The Gospel Message
Through [Jesus’] name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins– Acts 10:43
As Peter here shares with Cornelius the basic truths of the gospel, he declares that Jesus of Nazareth (a real man whose home town was just 25 miles away) was unjustly crucified, arose then from the dead (proving his divinity), and will therefore one day be judge of the living and the dead (even death will not hide you from this judgment).
Peter then quickly gets to the point. The climax of Christianity is this: whoever, by his power and authority, believes in Jesus will certainly be pardoned of their sins on that day of inescapable judgment.
Whoever? Anyone? No exceptions? What a revelation this was, not only to Cornelius and his family, but also to the Jewish companions that Peter had brought with him! Even Gentiles could be saved, without having to be circumcised first as a Jew.
Are you, like Peter’s audience, shocked by the notion that anyone who believes in Jesus—regardless of their ethnicity, economic situation, or social standing—will receive forgiveness of sins? Are you surprised to know that this promise includes even you, with all your scary and shameful sins?
The issue, Peter reminds us, is not merely a social gospel that encourages emulation of Christ’s selfless spirit and loving disposition. The issue is, are you a believer in the death and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ for your sins?
If so, then the promise of pardon is yours. Your sins are gone forever.