Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The Council at Jerusalem Acts 15:1-35 Message 4 in our 9-part series on the Acts of the Apostles. Sunday, May 4, 2014 Speaker: Doug Virgint.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "The Council at Jerusalem Acts 15:1-35 Message 4 in our 9-part series on the Acts of the Apostles. Sunday, May 4, 2014 Speaker: Doug Virgint."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Council at Jerusalem Acts 15:1-35 Message 4 in our 9-part series on the Acts of the Apostles. Sunday, May 4, 2014 Speaker: Doug Virgint

2 Council of Jerusalem 1.Introduction 2.The crux of the matter 3.The debate 4.The letter 5.The applications 2

3 Council of Jerusalem 1.Introduction 2.The crux of the matter 3.The debate 4.The letter 5.The applications 3

4 Introduction The most difficult of all ideas for human beings to grasp is the doctrine of salvation by grace alone. We always want to add something: Baptism, church membership, good works, some ecstatic spiritual experience … 4

5 Introduction In the early church, the details were different, but it was the same question. Could a Gentile become a Christian without first becoming a Jew? Were circumcision and keeping the law a prerequisite to salvation? 5

6 Introduction At first, Gentiles were a small minority in the church. And they had been Jewish proselytes – Cornelius, the Samaritans… But now the Gentiles were becoming the majority, and they were skipping the Jewish route to salvation. 6

7 Introduction 7

8 Antioch was the third largest city in the Roman Empire. Note how throughout the ministry of Paul he chose the large cities and population centres to start local churches. From there the gospel spread out to smaller surrounding cities and villages. Paul believed in strategic planning in evangelism. 8

9 Introduction To our shame, I have to admit that our French assemblies neglected this. The few French assemblies on Montreal island have almost all closed down – no new ones have been founded in years. Some other groups have a map of Quebec in their offices that show their plan tor reach out to the large centres. 9

10 Introduction My heartfelt congratulations to the people and leaders at Rosemount Bible Church for having decided to continue to occupy this region of Montreal Island! 10

11 Introduction One last point – does the referral of this issue to the Jerusalem church teach an Episcopalian view of church government? Why did Paul and Barnabas go to Jerusalem? “And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.” 11

12 Introduction This issue was referred to Jerusalem because that is where the problem came from… … certainly not because Paul and Barnabas considered that church as the source of some type of authority over other churches. 12

13 Council of Jerusalem 1.Introduction 2.The crux of the matter 3.The debate 4.The letter 5.The applications 13

14 The crux of the matter See verses 15:1 and 15:5. These Judaizers had no problem with Gentiles being saved and added to the church But they were convinced that Gentiles first needed to be circumcised and become Jews. Nothing less than the truth of the Gospel was at stake! 14

15 The crux of the matter They were very sincere. They were convinced that the Scriptures supported their position. They were not trying to harm the church. They wanted to protect the church against what they saw as a real danger. 15

16 The crux of the matter Their teaching was very dangerous. If they were right: Paul and Barnabas were false teachers. Faith was not enough. It may be important, but something else must be added – some work or act – like circumcision. The new Gentile churches were full of people who thought they were saved but were on their way to Hell. 16

17 The crux of the matter Luke skips over some details, which Paul supplies when he writes his letter to the Galatian churches. Paul had taken Titus with him – a young Gentile co-worker. There was pressure from some leaders in Jerusalem to have him circumcised as a gesture to the ex-Pharisees. Paul said “NOOO!” 17

18 Council of Jerusalem 1.Introduction 2.The crux of the matter 3.The debate 4.The letter 5.The applications 18

19 The debate Luke tells us about speeches by Paul & Barnabas, Peter and James. But 15:7 indicates that there was a long discussion even before Peter spoke. “after much discussion” 19

20 The debate A lesson here: James Boice tells us: “The more complex an issue is, and the larger the body discussing it, the more time a leader must take to let people discuss their opinions.” Leaders like to get things done, and often have trouble with this point. 20

21 The debate A lesson here: The first time someone speaks, they say what they think. The second time, they react to views on the other side. Then people can change their views, and develop a consensus. That may require several interventions on their part. 21

22 The debate Peter’s speech He avoids the word “circumcision” so as not to stir things up. His first emphasis is on the giving of the Holy Spirit to Gentiles. These Jews know their Old Testament and understood that Ezekiel had prophesied this as a sign of restoration (see John 3 and Nicodemus). 22

23 The debate Peter’s speech If God had not made a distinction, and had given the Spirit to the Gentiles, just as he had to the Jews, then Gentiles can be saved without becoming Jews. 23

24 The debate Peter’s speech Peter’s second point is that the Jews themselves had not been able to keep Moses’ law. They had tried but failed, and the only way they could be saved was by grace. 24

25 The debate Peter’s speech Last, Peter makes a shocking and humble statement (vs 11) “We Jews can be saved through grace, just like the Gentiles.” Certainly, most Jews would have phrased that the other way around! 25

26 The debate Paul’s speech The great intellectual, thinker and theologian Paul understood his audience well. He spoke of the signs and wonders that had accompanied the ministry among the Gentiles. “Jews request a sign, Greeks seek after wisdom.” (1 Cor. 1:22) 26

27 The debate Paul’s speech The result was astounding – a heavy silence. The scene was set for the Lord to allow James, the brother of our Lord, to make the final speech. 27

28 The debate James’ speech James shows his wisdom by starting off, not by referring to Paul’s speech, but to Peter’s – and he calls him by his very Jewish name, “Simeon.” The Gentiles present are already convinced – he needs to convince the Jews. “God is taking out a people for his name form the Gentiles.” 28

29 The debate James’ speech Now James is perhaps the most Jewish of all these leaders. And then he does what no one else has done so far – he quotes the Old Testament – from Amos, the book of judgment. And James chooses about the only verses from the 9 chapters in that book that promise a blessing. 29

30 The debate “After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.” 30

31 The debate James’ speech The Old Testament foresaw that when the Jews would be restored, the Gentiles also would also seek the Lord. James’ point is that the situation being discussed is simply the accomplishment of Old Testament prophecy. A most powerful argument to a Jew! 31

32 Council of Jerusalem 1.Introduction 2.The crux of the matter 3.The debate 4.The letter 5.The applications 32

33 The letter A) Doctrinal issues: Circumcision and keeping the law are not necessary for Gentile converts. Gentiles who turn to God must not be troubled by these teachings. 33

34 The letter B) Practical (fellowship) issues: Food contaminated by idols Immorality (associated with idol worship) Meat from animals that had been strangled Blood 34

35 Council of Jerusalem 1.Introduction 2.The crux of the matter 3.The debate 4.The letter 5.The applications 35

36 The applications Notice the words used to describe the effects of legalism: “yoke on the neck of the disciples” “trouble the Gentiles (19)” “troubled you with words (23)” (tarasso) create fear, go bankrupt, loot a city in wartime) 36

37 The applications It can be good and spiritual to have personal convictions. We can do a lot of harm by imposing our convictions on others. 37

38 The applications Notice the words in verses used to describe the results of this council: encouragement, rejoiced, strengthened The result of handling a church controversy properly! 38

39 The council of Jerusalem Acts 15 39


Download ppt "The Council at Jerusalem Acts 15:1-35 Message 4 in our 9-part series on the Acts of the Apostles. Sunday, May 4, 2014 Speaker: Doug Virgint."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google