Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” (Acts 10:34)
Peter understood that one of the greatest obstacles to overcome in expanding the cause of the Kingdom of Christ was rooted in the ages-old conflict between Jews and Gentiles. Most of the early converts to Christianity came from the God-fearing Jewish nation. Many of these Jews abhorred the “godless” Gentiles and had a hard time accepting them into the family of faith. And so the Holy Spirit prompted Peter to make it clear that God is no respecter of persons.
One of the very first things I learned as a young Christian is that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. At the time of invitation after each sermon, I often use that phrase to remind our congregation that anyone can be saved. I am living proof of that biblical truth.
The old hymn put it this way:
The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Anyone may come, for there is no cost. Rich man or poor man, bonded or free, the ground was leveled that day at Calvary.
When Jesus Christ was nailed to that cross and died in our place, He paid the penalty for our sins — every one of our sins. In doing so, Jesus satisfied the wrath and judgment of God, leveling the ground at Calvary, making a way to salvation for anyone who, by grace alone, trusts in Christ alone for eternal life. Here are just a few examples from the life and ministry of Jesus of just how level the ground is at the foot of the cross. All these were loved and welcomed by their Redeemer:
- Despised tax collectors (Mark 2:15)
- The shunned Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4:29)
- An unwanted prostitute (Luke 7:47)
- Perhaps the most widely hated and feared person of that time, a Roman centurion (Matthew 8:5)
To be sure, Jesus was and is a friend of sinners and faithful to forgive all those who surrender control of their lives to Him. For all those willing to abandon their self-salvation projects and trust in the Savior alone, the ground was truly leveled on Good Friday at Calvary. God does not save based on status. God does not save based on success. He does not save based on significance. It is all of grace. Showing favoritism is as inconsistent with God’s character as it is antithetical to the amazing grace of the Gospel message.
Is there anyone that you believe might be beyond the reach of our Redeemer? Is there anyone you would not be willing to evangelize because you think they are just too bad to receive the Good News? Remember, showing favoritism is a sin (James 2:9), and the best way to keep from committing that sin is to remember that Jesus leveled the ground upon which you are standing today, the ground you will be standing on tomorrow, and your footing forevermore.
As the Lord said to Isaiah —
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. . .
Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. (Isaiah 55:1, 3)
ALL who are thirsty may come. Go tell that message to a lost and hurting world that desperately needs to hear it!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!