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Acts Part 19 - Clarity for the Mission

Acts Part 19 - Clarity for the Mission

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Published by: Redeemer Bible Church/Solid Food Media on May 23, 2012
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05/23/2012

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clarity forthe mission
R W GLENN
DATE:
5.6.2012
SCRIPTURE:
acts 15:1-35
SERIES:
acts series #19
 
2
IntroductIon
I have an obsession with clarity. I’m obsessed with being clear. Clarity ingeneral – but clarity especially when it comes to the Christian aith. I want,always, anytime I am standing behind a lectern or a pulpit to be clear onwhat Christianity really is. And I want to be clear about that to everyone wholistens to me. I never want any o you to leave scratching your heads withsome vague sense in your mind o the Christian aith. I cannot abide even theIDEA that you would leave conused. I want there to be no doubt in your mindabout what the Christian aith really is.Now you may be wondering why. Why am I obsessed with clarity on theChristian aith? Well, here’s the answer: your eternal destiny hangs on it.Where you will spend your lie ater you die – heaven or hell – hangs in thebalance o whether or not you’re clear on Christianity. So I never, never, neverwant to leave you in a og about the Christian aith.But more than that, i you’re already a Christian, it is EXTREMELY easy –no matter how many times you think you’ve heard it, no matter how longyou’ve been connected to the Christian church, no matter how well you cancomprehend deep theological concepts – it is EXTREMELY easy to becomeoggy about Christianity. EXTREMELY easy.It’s like excessive exposure to Christianity can inoculate you to its message.You know how an inoculation works, right? You get injected with a little bit othe virus so that your body can ght it o whenever you’re exposed to it. Youhave just enough o the virus to keep you immune to it. Well, the same thingcan happen with the gospel. You can have just enough o the truth to becomenumb to its message.So unless we’re clear on the gospel, unless we’re near OBSESSED with clarityabout it, there is a high likelihood that we will lose our grip on the true natureo the gospel. And losing that means losing everything…and everyone. Jesus’mission to save the world simply cannot be accomplished without it.So as we come to the teenth chapter o the book o Acts, you’re going to
 
3see the church in crisis over this very issue. People have started to get muddyon the Christian aith, smuggling into it things that have absolutely no placebeing there. And the church, because o what’s at stake, goes into huddlemode to make it absolutely plain what Christianity is all about.Turn with me to
A 15
and let’s read
 1-35
.But some men came down rom Judea and were teaching the brothers,“Unless you are circumcised according to the custom o Moses, you cannotbe saved.” And ater Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debatewith them, Paul and Barnabas and some o the others were appointed togo up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through bothPhoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion o the Gentiles,and brought great joy to all the brothers. When they came to Jerusalem,they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, andthey declared all that God had done with them. But some believers whobelonged to the party o the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary tocircumcise them and to order them to keep the law o Moses.”The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.And ater there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them,“Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice amongyou, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word o the gospeland believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, bygiving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinctionbetween us and them, having cleansed their hearts by aith. Now, thereore,why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck o thedisciples that neither our athers nor we have been able to bear? But webelieve that we will be saved through the grace o the Lord Jesus, just asthey will.”And all the assembly ell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul asthey related what signs and wonders God had done through them amongthe Gentiles. Ater they nished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listento me. Simeon has related how God rst visited the Gentiles, to take rom

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