"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles." Acts 10:44-45
Have you ever really thought about the salvation that God offers us in Christ? Throughout the Old Testament, we learn about God's chosen people, the Jews. God loved the Jews and worked miracles in their nation year after year after year. For many years, people (even the Jews) thought that God only loved, saved, and protected the Jews. However, we know now that God loves all of His creation. We know now that God loves, saves, and protects the Jews and the Gentiles...praise be to God!
In Acts 10, we learn about a man named Cornelius. He was a Roman soldier, and he was an important man and one of the best known men in the entire region. Acts 10:1-2 says, "At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly." Wow! What an awesome description of a man and his family! We find in verse 3 that God chose Cornelius and his family by speaking to him through an angel. We also find that Cornelius was obedient to the Lord and did what the angel told him to do. God sent Peter, who also obeyed the Lord, to Cornelius' house. A Jew was sent to stand before a Gentile. Acts 10:28-29 says, "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection." In verses 34-35, Peter goes on to say, "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right." Cornelius and his family were chose by God to be one of the first Gentile families to which the Gospel door was opened. The Holy Spirit baptized these new Gentile believers, and Peter goes on to say in verses 47-48, "'Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.' So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." On this incredible day, Peter witnessed salvation for all people, the Jews and the Gentiles!
Today, I need to take this message to heart. I believe God has the power to save anyone He chooses to save, Jew or Gentile. Salvation is for all people, not just the ones I think fit in or the ones I think need to know. Everyone needs to know the truth: we are all sinners and are in need of the Savior's forgiveness and salvation. It doesn't matter what color a person's skin is; it doesn't matter what a person's nationality is; it doesn't matter what kind of background a person has; it doesn't matter if he/she is good or bad. All of creation is in need of God's grace and mercy! And salvation is for all people!!!