Good News for All
Praise the Lord that we don’t have to be good or clever or special to be loved and accepted by him.
Read Acts 10:34-48
 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism  but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.  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.  You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached-  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.  “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,  but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.  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.  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.  All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.  For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,  “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”  So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat revelation did Peter have in meeting with Cornelius?
Peter had to shift his thinking significantly to grasp that the Gospel was not just for the Jews. As we read this passage we see the development of this theme: first Peter acknowledges this for himself (34), then he speaks of what the Gentiles had heard already about Jesus (36-38). However, if we look carefully we see (36) that this message was for the people of Israel. The Gentiles, too, need affirmation that this Gospel is for them. Sometimes this can be true today—people think they are not good enough for God! Peter gives weight to what he says by emphasizing that they saw, they heard, they experienced the life, works, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus commanded them to preach this Good News (42) and even the prophets of old testified that this message was for all who believed (43). What happened next must have blown them all away! God demonstrated the truth of this inclusive gospel by pouring his Spirit on these Gentiles. All that was left to do was to baptize them.
Pray for your friends to understand that the Gospel is good news for them and that you can help them see that.
Lord, I know that You want people of every background to come into relationship with You. What a God You are!
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