The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Once Peter has established his relationship with Cornelius, in Acts 10:34-43 he opens his mouth and speaks about the Gospel. We can take a lesson about Gospel preaching from this sermon.
First, Peter makes it clear that his work is commanded by Jesus, the Lord of all, the one who rose from the dead to forgive sins. The Bible speaks very plainly about Jesus as the very particular redeemer. Here we don’t find some vague sort of deity. We find a very particular God who has redeemed us in a particular way, by his death as a substitute for us.
Second, Peter points out that the Gospel is not some sort of secret rumor. He and the other apostles knew Jesus and walked with him. They ate and drank with him after the resurrection. He is all about the public knowledge of a real bodily resurrection.
Finally, Peter makes it very clear that what Cornelius and others need is forgiveness. This forgiveness is received as we trust in Jesus. There is no other way given to us. There are no substitutes. It’s only through believing Jesus’ righteousness on our behalf that we receive that forgiveness.
This is preaching which is centered on the treal Gospel. It’s my prayer that we will hear it and engage in it all the time!
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