Text: Acts 10:1—11:18 | Listen to Message
The death of racism in the life of Jesus
The Early Church was troubled by deep racial divides between Jews and Gentiles. The Jews were “God’s chosen people,” who had received many privileges that the Gentiles had not (including the Law, the covenant promises of God, the Temple, and even the bloodline of the Messiah). Many Jews felt elitist about these privileges and became full-blown racists. They looked down on the Gentiles and would have nothing to do with the “unclean dogs.”
So the Early (Jewish) Church wrongly concluded that a Gentile could be saved only if he/she had become a proselyte of Judaism first. In other words, if a Gentile became a Jew culturally – including being circumcised and submitting to the kosher dietary laws – then God could forgive their sins and accept them.
But in this revolutionary text of Scripture, God shows both Jews and Gentiles that He is impartial – He is no respecter of persons. The simple Gospel is that Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, lived and died to offer forgiveness and life to every people and nation. Therefore, the only prerequisite for salvation is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This Good News destroys racism and cultural prejudice once and for all. Christians should be leading the charge to love and serve all people, irrespective of their ethnicity, social status, or cultural preferences. And the Church of Jesus Christ should be one of the most beautifully diverse communities in every city.