God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.
Peter embraces the global impact of the gospel. He understood His Lord's command that the good news would be preached in the world. And he knew it would start with the Jews in Jerusalem. He still has lessons to learn about how it will extend to the Gentiles. But his theology is straight. For now, it is enough to see how he understood the work of Jesus' death as a fulfillment to the Jews of a key messianic mission. He came "to you first". He would come to non-Jews next.
Peter proclaims a message of repentance and forgiveness to those who would accept the gospel (Jews in his present audience). He also says that Messiah will return in the context of the Jewish nation accepting the saving work of Jesus (Acts 3:19-20). The gospel was key to reaching both Jew and Gentile. It is the message of the church... really her only message.
Peter preached a message here that has served as the pattern for evangelization ever since. Paul took the gospel "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek". His habit was to find a synagogue or Jewish gathering on the sabbath, no matter where he went in the Roman world, and from there to preach the gospel and by extension then evangelize all around him, including Gentiles.
What Peter started and Paul perfected is still important to understand. No one needs to adopt Jewish culture and traditions to truly become Christian, but certainly the gospel is unlimited. It reaches Jews and Gentiles alike today. Jesus, the Messiah, is a world savior AND He alone is the hope of Israel!
- Posted with my iPad. The Apple Kool-Aide tastes fine.
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