December 18, 2012

No Favorites

Acts 10

27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?” 34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 

God plays no favorite. Peter is illuminated with the trance episode he had a couple of days earlier where God shows him that the gospel must be preached to the Gentiles and not just the Jews.

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

God commands us to preach the gospel and declare that God is the ultimate savior and judge. As we preach the gospel, people will be able to receive forgiveness. That means our message must be for the repentance of sin. Sometimes we tend to skip the sin part because it might offend. My brothers and sisters, it will offend people but preach it anyway because as they get offended with the gospel – they will see the magnitude of their sin and the glorious awesome love of God for them. As Peter was preaching the gospel, Cornelius and his household received the gospel and the effect was worth recording:

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 4For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.