This Sunday the Scriptures we learned from at Fellowship were Acts 15:1-35.
This story is very interesting as the Church deals with false teachers and even disagreement over the Gospel. Did Gentile believers have to follow the Law of Moses? This issue was taken very seriously by the Gentile believers and the Jewish believers and it was resolved.
There are some lessons we ought to learn here. First, a simple quick truth, we should work through disagreements. One of the saddest issues in church life today is the fact that many believers simply run to another church every time they face a disagreement. That don’t even have the common courtesy, much less take their Biblical responsibility, to seek out any reconciliation with those they came into disagreement with.
I give you an admonishment. Never, ever, ever be that church member. You take your sin with you.
One of the points I made yesterday is necessary if you are going to be a person that does not commit such sins in your church involvement. It is this. The Gospel calls us to love people more than opinions. Now remember the Gospel is not your opinion…it is the truth. But the majority of things we are argue about within Christianity in some form or fashion has opinion in it. Don’t love your opinions more than you love people.
Here are a few warnings to show this is true of you.
1. You email instead of talk. Why does that say that about you? It is one-sided and information only communication. It is not a conversation and it is not personal. You just want to throw your opinion not have a discussion.
2. You have belonged to many churches in the same area. You keep moving from place to place because people will not do and see things your way.
3. When you think about Christianity, you think more about how church government and structure more than your personal life and walk with the Lord.
Just a few warnings.
There is a huge truth fought for in this part of the story of the early church that we must be willing to fight still today. People wanted to add something to the Gospel. Peter teaches us in this passage that God “made no distinction” between Jew and Gentile. We learn that they were purified by faith just as the Jews were. We hear that the Jews were saved by grace just as the Gentiles were.
A few key points to consider…
The Gospel is not a message of “do not” and “cannot.”
The things you do not do will never make right the things you have already done.
The Gospel has no exceptions and no exclusions.
It is the same message for every person. It does not see color or background.
Christians ought to be careful they are not adding their opinions of what following Jesus looks like to Gospel. The headline the Gospel gives is simple.