Rules or Transformation
Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God. But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said. Then Peter told them exactly what had happened.
Acts of the Apostles 11:1-4 NLT
“As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning. Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.”
Acts of the Apostles 11:15-18 NLT
Following Peter’s visit to Cornelius’ house and the outpouring of the Spirit on the Gentiles, word reached the apostles and other believers back in Jerusalem. When Peter returned, some were upset that Peter broke the Jewish law and went into the home of a Gentile.
It is interesting that there will always be those who are more interested in religious rules than they are about lives being changed. If things aren’t done the way they want them done, then they want to argue about the method rather than celebrate the miracle of lives being transformed.
Peter told the entire story of what happened and even connected this event to the promise Jesus made about people being baptized in the Holy Spirit. The statement of Peter turned the tide, and the believers accepted God’s work in the lives of Gentiles.
It appears there will always be controversy when God works because He rarely will work in the same way He has before. Those who experienced His work in the past think He must work the same way in the future. But God usually has new ways of working that rubs against how we think He should do things.
I want to have my life open to the way God is working. I want to be a part of His work today in seeing lives transformed.
Holy Spirit, help me to keep my eyes open to what You are doing and how You are doing it in my world. Help me to be open to Your work in and through me.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.