April 11, 2023 – Tuesday
Acts 11:1-2 NIV
1 The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”
If you recall from Monday’s verse of the day, Peter went into the house of the Centurion Cornelius and shared the good news of Jesus, His life, His death on the cross, and how He rose on the third day. Upon hearing this, two things happened. First, Cornelius and all of those in his house believed and second (simultaneously) the Holy Spirit fell upon them.
Peter and the Jews who came with him were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles (9:43b). For Peter this was confirmation of what God had been showing him in a vision in 9:9-20. Therein God in the vision spoke and 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
Afterwards, Peter and his friends made sure the new believers were baptized and stayed with them for a few days. This was incredible news that Gentiles could believe upon receiving the word of God, so it was only natural that word of this would spread and spread widely. And this brings us to our verses for today, 1 The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”
You might think that the first reaction would be one of celebration, but you have to know the culture of the Jews in the first century A.D. Staying with and sharing meals together with Gentiles was forbidden for God fearing Jews as to do so was a form of fellowship in that time. Therefore, Peter and his companions had committed a major blunder in the eyes of his fellow Jewish Christians.
However, Peter explained his vision and further how the God-fearing Cornelius had a vision as well. His vision was to send three men to request Peter to visit and share the good news. This leads us to 11:18, 18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
Repentance had not been mentioned before, but they said clearly So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life. What does that mean? Surely it is not repentance that saved them, but their faith in Jesus. But repentance may be looked upon as the first fruit of a real faith in Christ Jesus. True repentance is an individual’s real evidence of a spiritual life. And the repentance itself produces its own fruit which led John the Baptist in Matthew 3:8 to tell the Pharisees and Sadducees, 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
It may be that it is a lack of repentance that led Jesus to say in Matthew 7:22-23, 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Evildoers would be people who never truly repented and showed a changed life as fruit of repentance.
Bottom Line: Real faith results in real repentance. Repentance that begins in the heart. People can fool other people, but they cannot fool Jesus. He knows.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for so clearly bringing Your Son’s message of salvation to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton