We read this in Acts 10:34-35:
Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.
Two things I want to point out about these wonderful words:
- God is not one to show partiality. I recently heard about a small town pastor who resigned from his church. I, being a pastor looking for a church, was curious as to the reason why, and I found out that one of the reasons for his departure was his desire to partner his church with missions which included African-American believers. This is reprehensible on its face, but even more so because the church sits in the middle of a very small town which is a mission field which includes a significant percentage, perhaps a majority, of African-Americans.The truth of the gospel might be black and white, but the gospel itself isn’t reserved for black or white. Racism and prejudice is repugnant in the sight of God, and woe to those to hold onto that dreadful sin and call Jesus “Lord.” He came not just to Jews, but to Gentiles also. God is not one to show partiality, and if you claim to be His you shouldn’t either.
- The second half of Peter’s statement flies in the face of easy believism. Quite simply you are not welcome to Jesus if you do not fear Him and do what is right. This is not righteousness on our merit. This is not salvation according to our works. But it is saying that the one who is welcome to Him (i.e., the one who has been made alive by God and has been granted the gifts of repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ) is the one who fears God and does what He says.Don’t think you can be your own lord and do whatever you want to do and, at the end of the day, or rather on that great day of the Lord, cite your belief in Jesus. He knows better. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus than to trust in obey.