The Cleanse

The Cleanse

 ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’

“Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance, I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So, if God gave them the same gift, he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” Acts 11:4-10, 16-17 NIV 

There are many lessons in this scripture, but today we want see how God used Peter to break down cultural and spiritual norms. The scripture leads us to Peter talking, “He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.” Acts 10:28 NIV

Peter was at the house of Cornelius a devout man of God. Whose prayers and charity had come up before the Lord as a memorial, but in Peter’s eyes an impure man according to Jewish law. After having a conversation with an Angel, Cornelius sent for Peter and gathered his family to hear the man of God.

First God had to deal with Peters prejudices. Why did God tell him to kill and eat unclean animals? It was against the Jewish Laws. He had never eaten anything unclean. At this moment God was teaching Peter not to discriminate when it came to reaching people for Him. God told Peter that when it is cleansed by me and that is the ultimate clean. It cannot be impure if God cleaned it. ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ Acts 11:9.

History was changing for Peter and Cornelius. God poured out his Spirit on Cornelius’s family and they received the cleansing of the Holy Spirit because they accepted Jesuses death and resurrection. Peter knew that the world would now see Jews and Gentiles worshiping together.

First lesson: Peter had to deal with his prejudices.

Second lesson: Peter learned that what God calls clean is never impure.

Third lesson: Peter needed to apply his vision to the visit with Cornelius.

Fourth lesson: God came to save all people who would accept the Lord.

Fifth Lesson: The World had just changed. The Jews and Gentiles are now worshiping together.

Sixth Lesson: Never underestimate God.

After hearing Peter’s story, the next steps began for the Jewish Christians. Many accepted the cultural and spiritual changes that had and would occur. “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18 NIV We pray that you can relate to Peter and make any changes necessary for God to cleanse your heart. This will allow you to move forward in life with a new and open mind.

Stay Blessed,

Pastors Willie McIntosh III and J. Rochelle McIntosh

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