“There Is No Common Christian”

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“What God has cleansed you must not call common (Acts 10:15)”

In Acts 10 God is opening the door to the Gentile (anyone who is not a Jew) world. To do so, He will use the Apostle Peter to take the gospel to a Roman Centurion named Cornelius. Throughout the Old Testament the prophets foretold of a time when God would reach out to Gentiles, yet this was largely ignored in Hebrew teaching. The Jews saw Gentiles as mangy dogs, only good as fuel for the fires of hell. So in order to prepare the strictly Jewish Peter for the task of sharing the good news of Jesus with a gentile, the Lord grants him a vision to broaden his perspective. In the vision God attempts to show Peter how Jesus, in fulfilling the Jewish law (Matt. 5:17), nullified the ceremonial portions of the law. A sheet was let down full of unclean animals according to law (Lev. 11, Deut. 14), and a voice said “rise Peter, kill and eat”. The good little Jewish boy in Peter reeled at the thought of this. His immediate response was “not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean”.

The word common means to strip of specialness, or regarding a holy thing, to make it defiled. We often react to situations in our lives the way Peter reacted to this vision. We consider that there are right at 7 billion people in the world and we start to feel pretty common. We wallow in self-pity as we struggle to come to terms with the circumstances God has allowed to intersect our path. We fall back into a persistent sin and despair at our defilement. But we must be careful not to call common what God has cleansed.

Fellow Christian, you were chosen by God before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). You were bought at a high price (1 Cor. 6:20). You have been cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7). And you are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, the writer to the Hebrews says, you can come boldy to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). This makes you a pretty uncommon individual; loved and chosen by God, cleansed from sin, with direct access to the throne of the Almighty God. Considering all of that, we best be careful about thinking of ourselves as common.

As Peter would eventually write, we indeed are a special people (1 Pet. 2:10). May we live in the awareness of this fact.

Pastor Mike

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