Acts 10:34-43 - God Is Not Partial
Welcome to our Bible Study! We are studying Spiritual Applications from Acts. Our current series has to do with salvation being offered to the Gentiles. Cornelius, who was a Gentile, called for the apostle Peter to come to Caesarea and speak the Word of God to them. Peter went to the home of Cornelius and met with him and his relatives and friends. At this historical event the point was established that the Gospel is for all people.
The title of my message today is "God Is not Partial." Our text is Acts 10:34-43. In this text Peter presents his message to Cornelius and his group. I will discuss several points with regard to Peter's comments.
1. all men are welcome in God's kingdom.
Peter begins his message with the truth that God does not show partiality. People who are from every race, background, and nation who fear God and do what is right are "acceptable" or "welcome." Fearing God and doing what is right involves coming to God in repentance and faith in Christ. This was great news for all Gentiles. They, as well as the Jews, were welcome in the family of God through faith in Christ.
At Caesarea all barriers come down. Up until this event, the message of faith and forgiveness had been preached to the Jews. Now, the message is understood to be for "everyone who believes." There is no possibility of limitation. All men are saved in the same way-through faith in Jesus Christ. This salvation comes to all by grace. We do not earn salvation; it is freely given.
Today, we commonly accept the view that the Gospel is for all people. We do not object to that idea except, perhaps, in cases where other people are considered to be our enemies. When our family was living in Brussels, Belgium we often prayed for the people of Russia. Some people would be skeptical because the Communists were known to be our enemies. The time came, however, when tens of thousands of people in Russia came to know Christ. Today, we could name others who oppose us as Christians. Though they oppose us, we must love them and present Christ to them. He will transform them and develop them in His image.
2. Jesus does many mighty works.
When Peter addressed his audience, he said, "You know of Jesus of Nazareth" and what He did. Cornelius and his relatives and friends were not totally uninformed about Jesus. Even so, Peter relates some of the history of what had happened. God sent Jesus to the sons of Israel preaching peace. Jesus, in His ministry, did many mighty works. Peter made it clear that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power. As a result, Jesus went about doing good works and healing all who were oppressed of the devil. God was with Him. Now, the Gospel was being extended to the Gentiles.
Jesus is still doing mighty things in the nations of the world. Recently, I visited Cuba. While there, I heard the story of the great revival that God sent to Cuba. Jesus worked many mighty miracles among the people. People turned to God by the thousands. Today, over 500,000 people attend church in Cuba on Sundays. There are at least 2,000 home churches and preaching points plus some church buildings. Moreover, the Cubans believers are being trained want to be trained to be ministers and missionaries to other countries. There is a sense among the people that God has chosen them to be Christ's witnesses throughout the world.
3. the disciples were chosen witnesses.
After talking about the mighty works of Jesus, Peter explains the heart of the Gospel. The Jews had put Jesus to death by hanging Him on a cross, but God raised Him up on the third day. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are the central truths of the gospel.
Moreover, God granted that Jesus became visible to chosen witnesses who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. Peter was among those who were chosen witnesses. Not all people had this great privilege. The witness of these chosen people was a powerful support to the validity of the gospel. They were "eyewitnesses" to the greatest events in history with regard to salvation.
4. the apostles were ordered to preach.
The apostles were ordered to preach about Jesus and to solemnly "testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead." This does not refer just to the spiritually living and the spiritually dead. Rather, Jesus is and will be Judge of all who have ever lived or will ever live on earth." This One whom the Jews have killed will ultimately judge all men.
Jesus has commanded us to take the Gospel everywhere, even to the remotest part of the earth. When Jesus came to earth to dwell and minister among men, He came for all people. When He died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, it was on behalf of every single person. God is not partial. He offers salvation through Christ freely and fully. This was great news for Peter's audience. And it is great news for all of us today.
In summary, Peter was called to the home of Cornelius to speak the group that he gathered to hear Peter. When Peter spoke, he made these points: (1) God is not partial, (2) Jesus was powerfully anointed, and He did mighty works, (3) Jesus died for the sins of all men and the disciples were witnesses, and (4) the apostles were ordered to preach the gospel to all. God is not partial! He invites all to come to Christ in faith.
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