Tag Archives: Peter

How Jesus Solves Our Real Problems

Acts chapter 15 is a chapter about the meaning of Christian faith. It is perhaps the most important chapter in the New Testament outside of the gospels. The books of Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews are based mostly on the decisions and statements made in Acts 15.

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The leaders of the early church were all Jewish converts, and by Acts 15 they were dealing with a crisis of faith as many Gentile converts were attempting to join the Christians. The leaders met in Jerusalem to discuss how to handle Gentiles who professed Jesus as Lord and Savior.

There were many in favor of making Gentiles get circumcised before they could call themselves Christians. Some wanted to go even farther and make them essentially become Jewish before they could become Christian. Others determined that Jesus had died for the sins of the world, and therefore his purpose was to save from sin, not to bring gentiles into Judaism.

The core of this question was a question of what the primary problem with humanity is.

To Jews, the big problem was that that so many people failed or outright refused to read the Old Testament and practice the teachings of the law. If everyone obeyed Genesis through Deuteronomy and paid attention to the prophets, then God’s kingdom would come to earth and there would be joy. This was the belief of the Pharisees and the vast majority of people in Israel. They expected God’s kingdom to come when they all got serious about obeying God’s commands.

To Gentile converts the biggest problem was that they had no access to God because they were sinful and he was perfect. They could not reach God because they were unworthy. Jesus solved this problem by taking their sin and imputing righteousness to them.

In Acts 15 the Jewish Christian leaders decided unanimously that Jesus had died for our sins, in order to save us, not so that we could be circumcised, but so that our sins would be washed away.

It may seem obvious now, but it was a meeting of extreme importance, and the outcome of the meeting ensured that true Christian faith and practice would be taught.

We owe a great deal to Peter, James, and the other leaders who agreed together in Acts 15.

How to Know God’s Will and Eliminate Guesswork

God’s Impossible Command, and Why Cain Killed Abel

The Tragedy of Jephthah

The Church at One Year (And a Hard Question)

This blog entry is the sixth in a seven day series counting down the days until York Springs Foursquare has its grand opening. You are invited, 10:30 AM Sept. 21!

When you read Acts 12, you may not notice it, but you are reading about the one-year anniversary of the first church in the world.

It is right there in 12:3-4, which say that Herod arrested Peter during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and planned to have his trial after Passover.

Continue reading The Church at One Year (And a Hard Question)

Following Jesus and Having Your Mind Blown

This blog entry is the fourth in a seven day series counting down the days until York Springs Foursquare has its grand opening. You are invited, 10:30 AM Sept. 21!

In Acts chapter 10 Peter, the leader of the disciples and arguably the most important figure in the New Testament, (other than Jesus of course) finds himself being challenged by God in ways that he had not foreseen, and would struggle with for a long time.

I would call Acts 10 a turning point, but in reality, it was not. It was the plan all along. The only reason it is a major turning point in church history is because the disciples did not understand the full scope of their job on the first day, and had limited their own thinking. Because of their own limitations, they had avoided the Gentile world, which was actually the vast majority of the world. Continue reading Following Jesus and Having Your Mind Blown

God’s Grace and Death (Ananias & Sapphira)

When your read Acts 5, you start off with a very disturbing story about a married couple named Ananias and Sapphira. The story actually began at the end of chapter 4, when Barnabas sold some property and game all the money to the church.

Chapter five opens up with Ananias and Sapphira selling some property, and giving some of the money to the church, while keeping some for themselves.

Continue reading God’s Grace and Death (Ananias & Sapphira)