Grace Beyond Race

You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them (Acts 11:3).

Peter has run into trouble with his Jewish–“circumcision party” —brethren for heeding the voice of the Spirit to fellowship and eat with Gentiles (Cornelius and his household. Acts 10). They protested. As Jews, they had thought every other person was unclean. In fact, the whole narrative in Acts 10 does confirm this. Even Peter himself, earlier had thought along the same line:

And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean (Acts 10:28)

When later Peter was confronted by his Jewish brethen, Scripture says he “began and explained it to them in order”(v. 4). In Peter’s explanation, a beautiful phrase, teaching about the grace of God and salvation is recorded: “And the Spirit told me to go with them making no distinction.” (v.12).

God in his grace has extended the gospel message to the Gentile world, breaking the racial barriers between Jews and Gentiles. God makes no distinction in race with the gospel and salvation. Paul in Galatians 3:28 says

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

The gospel–the good news knows no racial barriers. After the orderly presentation of events by Peter, the Jews, Scripture tells us ” fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”(v.18).

The wall of partitioning is broken and we are free! Free to come to the Lord from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages and exclaim SALVATION belongs to our God who sits upon the throne (Rev. 7:9).

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