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R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

January 25, 2014

Saturday

Acts 10:34-35

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.

 

EXAMPLE

On July 06, 2000, Hugh Downs the guest host on the Larry King Live Show lead a round table discussion on the questions, “Who is Jesus? And why is there such a fascination with that question now?” Among his guests was Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Dean of Oxford L’chaim Society. During the discussion, Boteach said, “Jesus was a great teacher, a very ethical, moral, human being — perhaps in our opinion, not a prophet, but certainly a phenomenal teacher and Christianity is a great world religion . . . and while I agree he is a great light, once we say he is the only light, this is what leads to all kinds of spiritual racism and a division between Jews and Christians.”

– Unknown

 

LESSON

This was Peter’s great mistake. When Peter pulled away from the Gentiles in Antioch, he forgot the Gospel is for all people groups. When he denied Christ, the Holy Spirit had not come. But this time his mistake was made after preaching Pentecost, raising the dead, calling the lame to walk and after his sheet vision. When Peter separated himself from the Gentile Christians at Antioch it was a tragic mistake. Peter was as Paul said, “clearly in the wrong.” This mistake came after he shared the Gospel to gentiles and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit followed. This mistake came after Peter convinced the Jerusalem council leaders that the Gospel is for the Gentiles. If Peter can get off track regarding God’s purposes for the peoples, then we also should be on the alert, lest we get derailed. The church sometimes, like Peter, needs a correction and a call back to God’s Great Commission purpose.

 

There are many who think that Christianity is just a collection of platitudes, but it really doesn’t make much practical difference. Peter, the Apostle, said in our passage, I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him. This is a staggering statement, particularly from the mouth of Peter. These words, shows no partiality, literally means not lifting the face of anyone. In Near Eastern culture, when people were in the presence of another of greater prestige, they would turn the face away, not look at the person in the face as a sign of respect. What a person of high prestige might do is reach out and raise the head of someone they wanted to single out and to whom they wanted to show partiality by saying, in effect, You can look at me. The passage speaks of God not having favorites, not being partial.

 

Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 2:30

 

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