Acts 15 with Josh Sagiao
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You guys have your Bibles. Just please turn with me to the. Book of Acts. We'll be going through Acts chapter 15. Verses one through 20. As you turn there, I'll just. Give a little background. The book of Acts was written by Luke. He was a Gentile. You know, I mean, he wasn't a Jew. And he is also the author of Luke and Acts he was well educated. And a trained physician. So he was a doctor. So with that, you have to imagine he was a careful. And exact history when he was writing in the Book of Luke Chapter one, verses one through 4, Luke right in as much as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, delivered them to us. It seemed good to me also, having had the perfect understanding of all things from the very first to write to you in orderly accounts, most excellent Theophilus. That you may know certainty of those things in which you were instructed. So here in Luke, he's that's how Luke starts out and he's pretty much letting us know, you know, that he is. Very attention his attention to detail is very good. And so when we go through the Book of Luke, when we go through the book of X, You can look at it through the eyes of a doctor, you know, where they're very attentive to detail. Repeatedly, the details of Luke's descriptions in his the books that you've written have proven to be accurate. I remember going to the doctor and I know we've all been to the doctor at least once and you know now they want to send you the when you're a new patient, they want to send you these forms so you can fill them out beforehand. When you fill out these forms, it's like they want all your medical history, right? They want to know what happened to you and what surgeries you've done, what medications you were taking. What's hurting? What's wrong with you? You know all that? And then once you go into the office, they're going to bring you in. Get your get your your weight, your height, your blood pressure, and then when you go into the office. The doctor comes in. Actually, I think it was a nurse the last time there was a nurse, she came in and she asked me pretty much all the exact same questions that were on those forms. I was like, wow these. Guys, are they really want to know and the doctor comes in? And he pretty much uses all the information that I provided to give a pretty well-rounded diagnosis of what's going on and kind of how he can research and see what what they can do to help me out. And so when we look at this, we can see him as a doctor, you know, his attention to detail is going to be very, very well. Well written. And in this book. In Acts, he is a first hand eyewitness. Of Paul's second missionary journey in this book of Acts, so we're going to go through act chapter 15 verses one through 20. If you can follow along. With me. Starting at verse one and certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren. Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas. And certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders about this question. So being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles. And they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the Apostles and the elders. And they reported all things that God had done with them, but some of the sect of the Pharisees who believe rose up saying it is necessary to circumcise them and to command them. To keep the law of Moses. In verse 6, now the apostles and elders came together to consider the matter, and when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them, men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us that by my mouth the Gentile should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledge them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. And made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now, therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved in the same manner as they. Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles in wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles, and after they had become silent, James answered, saying men and brethren, listen to me. Simon has declared how God at first visited the Gentiles. And take out of them a people for his name. And with this, the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written after this I will return and will rebuild the Tabernacle of David, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins and I will set it up so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by my name. Says the Lord, who does all these things known to God from eternity are all his works. Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to. God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled and from blood. Let's pray. Heavenly father. Lord, just thank you for for the reading of your word. Lord, thank you for your word that is alive and well. Lord, thank you. That it is the same. Yesterday, today and forever, Lord. So when we go through the Bible, Lord, we don't have to worry about. Is it gonna apply to us nowadays? Because now you know we do things differently now. No, Lord, this Bible applies.
Today, Lord, we thank you for your word. Thank you for the. Reading of your word, Lord, I just pray you a. Blessed this message you're in my praying man. All right. Going to verse one in Acts chapter 15. If you back up a little in verse in Chapter 14, Paul is ending his first missionary journey. And in the end, he's writing, you know. Now, when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them and that he had opened the door of faith to the Gentile. So they stayed there a long time with the disciples, and so here it's like, you know, a happy ending. In chapter 14, everybody's happy. You know, it's like a happy ending to the story of Paul's first first missionary journey. And then we come here to chapter 15 and verse one, and immediately we get into a conflict that they're happening. That's happening here in Antioch. And it reads. And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren. Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. Now, who are these certain men that was here? These certain men were Jewish Christians, Jewish Christians were Pharisees that believed. Whenever, whenever, here, in this passage, whenever Luke writes Pharisees who believe he's Speaking of Pharisees who were always Pharisees, but they believe that Jesus now is Christ. And so these were the Jewish Christians that that is here and certain men came down from Judea, which is the surrounding area of Jerusalem, and taught the brethren, unless you are circumcised. According to the law, most you cannot be saved. Now here in this area you have the Jewish Christians and you have the Gentile Christians, the Jewish Christians. Like I explained, they are the Jewish Christians. They are the Christians that were formerly Pharisees and they were Jews. And now they are believers. Now the Gentile Christians. During Paul's first missionary journey, he was, during their their their ministry, so many Gentiles, so many Gentiles. Non Jews came to Christ, came to know the Lord and gave their lives to the Lord. But hear these certain men. They just couldn't let go of. Their mosaic law, the Pharisees. And so they they they came down from Judea, which is 300 miles. It's no small, no small trip. It's not down the street. These guys have a mission to come down here and and share with them with these Gentile believers. That what? What Paul and them were teaching was not correct. And they believe that under, unless you are circumcised, unless you come through the loud most, unless you become a Jew first. You cannot be saved. Now let's see what did. Next week. Jerry, he was speaking about the old covenant. He was saying the old covenant and the New Covenant, the Old Covenant with the Mosaic Law, went over the moral law, the dietary law where they can eat certain types of food, the animal sacrifice, Sabbath, breast circumcision. But Jesus, when he was crucified. He took all that away. The veil was torn. And now we have direct access to God, and this is the new covenant that Paul and Barnabas were sharing with these Gentile believers. That all they had to do was believe in Jesus. And they'll be saved. All they had to do was have faith in Christ and they will be saved. And so we go over to here to to verse verse 2, right? So therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no dissension and dispute with them. They determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders about this question. So here we have the Gentile and Gentile believers. You know, now they're confused because first you have Paul and Barnabas teaching them that you can come straight to God. It's except God as your savior, and you're going to be saved. And then you have these guys coming from Jerusalem who it's like, oh, these guys from Jerusalem, are they? They're serious. And they're telling them no, what problem we're teaching is incorrect. What you really need to do is come through the law of Moses, go through circumcision, go through all the customs of of the Jewish nation and do that first. And then you can be. And so here, Paul and Barnabas said they had what, no small dissension and dispute so didn't have a small dissension. What was it? That was a big one, you know, they had a big problem with what these searching men were teaching. And so the people wanted answers. And So what do they do? The church came together and said, hey, you know, Paul, Barnabas, you know, I know, you know, we believe you guys. But now we're kind of confused with these guys coming here and telling us different. So be cool if you guys just go to Jerusalem, you know, go talk to the apostles, to the elders. And come up with a definitive answer for us so that we know for sure cause right now they weren't. They weren't sure if they were saved or not. And so, and that's what they determined and that's what they did. So they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others. And when it says certain others, I have to believe they're talking about those same certain men who came down and talked. About the law of Moses. And they had to go back with them and so was uncertain. Many of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders. About that question. 300 miles, 15 that's about 15 days of walking 300 miles. That's. Got to be a big, big disagreement for. Me to to. Walk 300 miles. I I don't even like walking one mile, so. But these guys, they the people, they needed an answer. They needed a resolution to this before they can move forward in their walk with the Lord. And so we go on into verse 3. So being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria. Which is predominantly Gentiles. Describing the conversion of the Gentiles. And they cause great joy to all brethren. I'm telling you a lot of times we have big dissension. We have big disagreements. You know, with whether it be my coworkers or family or what it what, not even here at the church. You know when I'm leaving, it's like I'm not really. Trying to go and you. Know share the joy of the Lord. You know, it's like, oh, forget these guys, man. I'm out of here, you know, just gonna go straight home. But you know. They weren't like that. They were just filled with the Holy Spirit and even while even through all that having to travel 300 miles to go to Jerusalem, they still found the time to describe the conversion of the Gentiles that was happening over there in Antioch. And it caused those brethren their great joy. How amazing is that for these guys to just continue to be witnesses, even through all that, and be going into verse 4? And when they come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the Apostles. And the elders. And they reported all things that God. Had done with. So when they showed Jerusalem, man, these guys were ready. I don't know if they had, like, some runners that were were telegraphed or something to let them know, hey, we're on our way. Up, you know. And we need you guys to be ready because we got serious issues, serious disagreements here going on Antioch, and we need answers. And so they had. The church was there, so that was all the believers. They had the apostles and the other, so they had the church and the leadership. Receiving them and once they got there, what did they do? First, they reported all things that God had done with them. They were people giving them a progress report and the testimony of what was going on throughout their first missionary journey. But also what's going? On in Antioch, you know, with their disagreement with. With the Pharisees, with the, the Jewish, Christian, sorry. So they gave the report of the missionaries the things that happened when they were in Paphos, in Perga, Piscidia, Galacia, Iconium, Lystra. Derby, so many great healings, miracles that were going on, Gentiles being saved like it was. It was like a Jesus revolution back here in Antioch. And after they were after they were sharing that. What do we read here in verse 5? But some of the sects of the Pharisees who believe rose up saying it is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses? So here they are, sharing their your parks report, what's going on? All these. Everybody's coming to Christ. The Gentiles are loving it. And here the sect of the Pharisees who believed that Jewish Christians, it's it, is this. They're still, they're still pushing this because this is what they believed. How hard is it when you think of these Jewish Christians, they grew up with this. They grew up from beginning to now, when they're adults living with the law of Moses being all those mosaic laws, sacrificing, leaving the moral laws. Doing all this. And then you see the Gentiles just skipping all that and going straight to being being saved, going straight to acquiring salvation. And they didn't like that. And so we hear. So we read here in two things that I want to point out in verse 5. The fairies, what they said is it is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses. So the first thing they they said is it's it's necessary to circumcise them. And the second thing that they mentioned it is that they command them to keep the law of Moses. So the first thing is to circumcise. It was kind of like a prerequisite prerequisite to salvation. I remember going to school in. You know, taking college courses and those are going to college. You go to a counselor and kind of get. They're going to ask you, what do you want to major in? I don't know, computer science. You know and. Then when you sell computer science, they're going to give you they're going to print out this whole list of all these classes that you got to take before that. You have all these general Ed classes. You got to take. These are all pre records in order to even get that degree. You need to take all these classes and it's like 30 classes and you just looking overwhelmed. You're like a computer science, actually, I said business. You know, and they're like, oh, business. Oh, you know, they print out like 40 classes. They're like, whoa, what? You know, you're just like having it. Like, is there an easier way to get this degree? Man, it's tough. I commend those who have went through through that, that experience with the cause, but you know, thinking about the prerequisites, you know it's it's like things that you got to do to accomplish this to get this degree you need to do all these things to get here. You got to do all these things, you know and. Paul and Barnabas, they weren't teaching that, you know, they were teaching that once Christ died that veil came, was torn. And now we had direct access to God. We didn't have to do all these things. And the second part of verse 5. Is after circumcise them. They were demanding that they command them to keep the law of Moses. That's an interesting word that they used here that Luke used here is they said to command them now who gives commands? Who gives commands? You know as parents? Yeah, it's us parents. You know, we're we're in control. Like, tell the kids you got to do this. But who's giving these commands? It's those who are in authority. Those who are in control. And so you can see here, just with their response here to after what Paul was sharing. They said and command them to keep the. Law of Moses. Command them. What they really meant to say was we want to be in control. We don't want to release that control from these Gentile believers. We want to control you. Think of the Pharisees. They were. Always looking. You know, they're always bothering. You know what Jesus was doing? His ministry. Every little thing that just was doing. They were like keeping a close arm. What he was doing, he's like, oh, look at him. He's breaking the law of Moses. Oh, look, look what he's doing over here. He's not. He's not following this law. Oh, look, you're not following that law. The Sabbath. Oh, he's doing something on Sabbath. I don't care if that dude was healed, you know, and. He can walk again. He broke the Sabbath, so he broke the law and they wanted that control so they could control him. They could throw him in jail so they can do what they want to do. How true is that? You know with our walk? You know, when we think about it, how the enemy, he just wants that control. He does not want to let go of that control. And so he's going to use these things. He's going to use stuff like that, legalism in the church. You know, it's like, oh, well, you know, you know Josh. Yeah, I know you want to, you know, come and serve. But I'm looking at you. For giving report and you know you're not really giving a lot. So we're gonna have to need you to up that before you come and serve as an usher. We need you to up that and also you'll be coming late to church. So we're going to need you to, you know, start coming on time a little early to help clean up and do all the things and. You know, that's what the enemy he's he's using all these. Things to keep us away from the church, to keep us away from, from, from God, from Jesus, from learning. And we want to keep control. Now he goes on into. Verse 6. Now the appals and elders came together to consider this matter. So after Paul and Barnabas gave their report. And the Pharisees came and spoke up what they believed. That the Gentiles needed to do before they. Earned their salvation. After all that, now the Apostle elders came together to consider this matter. So in verse four they were received when they came to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the Apostles and the elders. And now here you notice in verse 6 there's no more church. Now it's just the apostles and the elders. And they were discussing that considering the matter at hand. And so when verse 7 and when there had been much dispute, Peter Rose up and said to them men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us that by my mouth the Gentile should hear the word of God and believe. So when they came together in verse 6 to this matter in verse 7, he's saying there was much dispute among those elders that came together. And Peter said, and he waited. He listened to what everybody had to say. Everybody you said your piece, the Jewish Christian said their piece. And now Peter is going to speak after much dispute. I don't know how long that went on. It might have been pretty long. And Peter rose up and said to them, men and brethren. Isn't that a respectful approach when he's going to address address them, the apostles and the elders? He said. Men and brethren. You know that a good while ago God chose among us that by my mouth the Gentile should hear the word of gospel word of the gospel and believe. When Peter writes that by my mouth. He's Speaking of what Jesus spoke to him in Matthew Chapter 16 and verse 19. He writes. Almost starting verse 17 just answered and said to him, blessed are you Simon bar Jonah for the flesh and blood has not revealed. This to you. But my father, who was in heaven, and they also say to you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Haiti, shall not prevail against it, and I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. And whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in heaven. And whatever you lose on Earth. Will be loosed in heaven. So that's what Peter here is speaking about that God chose among us. They chose him. That the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel. Now this is the same Simon Peter who was a fisherman. The Saint Peter who recognized he was recognized leader of Jesus 12 disciples, but he was also the Saint Peter who denied Jesus three times during his trial. And Peter himself was a Jew, so he also kind of in the back of his mind, he he he found. It hard to. He found it hard also to treat the Gentile Christians as equals. You know, so for Peter here to speak up. About that, he was having a change of heart. He had a change of heart after the Lord, after Jesus Christ passed after he was crucified. Peter had a change of heart. And after much dispute, a lot of back and forth that must have been exhausting. But he said a good while ago, God chose among us. So he was reminding them what God has done up until then. And that's like he was trying to get to, you know, that's why he was trying. He was, he was pleading his case before them. He was building up his case. You know, his reasoning is why he was going to say what he was going to say. He was giving them a history lesson but. You know, we can learn from that. You know, thinking, going back and how he said a good while ago, God chose among us. He was talking about the past and what God has done from then until now. And how humbling it is it for us as believers when we look back, when we recount what the Lord has done in our lives, what the Lord has done, the answers, the prayers that you know the Lord has answered in our lives. The things that Lord has done through each and everyone of us I know sometimes you do things you're like, you go back home and wow, I I just can't believe the Lord. Did all that and it wasn't even by our strength. It's not by my strength. But the Lord still continues to use us, and how much of a blessing, how encouraging it is. You know when we recount and think what the Lord has done in our lives in the past, up to now, the people who have come to us and we've been able to share, we've been able to witness, we've been able to bless and also vice versa, they've been able to bless us in. In the same sense. So here Peter is building his case and he's appealing to them. And he says in verse 8, so God, who knows the heart, acknowledge them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did us. Newsflash God knows the heart. You know. And in the same in the same in the same breath. He's also telling them that God knows the heart, and neither of us know, know, know humans, hearts. Neither of us humans, we don't know people's hearts. I mean, we can see. We can watch them and we can guess. You can see them by their fruit, you know, like, OK, yeah. I can see, you know. Romans was coming and and, you know, serving. I think he's a pretty cool guy, you know? Alright, he's good, OK. But really, we don't know. I don't know. Romans heart. I don't know when he comes to. I don't know if he's coming with, you know, ill intentions or if he's coming and he's angry or upset. You know, we don't know if if you. Know he's. He's mad at his wife. You know, you don't know. It's so easy and I look I look back on my life and I'm pretty sure a lot of us here when we look and we've been in church for a while. I mean, we know we we we know how to play it off. You know how. What words to? Say we just say, oh, thank you Lord. Thank you, praise the Lord. Hey, John. Great job. Praise the Lord. You know, it's like. Oh, hey, Josh, can you be here to do worship? I'm going to pray about it. All right, I'll walk away. I'm going to pray about it. Oh, thank you. Lena's asking me. Josh, can you fill in for? I want to pray about it. Lena, and I'll get back to you because that's that's. That's what we know. You know, I grew up in the church. And you listen to all the answers that the people elder before you, everything that they say you like. Hey, you don't wanna let me pray for you or let. Me. Pray for you bro. And we we know the act, we can play it off real easy. But even though we can play it out, we can fool you. I can fool all of you. But one person, we cannot fool this God, God knows. Our hearts. In first Samuel Chapter 16 and verse seven, Samuel is there to anoint the new king for Israel. God told him for man looks at the outward appearance. But God looks at the heart. He was looking at all of Jesse's sons, you know, all of them. He's like, oh, Lord, this has got to be him. Look at this guy. He's fit. He's tall, man. He can. He has, like a 40 inch vertical. You know, I I think this is the next king. You know, like oh, no, that's not him. OK, how about this guy? Lord, look at him. Like he looks like a supermodel. I'm pretty sure this guy, when he's sitting on the throne, I can just imagine his photo shoots. It's going to look great. You know when we're going to post it on social media, we're going to see we're going to get a lot of followers and people are going to love this guy, fall in love with him. Let's use this guy Lord and Lord's like. Nope, that's not him. Keep looking and we all know it came down to David, who was sitting out. There with the sheep. Because God is not looking for the outward appearance, he's looking at the heart. In Luke Chapter 16, verse 15, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and he said to them. You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts for what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. God knows your hearts. So here, like I said, Peter is building his case. Over here, he's talking in verse 7. He's bringing up the past. And what the Lord has done in the past here in verse 8, he's talking about God knows Man's heart. But you guys don't know Man's heart. God does. And this is what the scripture says about God and people's hearts. And so here it's like, I'm pretty sure Peter speaking. And these Pharisees, the Jewish Christians. They're like man. He's he's bringing up a lot of good points. Guys, I I don't know what to say. You know, I don't know. Just gonna have to sit here and just listen to what else he has to say. And so here in verse 9. Peter continues. Well, actually verse eight, he says, acknowledge it by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did. Sorry in verse 8. This is Speaking of when Peter went to Cornelius. We learned earlier in. In this book of Acts. And at Cornelius House, Peter went over there because God gave Peter a vision about the clean and the unclean. And so Peter went to Cornelius Cornelius sent men over there to escort Peter to his house to bring him there. And this is what God wanted. And so after Peter got to his house. You know, he was talking to Courtney. This was like, hey, you know, I, you know, I'm I'm a Jewish. I'm not really supposed to come to your house, but you know, God shared. With me, you know that. You know what he has called unclean? What he has called clean. I can't call unclean. He has called common. I can't call in common anymore and so because of that, because of the the Mosaic law, Jews couldn't even step into Gentiles homes. You stepped through that threshold in their house. Sinner, you know you've broken the law of Moses. You know, and so Peter for him right here when he was was speaking to Cornelius and he was about to enter into his home. Yeah, that was a big step for him. But the Lord came beforehand and shared with Peter that hey, you know what I've called clean? Who are you to call him clean? And so he shared with him. And here in Cornelius, him and his family and his friends that came there to listen to Peter speak and to. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and so that's what he is speaking here in verse 8. Peter says acknowledge them. God knows the heart. He acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. Remember when Jesus ascending into heaven, you know, after he came back, you know, he said. But don't worry, helper is going to come, you know then in the they have Pentecost when they are waiting a couple of days. They were all blessed with they were all filled with the Holy Spirit in that room, the apostles, the disciples there, and that's what he is comparing. He's like, hey, who are you guys? To say this or that, it says right here. That God has blessed him with the same Holy Spirit. He's blessed us with. We're not. We're not this special. We're equal. And in verse nine and he has made no distinction distinction between us and them purifying their hearts. He has made no distinction. Between us and them. If God has made no distinction between us and them, then why are we? Why are we doing this? In Acts chapter 10, verse 15. You know, this is where Peter Vickerman voice spoke to him again the second time and says what God has cleansed. You must not call common. This is between Peter, but before he was going to go meet Cornelius and then in verse 28 of that same chapter. Then he said to them, you know how unlawful it is for Jewish men to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. We share. That's what the Jews believed of the Gentiles. They believe that they were unclean. They believed that they were uncommon. You know, they didn't. They didn't have a right to step on the. Same stage with them. They weren't allowed to even be. In the same building. With them. That's crazy. Just to think that. But here Peter is saying God has made no distinction between us and them. In verse nine we are the same. And not only. That he's purifying their hearts by faith. Isn't that amazing? It's amazing how we are saved by grace through faith. But not only that, but purifying our hearts. By faith. And it wasn't. It wasn't a it wasn't by circumcision. It wasn't found in the law of Moses. You know, a ceremony on how to do all this, how to purify your faith. How to not distinguish between both them. But that's what Peter here is sharing with those elders and with those apostles. And now we go in here to verse 10. Now, therefore, why do you test God putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? Why do you test God? Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice. We all know that he when he died on the cross, that was the ultimate sacrifice. The veil torn from top to bottom, creating that direct access from him to us. So we don't have to, we don't have to go through, you know, the law of Moses. We don't have to. Become a Jew. They didn't have to do all these things. These prerequisites, in order to gain their salvation. You know, in a sense when when they're saying. All all these prerequisites it's it's the same thing as saying that, you know, God needs our help. You know. Does God need our help? No, he does not. You know when when God is trying to? When God wants to. Go and get saw of Tarzan. Who was? Persecuting the Christians back in the day. He didn't need any of us. He needed any of us. We had here later on in the verse. Why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear. Remember a yolk? The yolk is that big harness that goes on an ox and it helps them pull. The plow for the field or whatever they pull wagons or whatnot. This is a yoke that Peter was mentioning. It's like you're putting a yoke on the neck of these people. The disciples, which neither them, their fathers. Nor they were able to bear what they talk about, talk about the whole the whole Old Testament. You can go through the whole Old Testament this example after example of the Jewish people failing not being able to follow, not being able to live up, to not being able to come close. To living by the law of Moses. To living by their mosaic law, they're always making mistakes. When when Moses came down, you know from the mountain with the 10 Commandments, what were they doing? They were. They were worshipping a golden calf. I mean, you can look through the whole testament. It's example after example of how they were not able to follow. The law. And that's what Peter here is speaking about is like, hey. You look through our history. None of our ancestors, none of our parents could follow this law. And yet here we are. After Jesus died for our sins. We're still trying to put this same yoke, this same, all these same prerequisites on these new believers on these gentiles who all they want to do is just come and serve all. They want to do is come and. Get salvation. So what is the purpose of the law? What is the purpose of the mosaic law that's looking Galatians chapter 3 in verse 24 through 25? Like what Paul writes here in in, in the purpose of the law? Paul writes, therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ. That we might be justified by faith. But after Faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. So what was the law? Peter writes here? The law was our tutor. What does he mean by that? What does he mean by the? Law being our tutor. The law here was a guideline. That's all it was. It was a guideline. It's the same thing as the 10 Commandments. Sick man. God knows none of us are going to follow all 10 commandments all day, every day. This is a guideline for us and also. It's kind of helped us humble, humble us. You know, to looking at this for live man. I can't even keep all these commandments, Lord. I need you. And so it says right here in Galatians 324. The law was our tutor to bring us to Christ. That's what the law is. For and, so that was God's plan was to provide us with these guidelines, provide us with these laws. And so once we realize though, it's impossible, Lord, it's impossible to follow all these laws. There's too many. I'm not perfect. I can't do. It on my own. And God's like, yes. And that's why I gave you these laws. So that we realize that we can't do anything without him. And since here that we might be justified by faith, but after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. And when you think about that Yelp that Peter was here was mentioning in. In this verse. You know, if you look at Matthew Chapter 1128 to. 30 It talks about how easy. The Lord Yoke is. In Matthew 1128 he reads come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you. Rest take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lonely and heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. This what he's saying here is that his. Yoke is easy. And you look here, the Pharisees, the Jewish believers, the Jewish Christians. They're trying to keep that yoke on. It's completely opposite to what Jesus saying here in Matthew. It's like Lord, which one is it you want to the yoke to be easy or you wanted to follow all these commandments and laws that we can't even keep, you know, which one is it? And that's what Paul was here. And Barnabas was here. To plead their case in front of the elders. And so here Peter continues going on in verse 11. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved in the same manner as they. Yeah, I'm. I'm pretty sure the. The Jewish Christians, right when they heard Peter say that they were like, what did this guy just say that in the end of the verse, let's read it. Again, we shall be saved in the same manner as they. Peter was saying, hey, you know, I know we, you know, went through all grew up in the law, going through all, you know, it was a lot of hard, hard times, you know, you couldn't really follow it. But here, after all that work, all that struggling that the Jews have gone through. He is saying in the same manner that they will be saying in the same manner. As the gentiles. And so the Lord is like these guys are like, so we gotta be like that. Like, yeah, it's that simple. Coming to Christ is that simple. They don't got to be all these prerequisites. It's simple, just like how Paul and Barnabas was teaching on their missionary journey. Saved by grace. Grace, you have been saved through faith. In Romans 10. 11 through 13. Paul writes for Scripture, says whoever believes on him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction distinction between Jew and Greek for the same Lord over all is rich to all. Who call upon him for whoever calls on the name of The Lord shall be saved in verse 12, for there is no distinction. Between Jew and Greek, it's the same thing that he said. Peter here said here in verse nine and made no distinction between us and them. Here, he's pounding his. He's pounding at home. Right here, there is. We are the same. That's what Peter is saying. There is no distinction, no distinction.
And in verse 12. Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders. God had worked through them among the Gentiles. So then that in verse 11 that was the closing of Peter's. Peters saying. He said what he had to say and here in verse 12, then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul. Declare their miracles and wonders that God had worked through them among the Gentiles. Now I really want to point out an adverse, you know, at the beginning how the. Multitude kept silent. And they listen. Here were a group of believers that didn't agree. They had a huge they had a big dissension, a big dispute, a big disagreement. And yet, when people were speaking, they were respectful. They were silent. They listened to what they had to say. And why is that? It's because they were willing to be persuaded. They wanted to know the truth as well. Respect was went both ways. It was being given and it was being received. The speakers were kept saying men and brethren, they're speaking to them as brothers and you see so many times in this passage. Alone how people were silent. They kept silent. They listened. A lot of times when people are in disagreement, there's no keeping silent. You know, people are trying to talk louder and they're they're arguing and then other person who has, who has their own view, they start talking even louder. And this person starts talking even louder, and then they start getting up close in each other's faces. And before you know it. It's a full out brawl. But not here. Here they're respectful. They had grace. They were being gracious. To each other. And it said here in the verse that the end of verse 12 God had worked through them among the Gentiles. I think in order for them in order for God to work. Through them, you know when they are going. To share the gospel with all the Gentiles. They had to be in the center. Of God's will. They had to be in order for God to bless the work in order for God to, you know, be with them the Holy Spirit to be there, you know, and for the work to flourish. God had to bless it. In order for him to do that. You know, they had to be in the center. Of God's will. What happens when they were in the center of God's will? What happened during this ministry? Here's what happened. Prayers were being answered. Miracles and wonders were happening. Spiritual warfare was happening. And yet they were still in the center of God's will. Are we as a body? Are we each and everyone of us? Are you, am I? Are we, as we're living today right now, are we in the center of God's will? Are we aligning our will with God's? Or are we trying to fit God's will into our lives, into our will, into what we're trying to do? Because I'm telling you, if you are trying. To fit God's will into your life. God is not going to bless it. God is not going to bless the work. We need to be the in center. We need to be in the center of God's will. We need to align our wills. With his. Moving on into verse 13, after they had become silent, James answered. This is James. This is Jesus's half brother who's also the author of the book of James, saying men and brethren, here we go again. The respect men and brethren, listen to me. Simon has declared how God at the first visited Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name. Now we see the whole how the whole meeting was going on. They were received by the church and the ones that received by the church, Paul and Barnabas, was sharing their report. They're giving a report of what was going on in Antioch, how everything was going, how the mission and journey journey went. After that. The Jewish Christians. They blurted out. Oh, they need to be circumcised. They need to come through the law of Moses, command them. Then they came together. The elders, the apostles. They came together. And they. They were. They were working it out. They were disputing going back and forth. Trying to come up with an answer, people were pleading their cases and then Peter pleaded his case and we went over that. And then Paul and Barnabas. They shared. And now here is James Jesus, half brother. Now he is going to speak. And it says here again, and after they had become silent, they were quiet. They're ready to listen. James also gave everybody a chance to say their piece. To say what they had to say so he can hear all these different all the different opinions of everybody, and just out of respect, you know, it's good for us when people have differing. Opinions of what? You know the scripture is is speaking to us. They have a different interpretation. It's good to listen. You don't have to imagine. Oh, no. Two or three or more are gathered. That's that's not talking about prayer. No, that's not so. They they were talking about coming together and and and agreeing on a solution. You guys keep, you know. No, they weren't doing that. And James here was giving them that courtesy and the same thing as us, too, when, you know, when we, when we run into people who have differing opinions differing, you know. Interpretations of the scripture it's good to listen. Sometimes they can persuade us. You know, that's a good point. I didn't think of that. You know the Lord's going to speak. To you through them. And so here James was listening to after listening to, you know, all they had to say, he said men and brethren, listen to me. Simon has declared how God. When he says Sam, he's talking about Peter. Has he cleared how God at first visited the Gentiles to take them a people for his name? The the judaizers. They were shocked. I can only imagine they were shocked when. He said this. He's like, what do you mean Gentiles? God visit the Gentiles, to take them people for his name. Who are the people who are God's people. It's the Jews. The Jews are God's people, and here James is saying God has first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name. I'm surprised they didn't walk out of the meeting. You know, I'm out of here. I'm not hearing none of this. This is blasphemy. But they stayed. And here James continues in verse 15 through 17. This is he's quoting scripture from Amos Chapter 9 verses. 11 through 12. And this is what James he's quoting this here in verse 15 through 17. Let's read it. And with this, the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written after this, I will return and will rebuild the Tabernacle of David, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins. And I will also, and I will set it up. So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by my name says The Lord who does all these things. This was a promise fulfilled. This is why This is why James was bringing this up. This is the way you know when we. Kind of sound like the Mandalorian. There, and this is the way no. I didn't mean that. What I meant to say this is. The way to. Deal with disputes. This is the way to deal with disagreements. Is right here. What James does is he goes to the scripture, he goes to the word of God. With his final. Instructions here and when we read through it after this our return. He's talking about the resurrection, our return and rebuild, the Tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and when he says, which has fallen down, referring to the Jews who rejected Jesus, who rejected him as the Messiah. And then it says I will rebuild its ruins. He's speaking here of the Gentiles bringing in the Gentiles, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord. And here is right here. Even all the Gentiles who are called by my name says the Lord who does all these things. This is a. Promise fulfilled that was written in Amos. You know, in second Timothy 316, most of us know that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for what is profitable for doctrine, profitable for reproof, correction, and for instruction. And that's what James was doing here. He was using God's word. To plead and to to let them know that this is what God has said. Who are we to dispute this? James, look to God's word for answers. How important it is for us. To look to God's word for answers. How do we respond if somebody was a color to to you and ask you lay man you know. Man, I'm having a hard time in my marriage. Like, well, you know what? I was watching this podcast with this guy and he was saying like, if you just ignore it. She's going to turn around and she's gonna complete 180. That's what the podcast said. You know, it's like I don't think you should do that. You know, I watching this YouTube video, you know this. I was watching this guy and he was like he was putting all his women to shame about, you know, how how you could have a successful. Marriage how you can have a successful business. How important it is for us when we are giving advice that we are giving godly advice. That we are looking into God's word. For these that for these answers, and that's why it's so important for us to have that daily bread, you know, so important for us to be in the word daily, we don't know what's going to come up. We don't know who we're going to meet that day. We don't know what God has in store for us. And so when we see people at work or wherever it may be on the road, in the store, in line in traffic, you know, we don't know what God has the store for us that day. God knows, so it's so important for us. To have that daily bread. That daily fix so that God's going to give us the answers in his word so that we're prepared. With that godly advice that hey, you know what, man, I God gave me the perfect word for you. I read in my devotional this morning, you know, that God wants you to do this. God wants you to grace your wife. God wants you to grace your husband. I want you to be gracious. You were saved through grace in Christ, and now God wants you to also show that same grace to that person. How important it is for us to use God's word for reproof, for correction, for instruction. We go on the 1st. 18 known to God from eternity are all his works going into verse 19. Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God. But that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality. From things strangled and from blood. I'm going to close with this. James here he is the senior pastor. He says you can see it playing his day right here. It wasn't Peter. It was James. James was a senior pastor of the leader of the church, he says. Therefore, I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God. Leave them alone. We should not trouble them. Their right to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled and from blood. Here he's talking about. The food. For longest time I even know what kosher was and I was like what kosher I was thinking was like a hot dog. Or something like that. But what it is is the kosher is how the Jewish people, how they prepare their food. The food that they're allowed to eat. You know what? If you see a Jewish person next to you, you just come with and you're, like, chowing down on your pork chop. You know, it's like, oh, man, you might be offending these guys. You know, you're you're eating your, you're drinking all this milk and you know. Trying to Oh yeah, look at this bloody steak. I'm just not cutting up this steak. And you know. The Jews, they had a certain way of making their food kosher. They had a bleed it make sure it's completely bled out before they ate of that meat. And that was what one of the things that. James was here sharing that they should abstain from, and he was speaking mostly to the Gentile believers. Was also that and the last thing was sexual immorality. We're speaking more so about. Then rather, but more so about marriage. In Leviticus 18. You know, it talks about marriage, not marrying, you know, cousins within your family, things of that nature. And that's what James here was speaking. And it wasn't. It wasn't. He wasn't forbidding them, but he was encouraging them. He says to abstain, that is to restrain oneself. So he's encouraging them. And why is he encouraging them? It's because their brothers, their sisters, the the Jewish Christians, they'd have a hard time if you were coming over here and, you know, eating your your pork chops or or, you know. Bare ribs or whatever. It may not be. And then also things like that it's. Going to take them off. You know they're. Going to be, it's just not a good relationship. And so in order for that relationship to grow, you know, he was saying, hey, you know, I'm this here. If you guys could do these, abstain from these things. And it's cool about in here verse 19 and 20, the first thing James wanted to do was. Turn to God. He said do not trouble them, those from jets who are turning to God in verse 19. But then in verse 20 the things he listed to abstain from and that's. That's how it is. That's how our salvation is. You know, first we come to God, we turn to God, and then afterwards. Then we can do. We can do. With all the works. We can deal with coming to church. We can deal with the tithing. We can deal with loving, serving all these different aspects of what it is to be a believer. But the most important thing is turning from God. I mean turning to God. And the second thing is the works that can come after the faith in James. Two verse 26, he writes for as the body without the spirit is dead. So faith without works is dead. Also the worst comes after. Being saved by grace through faith works comes after turning to God. Hey, follow Jesus is coming soon. He could come any day. Any day. Everything is lined up for Jesus Christ to come back. Are we ready? Like Richard was bringing up in the announcements. We all have coworkers. We all have family members. We all have neighbors that we know that aren't saved. What are we doing? What are we doing to bring them to cry? Are we inviting them to church? Are we inviting them to Easter service? Are we praying for them? Are we doing all these things because we prayed about it early this morning? We want a revival, right? Jessica, we want that. We are praying for a revival in our nation. We're we're praying for revival in our state. We're praying for revival in our city. And we're praying for revival in our our neighborhoods. But where does that? Start that all starts with us. It all starts in our homes with each and everyone of us. And here. Here Luke writes are pretty much a blueprint of what it is to witness to be a witness. You know when you're giving you ask people. Hey, you wanna come to church? The first thing to do is they're going to come up to you with all these prerequisites that they haven't met. Oh, you know, I, you know, I I. Man, if I go into church, it's going to lightning is going to strike it. You know, I haven't been to church it forever. I haven't given it to God you. Know I have this problem this sin. And I can't shake it. And so I'm not. I can't. I can't come right now. Or it's like, hey, you know, I want to come, but I'm kind of in this relationship. We're not married. You know, I like. I don't know if that's right with God. You know, I'm not going to come. It's all these records. They're going to come with excuses for us on why they shouldn't come. But here we learned from Paul and Barnabas, and from this letter here. Is that they don't need. To take care of all those prerequisites, all they got to do. Is just come. What is the law for? They know that they are not. They are not perfect. They know that they need God. And So what is the law? It shows us that they need to come to Christ. They need to come to God. And then after they turn to God, then they can work on all that other stuff. But the first, most important thing for them to come to Christ. And it's a good blueprint for us when they come with these prerequisites that they can't meet and we're sharing with them. It's like, hey, don't worry about that. Just come. Just show up. Just be there. And after that, you know when he taught, when? When James talks about the things they need to abstain from. You know, say, hey, we'll work on that together. You know, we'll pray for you. Let's work on that. Come to men's study. We'll talk about it as men. Go to the women's. Day tree with your beauty bar. And and enjoy it there, you know, and and talk about it. A lot of us dealing with a lot of the same issues, but we're not coming together and nobody knows Mark might be going through the same thing. I might be going through, but I'm not gonna tell Marcus. I'm not gonna tell the guys, cause you know. I don't want nobody no more. I want everybody to know that I'm I'm good. Because I know what I. Got to say, like I said, we grew up in the church. We know what to say to make it look like we got it all together. But we don't. We need each other. We need to share these things with us, you know? So that's my encouragement for everybody here. Is we're living in the end times. You know, we want that revival. We want to share, we want to be a witness. This book of Acts. It's amazing the Holy Spirit coming on all these disciples and they're doing amazing things. Healing, spreading the word, people coming to Christ. And it's like, wow, just then with the Holy Spirit, you think that they would, they would have, you know, fallen back because. Jesus left them. They're like, oh man, Jesus gone, or I'm gonna go back to being a Fisher, being a Fisher. But no. They got the Holy Spirit to come and help them to do all these amazing things, and the Holy Spirit wants to do that for us. Each and everyone of us here, the Holy Spirit wants to be there to help us. To be a witness. In our neighborhoods, in at our jobs, A. God wants to use each and everyone of us where we're at in our own mission fields. We don't need to be in Africa. We don't need to be in Europe, we don't need to be in Asia or nowhere. We need to be right here where God has us to be and he wants us to be that witness. We're at the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are a few y'all. God wants to use each and everyone of us to be that witness. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we just thank you for this time and your word. Thank you for this time. Going through what the disputes that they were going through here. I'm back in Antioch, Lord. And now that they show us the blueprint, Lord, it also shows us how to handle disputes, you know, amongst other believers, Lord. And how was that or we they just want us to come to you. Lord, come together, seek you get in your word. And that's what we're going to find. The answers. Lord is through you. So I pray for each and everyone here as we leave this place that you would anoint them with their Holy Spirit, that they would go out there mightily. In your neighborhoods, in their neighborhoods, in their homes, at their job sites. That there would be that witness. To you that they would invite people, it doesn't have to be at this church. It just has to be inviting them to. Come and seek you. We're not asking that they have a religion, Lord. We want them to have a relationship with you. And so that as our prayer Lord, we lift all these things up to you. Our prayer for each. Everybody here as a lead that you will bless each and everyone of them that you will bless their families. Your name we pray.