Another place that this forward movement takes place in Scripture is in the Book of Acts 10. For the sake of time, I’ll summarize the account.
The Apostle Peter receives a vision of a sheet coming down from heaven with a bunch of Biblically, ceremonially unclean (or un-kosher) animals on it. A voice from heaven, most often identified as the voice of Jesus, commands him to “Rise up, kill, and eat”, in direct violation to the revealed word of God. Peter, being the faithful, God-fearing Jew he was, exclaims, “Absolutely not, Lord! I have never eaten anything unclean!” God responds to Peter and says, “Never consider unclean what God has made clean.”
The Scriptures tell us that this argument between Peter and God happens three times before the blanket was pulled back into heaven. Clearly, Peter was committed to upholding the Biblical commandments and purity codes. He is so committed that we even find Peter arguing with God himself.
In this passage God tells Peter to violate the revealed word of God.
His justification is that he has “made” these once unclean animals “clean”.
In other words, the revelation has progressed. Things have changed. That which was once unclean is actually not unclean at all.
This, my friends, is progressive revelation.
Later on in Acts 10, we find out that the vision really wasn’t primarily about unclean animals at all. It was about unclean people.
The Old Testament constructs a system that declares non-Jewish people (Gentiles), to be unclean and impure. Jews were not supposed to interact with them, but were to remain separate so that they weren’t influenced by their impurities and debauchery.
But immediately following the vision in Acts 10, God sends Peter to the home of Cornelius, a Gentile. Of course, Peter is hesitant because he knows that he’s not supposed to talk to these unclean people, let alone go to their house.
Reluctantly, Peter goes, opens his mouth and preaches the Gospel, and the Holy Spirit falls powerfully on Cornelius and his whole household.
Right before Peter’s eyes, these people who were seen as reprobate and excluded from salvation, are now filled with the Holy Spirit and are a part of the chosen people of God.
Peter is stunned. He says in verse 34: I really am learning that God doesn’t show partiality to one group over another. Rather, in every nation, whoever worships him and does what is right is acceptable to him!
In this moment, the Gospel is opened up to the Gentiles. In this moment, God expanded the gates of his Kingdom, including more people than ever before. In this movement, God cancels the old revelation and brings about a new, fuller truth.
From “Gay and Christian, No Contradiction: A Brief Guide for Reconciling Christian Faith & LGBT+ Identity” by Brandan Robertson