"God Shows No Partiality:" Understanding the Language of Salvation (Acts 10, Easter C)


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In this Easter program, we read the story of Peter and Cornelius in Acts Chapter 10. Here we find Peter saying that those who act justly are acceptable to God. So we talk about the meaning and usage of the words salvation, believing, sin, and forgiveness as used in the Bible. Salvation, for example, means freedom from oppression and release from captivity such as in the release from the Babylonian exile. I also focus on understanding sin, because it is essential to understanding the meaning of forgiveness and salvation. Relying on the work of Marcus Borg, I describe "sin" by the using of three metaphors: hubris, sloth, and idolatry. By understanding the fuller meaning of these words and the matrix in which the story is told, we can then understand the lessons the story teaches us about our violent and unjust world. "Greed, hatred and violence lead to poverty, injustice, and war." This sheds a new light on what it means to "fear" God and do what is right (Act 10:35).

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