Appointed By God
Acts 10:42-43 (ESV) – And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
In one of the most significant stories in the book of Acts, Peter goes to the home of a Gentile man who fears God. God was doing two things at the same time that came together in an incredible way. First, He gives a man named Cornelius a vision and dream that there is a man named Simon Peter in Joppa that he needs to summon. So after the vision, he sends two messengers to find Peter. The next day, Peter is in Joppa and has a vision also. He goes onto the roof to pray and the Lord shows him a sheet with all sorts of animals on it. A voice tells him to kill them and eat. Peter refuses because it was forbidden by law. The Lord then tells him not to call unclean what the Lord calls clean.
Just at that time, the messengers from Cornelius show up and tell Peter about their master’s vision. So Peter goes with them. A few days after Peter’s vision, he is in the home of a Gentile sharing the gospel with Gentiles. We read in our passage today a part of his message, “And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Notice the content of his message to Cornelius. He proclaims Jesus as the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. What specifically does “appointed by God” signify? Jesus didn’t elevate to Messiah status. He wasn’t a man that became God in the process. This is the One appointed from the beginning. He is able to be the judge of the living and the dead because He is Lord of the universe, and nothing was made that wasn’t made through Him.
Peter says all the prophets bore witness about Him. And everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name. Cornelius believed, and so did his entire household. Peter realized in that moment as the Holy Spirit filled those in the house, that the vision of the sheet was speaking about the Gentiles no longer being unclean. They were now children of the promise.
The conversion of Cornelius is a significant moment in Christian history. He is the first Gentile convert after the resurrection of Christ and coming of the Spirit. Today, the message of Peter to Cornelius is still true for us. Everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name. Have you believed?
Do you believe that nobody is beyond the reach of Christ? He is the One appointed by God. Honor Him today.
Find this Devotional by KJM here: https://tinyurl.com/49nysx5z
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is this passage and story so significant to the Christian story?
- What lessons are there for us today in this story and text about God’s work in the world?
- How should this verse help us to treasure Christ more?
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