August 1, 2015
Religion Encroaches; A Salvation Issue.
While in Antioch
[Act 15:1 ESV] But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."
A Salvation Issue!! It’s always about man “doing” something to earn Heaven.
Man really wants to keep a little glory in our pockets.
Here is the doctrine of a church in Hampshire County
We believe the Bible teachers that salvation – the forgiveness of sins – is only by grace through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7
We believe the Bible teaches that one receives God’s grace by putting faith in Christ, repenting of sin, confessing Christ “and being immersed into Christ”, but that none of these is sufficient in and of itself for the assurance of salvation.
God’s plan to sacrifice Christ is not enough
We humans must finish the job.
The most theologically accurate way to call someone to repentance.
In a debate with an atheist Sye Ten Bruggencate said the following.
“Beg God to grant you repentance”.
Why? Because a person can’t repent unless God enables the person to do so.
Look at what Jesus says to disciples and fans.
[Jhn 6:63 ESV] It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
[Jhn 6:64 ESV] But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
[Jhn 6:65 ESV] And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."
[Jhn 6:66 ESV] After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
In Galatians; Paul writes a whole letter about circumcision.
[Act 15:2 ESV] And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.
[Act 15:3 ESV] So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.
[Act 15:4 ESV] When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.
Christians who were Pharisees
[Act 15:5 ESV] But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses."
[Act 15:6 ESV] The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.
Peter Speaks Up.
[Act 15:7 ESV] And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
[Act 15:8 ESV] And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us,
[Act 15:9 ESV] and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.
“Before I was done preaching the Holy Spirit came upon them.” (They were saved before they had done anything).
Don’t force religion that not even we Jews could follow.
[Act 15:10 ESV] Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
[Act 15:11 ESV] But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will."
[Act 15:12 ESV] And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
[Act 15:13 ESV] After they finished speaking, James replied, "Brothers, listen to me.
[Act 15:14 ESV] Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.
[Act 15:15 ESV] And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,
[Act 15:16 ESV] "'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,
[Act 15:17 ESV] 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
[Act 15:18 ESV] known from of old.'
Quote from Amos
[Amo 9:11 ESV] "In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old,
[Amo 9:12 ESV] that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name," declares the LORD who does this.
[Act 15:19 ESV] Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,
[Act 15:20 ESV] but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
[Act 15:21 ESV] For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues."
1. Polluted by idols
[1Co 8:1 ESV] Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." This "knowledge" puffs up, but love builds up.
[1Co 8:13 ESV] Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
2. Sexual Immorality: The only approved physical intimacy is between one man & one woman in the covenant relationship of marriage. Everything else is evil.
3. Strangled and eating blood.
[Gen 9:3 ESV] Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
[Gen 9:4 ESV] But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
[Lev 17:10 ESV] "If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people.
[Lev 17:11 ESV] For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.
[Lev 17:14 ESV] For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.
[Act 15:41 ESV] And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Religion: Do things to go to Heaven
Christianity: Jesus saved you, so live accordingly.
Live a life in response to being saved.
The Council Agrees, They send out teams.
[Act 15:22 ESV] Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers,
[Act 15:23 ESV] with the following letter: "The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings.
[Act 15:24 ESV] Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions,
[Act 15:25 ESV] it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
[Act 15:26 ESV] men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[Act 15:27 ESV] We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth.
[Act 15:28 ESV] For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements:
[Act 15:29 ESV] that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."
Barsabbas, and Silas; reaction to the letter.
[Act 15:30 ESV] So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter.
[Act 15:31 ESV] And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
[Act 15:32 ESV] And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words.
[Act 15:33 ESV] And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them.
[Act 15:34 ESV] 34: But it seemed good to Silas to remain there
Paul & Barnabas’ Home Church
[Act 15:35 ESV] But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
[Act 15:36 ESV] And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are."
Big Disagreement and team split
[Act 15:37 ESV] Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark.
[Act 15:38 ESV] But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.
[Act 15:39 ESV] And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus,
[Act 15:40 ESV] but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.
[Act 15:41 ESV] And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.