Acts 11:1-18 The Significance of the Gospel For All Men


If our text tells us anything it is that the gospel has priority. The gospel also has profound implications. If the gospel is God’s promise and God’s possession, then it is His to give, to whomever He chooses. The gospel was for sinners, Jew or Gentile. The gospel was God’s means of providing salvation for the whole world, and not just for the Jews. God’s salvation was for the Jews, but it was not for them exclusively. It was for them to accept and then to proclaim to the nations. Salvation was through the Jews, principally in that Jesus was a Jew, it was through this “seed of Abraham” (cf. Genesis 12:1-3; Galatians 3:16) that salvation was made available for all mankind. Those who are saved have nothing to boast about, other than in Christ who saved them. And those who obtain salvation are to think of themselves as stewards of the gospel, with the responsibility and duty of sharing it with others. The grace of God which is evident in the gospel, is that grace which should characterize those who have obtained salvation through it. Thus, the saint should rejoice in the salvation of any sinner.

The gospel is not only the means which the Spirit of God uses to change men from sinners to saints, to bring men from darkness to light and from death to life; it is the means by which God changes men’s attitude toward others, removing prejudice and replacing it with genuine love. Said differently, the gospel is not only God’s provision for making peace between sinful men and a holy God, it is God’s means for making peace between hostile races. The gospel which brings peace with God also produces peace with men.

Indeed, the church growth movement seems to be suggesting that the most successful churches are those which acknowledge that “birds of a feather flock together,” thus advocating homogeneous congregations, churches made up of people who are alike. This is not consistent with the gospel. This may be a human dynamic, but it is not a biblical one. The gospel is such that it overcomes man’s differences and makes men one in spirit and truth. That which man cannot do, God does. The church is a miracle, for it brings men together as brothers who were born as enemies, and who would naturally continue to be enemies.

Bob Deffinbaugh

Heart Preparation
Read Acts 11:1-18. What is the significance of the gospel going to the Gentiles as well? What impact does that make on whom and where you share the gospel?

Posted on: September 26, 2013 - 7:45PM

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