Through the Word in 2020 / Jan. 18

We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from:
Today’s 4 readings are: Matthew 7:15-29; Acts 10:24-48; Psalm 18:1-24, Genesis 39-40.
Choosing which passage to dwell on today is a challenge. Every portion is so very rich. But we must choose, and I would call your attention to some familiar observations out of Acts 10. I find Peter’s discourse at Cornelius’ house so wonderfully organized, complete, clear and accessible, I pray it might be a great reminder to us of both the simplicity of the Gospel, and how wonderfully great swaths of Biblical truth can be condensed into such a brief space. Not my git for sure. Be assuredly Peter’s. 
Note then these 10 things out of our text:

1. vss. 34 & 35 / The Gospel is of equal applicability to all. There are no special groups from whom the Gospel is to be withheld. ​Peter ​assures them they have an interest in ​it​.​ Some may think themselves too good to need the Gospel, too wicked to be beneficiaries of it, too religious to be drawn to the simplicity of trust Christ alone etc. But no matter who you are, where you are from or what your circumstances, if you are seeking God (and even if you are not!) the Gospel is for you. ​

2. vs. 35 / God receives all who set themselves to seek Him. In this, we are brought to be reminded that the Spirit of God is at work in the world. It is true that no one seeks God AS God on their​​ own. Yet all sorts are aware that something is terribly wrong and are seeking for an answer on the level they understand it, and, the Spirit of God is creating in some a true hunger for God and salvation. It is not a product of their own making, but it is real nonetheless.​ If you know something of your own brokenness or lostness, it is because the Spirit has revealed it to you, and is seeking you out. DOn’t ignore His work in drawing you to Christ.

3. vs. 36 / Jesus is Lord ​​of all (God) – and the Gospel of peace is about Him, and tied to His Lordship. If Christ is not God, there is no peace, there is no salvation.​ And if Jesus does not rule and reign over all, He is not God and not worthy to be believed and served. This is the first great revelation to our souls which we need so desperately: To who Jesus really is. Apart from that, there is no salvation. And that salvation rests in having peace with God through Jesus Christ. ​

4. vs. 37 / Jesus came within the context of repentance from sin, and faith toward God. There is no salvation apart from these two things.​ ​As John came preaching repentance from sin and faith toward God, so Jesus is the sacrifice for those sins and the One in whom we must trust to be saved from the condemnation our sins deserve. There is no salvation apart from dealing with sin. For sin is our great crime against the Loving God.

5. vs. 38 / Jesus came in the full manifestation of the Spirit of God, and in His ministry demonstrated God’s goodwill to all. Thus the Gospel offer is built upon a demonstration of His willingness to receive and heal.​ Don’t ignore His revelation of God’s willingness to receive you. He has given you all the evidence you need to assure your heart that He will.​

6. vs. 39 / Jesus was crucified. (See: 1 Cor. 15:3-4)​ Apart from His crucifixion for our sins, our debt has not been paid nor our penalty taken. There is no Gospel apart from the Cross. Jesus’ dying in our place – taking the weight of our guilt and shame upon Himself. And praise God – He has done that very thing! This is the good news indeed!

7. vs. 41 / But He was also verifiably raised from the dead by God on the third day. (See: 1 Cor. 15:3-4)​ If Jesus was not, IS not raised from the dead, we are still dead in our trespasses and sins. Just as there is no Gospel without the Cross, so there is no Gospel apart from the resurrection. Jesus has risen. We must believe it in order to be saved.

8. vs. 42 / He commanded it be preached that He is the Judge of all mankind.​ ​Here is one more aspect of the Gospel so very often neglected in our day, but absolutely essential as Peter unfolds the basics of Gospel truth to these hearers. God will judge all sin one day. And it is Jesus Himself who will be that judge. Have you been reconciled to your Judge? If not, come now.

9. vs. 43 / He is in fact the great subject matter of the Scriptures – of all of God’s revelation to mankind.​ If you would know what the Bible is all about, you need look no further than to understand that it is given to explain the need for, and the fullness of – the person and work of Jesus Christ. He crystalizes it all. ​

10. vs. 43 / Forgiveness of sins is found in His name. ​Ah! The great and final piece: This is our crying, eternal need – forgiveness of sins. And how is that to be had? Through His name alone. He alone is god’s means. No church, no religion, no system – Jesus Christ and Him crucified, risen, and coming again as the Judge of all. 
You’ve just had a crash course in Gospel theology. 

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