so peter opened his mouth and said: “truly i understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. [acts 10:34-35]
some of the most beautiful words to our gentile ears. God shows no partiality. through his chosen people, israel, to whom he gave the law, God extended his grace through the blood of his Son to anyone who would believe on the name of Jesus. the unclean now called clean! this was the promise given to abraham in the beginning [genesis 12:3]. this promise was fulfilled when Jesus said, “it is finished” as he hung on the cross. [john 12:32] now this promise fulfilled is being shown to all, through peter and these God-fearing gentiles. this is good news!
this truth frees us as believers to share the good news of what Christ has done with all kinds of people, with the same impartiality that God shows. we don’t have to discern who will listen, or fear any response, or withhold from any kind. the gospel is not bound by race or age, language or background, culture or country. it is the Holy Spirit who puts the fear of God in the heart of man, so as his ambassadors, we simply proclaim to all!
this truth is what frees us to carry out the great commission given by Jesus as he instructed his disciples before he ascended to his Father’s side. go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that i have commanded you. and behold, i am with you always, to the end of the age.” [matthew 28: 19-20] how can we make disciples of all nations if the gospel is not for all nations? but thanks be to God that the gospel is for all nations!
what does it mean for us?
- we must rejoice! – we were once not a part of the people of God, but we have graciously been brought near, now his people, now his children. thank God for his generous mercy!
- therefore remember that at one time you gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. [eph 2:11-13]
- we must share! – just like peter opened his mouth to proclaim the goodness of God, we are called to proclaim. as we are filled with God’s grace and mercy, it should be overflowing to the world around us, with no prior judgment, in all love and truth.
- but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. [1 peter 2:9-10]
- we must go! – Jesus’ command to make disciples is not optional for believers. we are called to take the gospel to our families, to our children, to our schools, to our work places, to our communities, and to our world. some will be sent to the coffee shop across the street, some will be sent to the jungle across the sea. but we all must go.
- for the scripture says, “everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” for there is no distinction between jew and greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” how then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? and how are they to hear without someone preaching? and how are they to preach unless they are sent? as it is written, “how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” [romans 10:11-15]
~ arwen eastman