Our scripture this morning is Acts 10:42-44.

”He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

This passage is a good example of the guidance that we need to read more than a few verses to get the whole story. Acts 10 tells of Peter being called to minister to a Roman centurion and his household after he receives a vision from God explaining their inclusion (Acts 10:15, 34). It is sometimes known as Pentecost for the Gentiles.

The disciples were always amazed at Jesus ministering to Gentiles – the woman at the well (John 4), the man with the unclean spirit (Mark 5), using the Good Samaritan as an example (Luke 10). Jesus showed us that no one is beyond God’s love and that through faith in Him, each of us may be forgiven.

It is a blessing for those who receive the Holy Spirit, and eye opening for some of the Jewish group. Peter expresses the Great Commission and uses the prophets to explain that all are included. He says “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” God loves everyone, He excludes no one; we only exclude ourselves through our disobedience.

Gracious God, You have shown us that all people are included in Your plan of salvation. Forgive us and send us in Your name that everyone may receive Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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