Saturday, June 7, 2014

when the walls came tumblin' down

The Word for today:
Acts 9:43-10:33
Are there too many compartments in your head? Are there walls in there, with a certain kind of person on this side, and a certain kind of person on that side?
Inside Peter's head was a wall that compartmentalized and excluded other people. God had to knock it down.
On one side of the wall were the Jews. They were God's chosen people, because the Savior would come through their lineage. But many of the Jews thought that the saved would also be confined to the Jewish race. They were wrong, and God gave Peter a vision which instructed him to "Tear down that wall."
The vision was of a great sheet, filled with "clean" and "unclean" animals. Peter was commanded to treat them both the same:
Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." (Acts 10:13-15)
God was instructing him that the church -- those saved through faith in Jesus -- would be made of both the Jews (represented by Peter) and the Gentiles (represented by a Roman centurion named Cornelius.)
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul writes about the former barriers which are no longer there:
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. (Ephesians 2:11-14)
The Jewish people were uniquely chosen to bring forth the Savior. (There's only one Savior, and he had to come from somewhere!) But all of us can be saved through him.
The walls which had separated man from God, and man from man, aren't there anymore. Jesus tore them down.

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