For all of his life, Peter had had been taught that the Gentiles were sinners. It was unlawful for him to associate with them. The Gentiles were seen as morally bankrupt and presumed to be idolaters. The Jews thought God was for the Jews and the Jews only. But God speaks to Peter, his rock, and changes traditions held for thousands of years.
Peter was hungry and ready to eat. God shows him a platter of unclean food, food he was not permitted to eat under the law. Peter, a good Jew, refused. God’s response to Peter is His response to us today:
Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10:13 – 15)
Did you catch it? God commanded Peter not to call what He has made clean unclean. Now before you think that God was just paving the way so that we could eat bacon and was not talking about our standing in Him, let us read the rest of the story.
27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 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.
Peter had a revelation that whom God had cleansed, he should not call impure or unclean. God is speaking the same message to us today. You have been cleansed, washed in the blood of the Lamb and declared righteous. Who are you to call yourself – whom God has made righteous, holy and set apart – a sinner? You are no longer a slave to sin. You no longer owe a debt. You are no longer a sinner. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Melissa G. Bolden