Friday, 2 May 2014

"GOD SHOWS NO PARTIALITY" Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings 2/5/14

“GOD SHOWS NO PARTIALITY”                                                                                                                                    

In Acts Chapter 10 today there is yet another dramatic account of how the message of Christ was spread still further.  Under Christ’s guidance the Apostle Peter is caught up in a situation he never anticipated!   He was expected to teach a Roman Centurion, his relatives and close friends the truth about Jesus Christ.  He finds himself at his home in Caesarea. 
It needed a vision that “inwardly perplexed” him [v.17] to set him on this course of action.  A demonstration of its meaning that he could not mistake caused him to do what he had never imagined himself doing. It was totally against the way the Jews practised their application of the law to go into the home of a non-Jew. This arose from the Jewish conviction that they were a holy nation, a special people, but they had misused this privileged position and now God was inviting all to be part of his holy Nation – look at what Peter wrote in his first Epistle, ch. 2 v.9
Divine direction brings Peter into this Roman home in Caesarea, the Centurion said when he entered his home, “we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded of the Lord”.
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”  [v.33-35]  
The core of his message is the life and teaching of Jesus, “and we are witnesses of all that he did … and he commanded us to preach … that he is the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” [ v. 39,42,43]
As Peter completes the essential part of his message, to his astonishment the Holy Spirit falls on them, so he realizes they should be baptised.  Peter now knows beyond any doubt that the message of Jesus and baptism into his name is for all nations. 
This commission to be witnesses applies to every generation.  The written word has made all who read and genuinely believe - into disciples of Jesus – and all such also have a responsibility to be witnesses, showing no partiality: it is now possible to travel to distant parts of our world.  What great darkness exists today! Let us each shed a little light! What a marvellous privilege to know and believe God’s word and to “have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us”. [Heb. 6 v.18]