What Jesus Did For You
34 And Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest; 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Peter is invited to the home of Cornelius. Gathered there is a group of gentiles wanting to hear about Peter’s faith. In a few brief words Peter shares with them the heart of the Christian faith: Jesus died, rose on the third day, and all who believe in Him are made right with the Father because they are then forgiven. We are made right not because of what we do but because of what Jesus did for us.
We often get this wrong. Those of us who follow Jesus often present the faith as if we are right with the Father because we do better and try harder. As if being a Christian is signing up for a self-improvement program. The heart of our faith instead is all about what Jesus did for us: “every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
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