We set our minds on the reading from Acts today, particularly 10:34–38, with a devotion from Popular Commentary of the Bible: New Testament, Volume 1.
1 John 5:1–8
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Under such ideal conditions, with an attentive, eager audience, it must have been an unusual pleasure to preach the Gospel. And Peter made the most of the occasion. Solemnly he began his address by stating that he now of a truth comprehended and understood fully that God is not a respecter of persons, literally, that He does not look upon the face of people. The outward face, form, and bearing of people do not influence the judgment of the Lord. In every nation of the world he that truly fears the Lord, that has his heart turned to Him in confident faith, and performs righteousness, shows by his entire manner of living that the fear of the Lord actuates him in all his doings, he is acceptable to God.
This inclusive statement swept aside the confining bonds of the Mosaic covenant, and proved to be the keynote of the entire mission-work of the Church from that time forth. The reception of the salvation merited by Jesus Christ is no longer conditioned by nationality, but by the condition of the heart. The call to redemption is extended to all men, regardless of color, race, and language.
After this great introductory, fundamental truth had been stated, Peter could launch forth into his favorite subject, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He told his hearers that they already knew three facts.
They knew the Word which had been sent to the children of Israel as a Gospel-message from God, bringing the good and glorious news of peace through Jesus Christ. The latter Peter, in a parenthesis, distinguishes from the ordinary prophets and apostles, the servants of the Word, as the Lord over all, thus declaring His deity.
They furthermore knew, he tells them, the historical fact that the Word concerning Jesus was made known, published, by Himself, in His prophetical ministry, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached.
And they finally knew about the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, namely, that God Himself anointed Him with the Holy Ghost and with power, who then traveled through the country doing good, performing miracles as the Benefactor of mankind, and healing all those that were kept in subjection by the devil, as the Lord and Master, before whom the spirits of darkness must bow; for God was with Him. These facts, with which his hearers were familiar in whole or in part, Peter impresses upon them as facts whose knowledge is necessary for salvation. Note that Peter emphasizes the deity of Jesus also in the last statement, which says that the two unchanged natures are united in the person of Christ.
Devotional reading is from Popular Commentary of the Bible: New Testament, Volume 1, page 586 © 1921 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.