Should Christians always agree? Did the early Christians always agree?
There will be disagreements
- Acts 15:37-39 -Paul and Barnabas over John Mark
- Phil. 4:1-3- Euodia and Syntyche are encouraged to agree in the Lord
- Gal. 2:10-16- Peter, Paul and Barnabas and the truth of the gospel
- Matt. 20:20-24- Special favor asked for James and John
- Acts 6- Discrimination in the daily distribution of food
God worked to expand the church through all these encounters.
We don’t think alike in all things. Everything we do or hear is filtered by our life experiences.
Three Major Issues of the Early Church
- Resurrection of dead
- Acceptance of non Jews into the church
- Keeping of Jewish law and traditions
Resurrection of Christ
Acts 3, 4
- Peter and John heal crippled man and preach gospel
- This same preaching led to stoning of Stephen
Acceptance of Gentiles into the Church
Acts 10, 11
- Peter converts Cornelius
This ended this particular problem, but it led to Jews asking Gentiles to keep the law.
Keeping of Jewish law and traditions
Romans 14:1-6 -Keeping Special Days and Eating Meat
- Be convinced in your own mind and act in faith
- Do not judge each other in these disputable matters
- We all serve the Lord
- Do not be judgmental or condemning in your restrictions
Jewish Law of Circumcision
Acts 15 – Council of Jerusalem
- Saved by grace
- Gentiles must not be burdened by law of circumcision
- Follow these rules: Avoid food polluted by idols, Avoid sexual immorality, Avoid meat of strangled animals and blood
Circumsion – A continuing problem
- Acts 16:1-3
- Gal. 2:3-5
- Acts 21:21-24
These show a willingness to accommodate others’ beliefs.
Keeping the Law – Circumcision Must Not be Required
- Gal. 2:10-16- Paul takes this on directly- we are saved by faith and grace. Something that cannot be compromised is the truth of the gospel.
- Gal. 5:1-15- The only that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
The truth of the Resurrection cannot be compromised.
Acts 23:8, 1Cor. 15:12-19
- Our objective is not to win an argument. It is to serve the Lord.
- We should forego freedoms to avoid offending others.
- We should not force our restrictive views on others
- Do not be judgmental of others.
Act out of faith and in love towards others.
—Wayne Anderson, 3-30-08, p.m.