3rd May 2019

What God Has Made Clean

“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 (NIV UK)

After my son has had a bath, he delights in running after my wife and me to give us ‘cuddles’ and get us wet. Of course, it wouldn’t be as fun if we did not try to run away from him to stay dry. Yet it always ends with our giving him a hug and accepting the price of getting wet to help our son get dry and ready for bed.

This is the Gospel story that so often religion seems to get wrong. In the vision that Peter has, Peter is being told that there is nothing God cannot redeem. There is nothing so impure or unclean that it cannot be washed clean by the blood of Christ. When we, in our sin, embrace God – it is not God who gets wet, but it is we who become dry. Like with my son, when he hugs us, it is not really us who get wet, but it is him who becomes dry.

The purity that so often religion seems to be seeking is not found in self-denial, by avoiding those we think are unclean, or by human effort – rather it comes from Jesus Christ who gave his life, so that we might have a share in his perfect, righteous, sinless life.

Peter’s vision changed the early Church. They began to no longer view Gentiles as being unclean, and people with whom they should not associate. Instead they began to embrace those from other nations as fellow human beings who are washed and cleansed through the sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Prayer
Our Father in heaven, let us see others as you see them, as brothers and sisters washed clean by the blood of Jesus and made new in his image.
Amen

Study by Gavin Henderson
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About the Author:
Gavin Henderson is an Elder and the Operations Manager of the National Ministry Team for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

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