Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor
God wants outsiders to become insiders—members of His Family. We, who are already part of the Fam, can either open the door for people on the outside or slam it shut in their faces.
Our story with God must become our story with each other. As God has accepted us, so we must accept each other.
This was the challenger facing our Christian ancestors as the first believers, all Jews, grappled with the new influx of non-Jewish believers in Jesus, who did not have the same background and upbringing in the Law of Moses.
GOD’s Story– New Blood in the Church, Pt. 3, is told by Luke in Acts 10 & 15. It begins with Pete’s very stretching encounter with Gentiles and culminates with some very Good News for Outsiders as we see the apostles and elders in Jerusalem being sensitive to the difficulty the Gentile community was having in making its way into the predominately Jewish Family of God.
Several questions arise for us, in what is probably the most important lesson the church in any period must learn.
Is our Gospel Good News for Outsiders or not?
- Can you relate to Pete? What hang up did he have to overcome? (10:28,34-35)
- What expectation did the Apostles & Elders in Jerusalem have to give up? (15:5, 8-11)
- What did the Apostles & Elders in Jerusalem decide not to do to the Gentiles? (15:10,19)
- What wise instruction did the Apostles & Elders give the Gentile believers? (15:20-21)
- Who must change the most in God’s Family—Insiders already here or Outsiders coming in?
- Is your Gospel really good news for people who are not like you? (Or in your mind do they have to become more like you in order to be acceptable to God?)
In God’s Family we are all already acceptable to him.
But we all have something to give up in order to accept each other.
What do you need to give up, lay down, give up, overcome so that you can accept those whom God has accepted—who are finding their way into God’s Family?
O.T. Scripture: Isaiah 45:5-12