What God Has Cleansed

Written by Frank Jamerson.

The tenth chapter of Acts is a pivotal chapter in the history of the Lord’s church. Jews had heard the gospel on the day of Pentecost, the Samaritans heard after the church was scattered from Jerusalem, and now the Gentiles hear the wonderful message of redemption in Christ.

Cornelius was an ideal iconoclast to be a bridge between Jews and Gentiles. He was a God-fearing, benevolent and praying man and obviously was seeking to know how to serve God. An angel told him to send for Peter, who would tell him words by which he could be saved (Acts 11:14). The next day, Peter saw a vision of “a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth” (Acts 10:11). He heard a voice telling him to kill and eat the animals that he saw in the thrice repeated vision. The orthodox Jew said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean” (v. 14). Then the voice told him that what God had cleansed, he was not to consider common or unclean.

While Peter was wondering what God was trying to tell him, in God’s providential way, three men from Cornelius knocked on his door and relayed their mission. Now, Peter gets the message—Gentiles are not unclean. God was not changing Peter’s diet but His own program! Jews were no longer clean and Gentiles unclean in God’s scheme of redemption.

The Old Law had been given to the Jewish nation (Rom. 3:1,2; 2:14), but the gospel of Christ was to be preached “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Peter could say “No” and he could say “Lord” but he could not say “no Lord,” because if Jesus is truly Lord, the only reasonable response to His instruction is “Yes.” Any other response denies His Lordship!

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