July 14, 2019

God Shows No Partiality

Preacher:
Passage: Acts 10:34-43

(Acts 10:34–43 ESV) “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. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.””
PRAYER
Today is a special day. It’s special for a number of reasons. First today is a special day because today is the day that the lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Secondly today is a special day because it is a Sunday. A day set aside where we gather together to worship God corporately and remember his resurrection. No one and nothing on earth is worthy of our praise and worship other than him, so we praise him. Thirdly it is a special day because these churches come together in an expression of what the bride of Christ will be in eternity, peoples from every tribe tongue and nation gathering together for his glory. And finally, today is a special day because of the baptisms that are going to be taking place soon. At Grace, we’ve been looking at baptism over the past few weeks, and seeing it presented by John the Baptist, and followed through by Jesus himself.
Peter has just had his mind blown. He just heard testimony of God working in Gentiles. They have been called to follow God the way that he and the other believers were following God. Peter connects the dots and realizes this is what God was talking about way back in Deuteronomy 10. (Deuteronomy 10:17–19 ESV) “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” God shows no partiality. He calls whom he will, and they will come to him.
Gentiles. Outsiders. The nations. He’s talking about us. God shows no partiality. It’s not about jewish blood anymore, because the perfect lamb was slain on behalf of all mankind.
(Acts 10:37–39 ESV) “you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,”
Peter is talking to a combined audience of Jews and those from the nations. There are a couple of points that Peter is making here. First, he is reminding his hearers and us about what Christ did. This is the gospel message.
Beginning from Galilee, where Jesus was raised, he went to John to be baptized. He didn’t need to be baptized or repent because he was sinless, but Matthew tells us that it was to fulfill all righteousness that John had to baptize Jesus. He was setting an example for us. This baptism of repentance that the jews were coming to John for was a recognition that even though they were in the bloodline of God’s chosen people, this did not make them automatically right in God’s eyes. God desired hearts that are bowed to him. This repentance and baptism that was taking place was a recognition of that lacking and an adoption into the covenant family of God. Jesus came without sin and already God’s full son, and he showed us the pattern to follow which is part of why we are gathered here today.
In verse 38 of our text, Peter continues to explain that (Acts 10:38 ESV) “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.” This was before he began his earthly ministry. God equipped Jesus to accomplish the task that he had been sent to do.
(Acts 10:38–39 ESV) “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.”
No secrets, no hidden agenda, the ministry of Jesus was public knowledge. Even all this way away from Galilee and the Jordan, they had heard about it. He continued his example setting for us by doing good things for everyone who came, Jew and Gentile alike. He healed those who were sick, cast out demons, made the blind see and the deaf hear. Things that were wrong he made right. He is the ultimate justice seeker.
(Acts 10:39–41 ESV) “They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”
The religious leaders made sure that the people falsely testified against him, they condemned him to death though he was without guilt. He never sinned. We deserve the death that he died. The Jews turned him over to be crucified and the Romans took things from there. The Romans were expert torturers and executioners. They killed him on the cross, and he died. Joseph of Arimathea donated his tomb to the messiah. But then something unexpected happened. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but something unexpected happened. God raised him on the third day.
Not only was he raised from he dead but he was seen by many people. God chose some to be eye witnesses to his resurrection, and as if that weren’t enough, to prove he wasn’t just a ghost or a phantom, he ate and drank with them. This wasn’t some kind of mass hysteria, or fantastical plot. God raised him from he dead, and Jesus appeared before many people alive and proved his living by eating and drinking with them.
This picture of death and life is what we see in baptism today. Baptism is a living picture. You’re about to witness the gospel lived out in a number of lives today. They are preaching the gospel with their bodies. They have repented of their sinful ways, and turned to Christ. They’ve repented and they’re going to keep on repenting because our sinful condition is ever being killed off in our bodies. They are being buried like Christ. Buried in the waters of baptism. Dying. They are dying to themselves like Christ died for us. They are being raised up in new life, like Christ was raised up for us. They are taking on a new identity as children of God, no longer children of the serpent. They’ve been adopted into the family of life in Christ.
Peter continues: (Acts 10:42–43 ESV) “And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.””
These people who are about to be baptized are living in obedience, to the command to be baptized, and proclaim the testimony of Christ, the now who is appointed by God to judge. They are being plunged under the waters of judgement, and being raised as those whom God has chosen to call his children. Then Peter puts the icing on the top of this amazing beautiful cake of testimony. This Jesus, he is the one whom all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
Your life is not forfeit. Christ died for you. If you don’t know Christ, turn to him today, and have your life changed by the one who turns our lives around.
PRAYER

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