Good News for the Gentiles

from the Acts of the Apostles reading plan

Acts 10:1-48, Isaiah 52:7-10, Galatians 3:13

BY Raechel Myers

Text: Acts 10:1-48, Isaiah 52:7-10, Galatians 3:13

The gospel is for everyone. Thanks be to God.

Even when we aren’t sure it can extend to cover our sins.
Even when we want to keep it just for ourselves like Jonah.
Even when we cannot imagine it being powerful enough to cover the wickedness of the world.

Christ died for the world and ascended into heaven, leaving His disciples with a command to preach His gospel to all people.

Today’s passage is deeply significant to us as believers. It is the moment in church history—in world history—when God makes plain to both Jews and Gentiles that we “should not call any person common or unclean” (Acts 10:28) as “God shows no partiality” among those who fear Him (Acts 10:34).

This is the moment that allows us to trace our fingers across the pages of our Bibles to see God’s gospel plan throughout, beginning with the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis, where God “brought [Abram] outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them… So shall your offspring be’” (Genesis 15:5).

As our fingers follow the hand of God across centuries and generations, tabernacles and temples, kings and kingdoms, we stop here at this moment in Acts chapter 10—where the children of Abraham grow exponentially to “sand and stars” status—when God extends His family of sons and daughters to every kindred, tribe, and nation.

His long-ago promise of “I will be your God and you will be My people” (Exodus 6:7), which was once kept for the Jewish nation only, is now made available to all, the entire world, making “no distinction.” Repentance is now for everyone.

Do you see it, too? God’s covenant to Abraham is fulfilled in the new covenant by Christ’s blood, right here in black and white, in the pages of His Word (Luke 22:20).

Of course, God operates in significance, and this moment is no exception. From Acts chapter 1 until chapter 10—from Christ’s Great Commission to Peter’s vision—there were exactly three categories of people: Jews (God’s holy nation), Gentiles (anyone who wasn’t a Jew), and converted Gentiles (non-Jews who believed in the gospel of Jesus).

His invitation of life to the rest of the world was significantly personal. He did not send a Jew to tell the Gentiles they’d been grafted into God’s plan (Romans 11:11-31); He sent one of His own angels to appear to the newly converted Cornelius, a Gentile. Only then—a day later—did He send an angel to appear to Peter with the official word that from that point on, “God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34).

It was a meeting arranged by God. He gave Peter the message to share and Cornelius ears to hear it. He made sure both of His sons knew they were both equally His, that there was no longer any distinction or need for categories. No matter Jew or Gentile, we who believe are now all sons and daughters of Abraham.  

Perhaps you haven’t looked at it this way before. Perhaps you’ve forgotten that you, too, “were once far off” (Ephesians 2:13). But now because of Jesus, “God has granted repentance that leads to life” for all who believe (Acts 11:18).

He has granted us repentance. It is a gift, an invitation to bow before Him and not be called common. An invitation to repent and to be forgiven. To be called sons and daughters of Abraham—sons and daughters of God Himself. Thanks be to God, indeed.

“The Lord has displayed his holy arm in the sight of all the nations;
all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.”
Isaiah 52:10

Post Comments (54)

54 thoughts on "Good News for the Gentiles"

  1. Lois says:

    Wouldn’t there be four categories? Jews, Jews who believed in Christ, Gentiles and believing Gentiles?

  2. Carrie Rogers says:

    Thanks be to God ❤️

  3. Amber says:

    Today I am thankful for the gift of repentance! The chance to be clean and uncommon! Thanks be to God!

  4. Sarabeth says:

    “What God has made clean, you must not call common.” This struck home. How many times have I looked around me and shrugged off who I thought were “common” people? On the flip side, how many times have I considered myself ordinary, common, nothing special? Praise be to God that He has made us clean and not “common”. The song “He know my Name” is playing in my head.

  5. Jennifer C says:

    These are powerful words I’m reading here on my phone as I sit watching my kids play at a sprinkler playground near my Philadelphia home. I am surrounded quite literally by every people and tribe and nation. The Mexican woman speaking Spanish next to me, the Cambodian families, my African American and Syrian sisters. All of these He came to redeem for Himself. Right here in one small square block of concrete! Lord help me to be faithful to share and hear your call as Peter did.

  6. Lorna says:

    Amen! I need to be more diligent in praying – not as an afterthought but a beforethought. Thanks for this great reminder and insight.

  7. Steph W says:

    PRAYER. It all started with prayer.

    It’s one of those things that I KNOW is important, but most days I spent my time reading the word and then running off to my next agenda item saying a quick “thanks for your insight, God!” As I hurry myself along.

    But the great revelations that both these men had, the visitation of angels and the vision Peter received and the great impact this has on our lives today, all started with PRAYER.

    prayer was a habit for both men. It says Cornelius ‘prayed continually’ and we’ve read before that the apostles dedicated themselves to prayer.

    It just made me stop and ponder how much more does God want to reveal to me? How much more does he want to use me? But I just keep running, not making prayer a priority.

    Lord, I repent of my attitude towards prayer as something less important in my walk with you. Thank you for your grace each day as I learn to be more like your son, Jesus.

    1. Dusti says:

      I needed this!!!! Thank you.

    2. Becky says:

      Awesome insight. Thank you for sharing it, and a reminder to pray! To take your point one step further, how many of us compartmentalize the activity of being in the word (and praying) into a check-the-box item on our to-do list, a part of our busy day? How much better to ponder what we have read all day long, and to pray without ceasing? “How much more does God want to reveal to me?” What a great question.

    3. Tamara B says:

      How much more could God do trough us if we let Him? The more we pray, the more He can speak to us and use us

    4. Taylor says:

      Steph W … Your comment is just what I needed to hear. How often do I get frustrated or yearn for God to do or show me something big, give me outstanding opportunities to show His love, or hear His directions in an equivalent to flashing a neon sign at me… But what am I doing while waiting for these things to show up? Where have these things been shown to happen? In prayer… What a simple thing to do and how often is it pushed aside or rushed in my life.. Or or side tracked by multi-tasking. I need to take after Peter as he “went on the housetop” to pray… To go somewhere that puts me close to God. And “at noon” … Or regularly. That is where it all starts, prayer. Thanks sister!

    5. Ruth says:

      Thank you for this, I needed it today.

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