate men (Noah, Lot, Annanias, those in Cornelius's house).
B) Cornelius feared God. Paul's testimony is that the unregenerate man has "no fear of God." (Rom 3:18)
Cornelius was a regenerate man in Acts 10:2
Great Sermon! Totally awesome message! I can't wait to hear the others in this series. Looks like #2 is missing though. :~(
Thank you so much for sharing your messages!!!! Hearing God's Truth taught accurately is so crucial in this upside-down crazy world. Makes me want to breathe deep! Thanks again!!