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God’s Word for You

Acts 10:41-43 Forgiveness in Jesus’ name

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, March 12, 2020

41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—those of us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

Peter’s summary of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection continues. The resurrection appearances were a reassuring gift for his followers. It was so very moving, so spectacular, so incredible a miracle, that the church changed the day of worship from the old Sabbath day to the first day of the week. Some might ask, why did Jesus not appear to unbelievers such as the Sanhedrin? Surely his appearance would have convinced them that he had been telling the truth all along. But Jesus had already answered that with a quotation from Abraham: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:30). In fact, after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, did that convince all the people who had known him? No. “The chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well” (John 12:10).

42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.

At this point Peter moves on to the Great Commission and other things the Lord said before his ascension. He commanded the disciples to make more disciples by baptizing (Matthew 28:19), and by “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). He said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15).

Peter says that Jesus was appointed to judge the living and the dead, and this agrees with his (later) epistle: “They will give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5), and with Paul as well: “Christ Jesus… will judge the living and the dead” (2 Timothy 4:1). What is meant by that is that on the Last Day Jesus will be the one who judges all mankind, those who are still alive when he returns and also all of the teeming masses of humanity who will, all at once, rise from the dead. Those who will be judged on the Last Day will be, first of all, the evil angels (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). They will be followed by all of mankind in general (2 Corinthians 5:10), when the believers will be welcomed into the kingdom in their physical bodies and the unbelievers will be cast physically into hell (Revelation 20:15).

43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Peter keeps our attention focused on Jesus, proclaiming that forgiveness through Jesus was proclaimed by all of the prophets of the Old Testament. While it is hardly necessary to list all these passages, at least one verse in each of the writing prophets from Isaiah to Malachi would not be out of order, whether we include Lamentations or not.

The Major Prophets

  • Isaiah 33:24 “The sins of all who dwell in Zion will be forgiven.”
  • Jeremiah 31:34 The Lord declares: “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
  • Lamentations 3:22 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”
  • Ezekiel 34:12 “As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them.”
  • Daniel 9:16 “O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your holy hill.”

The Minor Prophets

  • Hosea 14:2 “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.”
  • Joel 2:32 “On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance.”
  • Amos 9:11 “On that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be.”
  • Obadiah 17 “On Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy.”
  • Jonah 2:9 “Salvation comes from the Lord.”
  • Micah 7:19 “You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depth of the sea.”
  • Nahum 1:13 “Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away.”
  • Habakkuk 2:4 “The righteous will live by his faith.”
  • Zephaniah 3:9 “Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord.”
  • Haggai 2:9 “In this place I will grant peace, declares the Lord Almighty.”
  • Zechariah 9:9 “Your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
  • Malachi 3:1 “Suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come.”

We should always spend some time talking about the forgiveness of sins whenever the Holy Spirit presents it in the Scriptures. The forgiveness of sins is never a partial forgiveness. It is full forgiveness, remission; the sending away of our sins, never to return, as was demonstrated in the Old Testament ceremony of the scapegoat. Which sins were confessed and transferred to the goat? “All their sins” (Leviticus 16:21). “The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place” (Leviticus 16:22).

The Holy Spirit invites us to believe this simple truth and rejoice in it. This forgiveness does not change the meaning of the word sin, nor does it change what sin does in every life. Forgiveness removes the guilt of our sin and transfers it to Jesus. All of us who put our faith in Jesus have had our sins removed in this way. He has removed our guilt forever. His name, Peter assures us, preaches this whole gospel truth, because “Jesus” means nothing else than “The Lord saves.” Your faith consists in having heard and trusting in that good news, so that you know that when you hear or speak the name of Jesus and know that the Lord saves, you are allowed the joyful privilege of adding: The Lord saved me.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.


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