“So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Acts 10:34-35 ESV
This is the gospel according to Peter. Fear God, do what is right, and you’ll be acceptable to God. This good news of peace is now available to everyone from any nation, not just the people of Israel.
It’s interesting to note that Peter does not say here that those who put their trust in Jesus are acceptable to God. It almost sounds like another gospel.
How are we to harmonize these Scriptures? Perhaps Peter here is talking about the fruit, or the result, of true faith. If we truly trust Jesus we will receive the power and grace to live a righteous life (see Titus 2:11-13). We also know that the fear of God is a gift to us that is part of the New Covenant to cause us to want to do what is right. (Jeremiah 32:29).
Consequently, it could be argued that the grace of God that we receive by faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8,9) is not an end unto itself but the vehicle by which we learn the fear of the Lord and are trained by Him to do what is right.
One thing is clear in Peter’s message. We must fear God and do what is right to be acceptable to God.
© Tony Nardella 2022