Don’t Stand in God’s Way

We Gentile Christians, that’s everyone who is not Jewish, act as if we have always been in the church.  Not so.  The first lesson for this weekend from Acts 11:1-18, centers around when “the Gentiles also received the word of God.”

The apostle Peter went up to Jerusalem to address critics who thought that Gentile believers should be circumcised as well as follow all the Jewish dietary laws.  Peter tells them of his experience when in a vision a large sheet dropped down filled with all sorts of animals, reptiles and birds.  The voice said, “Get up, kill and eat.”  Peter answered “Oh, no Lord!  Nothing impure and unclean has ever entered my mouth.”  The voice, “You should not continue to call unclean what God has made clean.” 

On the heels of that experience three men arrived at his house and the Spirit told him to go with them to Caesarea, the provincial capital of Syria (Judea,) and to proclaim the word to someone who was apparently a Gentile.  One of us.  Peter addressed his critics, “If then God gave the same gift of the Holy Spirit to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?”

That’s a good question for us, “Who am I to stand in God’s way, when as God tells the prophet Isaiah, ‘my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts.’”  We also have the word in Rev. 21, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

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