191109 - Unity Please!
I'm staff. We have six six. 6 elders Hannah What kind of rotate is lead Elder so we have a lot of different people you can go to if you're looking to see an elder.
Please join me in prayer. Holy God, we thank you for being a god of unity a God who holds your body together the body of Christ, even though we may have differences of opinion slight differences in Traditions different understandings of what your word says and how we should apply it but we're still members of the body of Christ throughout the world. all kinds of
schisms of Faith groups, I guess. But we can share our Christianity our love for Jesus. No matter how different we view hennything guide us and lead us in that Unity. You are the source of any Unity, please guide us protect us lead us in Jesus name. I pray amen season that is challenging for some people who celebrate hebraic Roots because we have people coming forth saying we need to send Christmas boxes out to kids all over the world and Christmas is a non-biblical holiday. And so I don't know why but there's all kinds of tension about it. And we've had terrible hurts injuries when people have left the congregation for one reason or another over minor issues in my opinion this week. We read in Deuteronomy. One of those dividing lines. These are the clean Foods these of the unclean foods and it causes a lot of division. Some people think the law was done away with there's no need to pay any attention to these other people think No, this is what God Said So we have a responsibility to try to abide with what God has instructed. This is its attention. You have to completely opposite sides and the the thing that's hard to. Grasp and get a hold of is the idea that were both sides of this argument are believers in Jesus the Lord. And so we can celebrate that. Even if we have differences of opinion. If you don't celebrate Christmas yourself, you're still welcome to bring a Christmas Box to kids so they can hear the gospel message. It's not a conflict of interest. It's it's an essential part of Christian Unity. The more I'm here the longer I get into these kinds of crazy discussions the more I believe this is really really important to the body of Christ. So I've title the sermon today Unity, please.
Loosely titled seder 143, although I'm only going to go to Deuteronomy and and one reading in in Acts. I'm also going to read from proverbs. and also us some some comparison verses about the laws of
The biblical laws the kosher laws. The festival laws the Sabbath laws the and so on I'd like to begin by asking a question a years ago. I got into a discussion with a very strong advocate of Hebrew roots of Christianity. And he said the New Testament is only only is the word. He actually used a commentary on the Old Testament commentary on the Old Testament. You need the New Testament to understand the Old Testament in the New Testaments the commentary that you read to understand the Old Testament commentary and I thought You got a point and I will in a sense. It is a commentary, but you're missing. I mean I hear there is something new in the New Testament. And I ask myself. What is that? What's new? In the New Testament and this is something I wrestle with every year particularly in this season. The New Testament has something new in it. And so I've made an attempt to capture some of these ideas if you have other ones, I'd appreciate hearing them later. There's the in feeling presence of God's holy spirit, but wait a minute, Rob God's holy spirit's all over the Old Testament. Yeah, you're right. But it's not indwelling. It's it's for a time. It's for a short. Where a man writes a book or says a word to a king or something else. According to the New Testament we have received the in feeling presence of the Holy Spirit who could not end. Well us until Christ ascended. It's because Christ died Rose ascended that we could get that we can have this indwelling presence of the holy spirit is I have to I have to say New Testament authors believe is different than the Old Testament Holy Spirit leading. It's the same. But it's richer. It's kind of like dating a girl. And marrying her and living with her for many many years. It's different. They're the same. The relationships the same, but it's expanded. This in feeling presence of the Holy Spirit the expansion of gifts and giftings their many gifts in the Old Testament. We read about them and we can say they're all over the Old Testament in the New Testament. We have whole bodies of Christ who been given each member has been given gifts. spiritual gifts and spiritual giftings abilities we talked about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and much more in the New Testament. Then we would have ever talked about them in the Old Testament. If you're trying to do a study on the gifts of the holy spirit in the Old Testament. You're going to be challenged. It's going to be interesting to see what you come out with and I'd like to I'd like to share your work. If you if you if you do that ever Resurrection into everlasting life. What wait a minute Rob we have Resurrection all over the place in the yeah kind of you do in the Old Testament, but you don't have Resurrection into Eternal everlasting life. That's only in the New Testament. That's a new thing that happened to Jesus and it's promised for us and it's promised for the Old Testament believers. I look forward to meeting Isaiah. Wait a minute. He didn't have yeah, he did he knew that was going to come these prophets were looking forward to what was going to happen, but it hadn't happened yet. It's happened in time. And so it's real in our time. For us it's it's new. Expansion of God's promises. What wait a minute Rob God's promises are all over the Old Testament. Yes, they are. Yes, they absolutely are but they're not as expanded. God is a god of continuous. What's the word?
He keeps building on the covenants before. Progressive revelation. So God is a god of progressive revelation. He continues to expand our understanding continues to expand our appreciation of his gift of his Covenant of his Of his person of his purposes expansion that is new. It's always been happening. But it's majorly new in the New Testament. I really like Franks Torah reading where he read from Malachi in the Matthew if there's no no mistake that the New Testament authors Place Matthew right there for a reason it begins with the words byblos Genesis. the book of the beginning or the generations of Jesus and in the Old Testament where it said the book of the generations of Noah the book of the generations of Adam the book of the generations of where is told oat in the Hebrew Genesis and the Greek told don't the Gent that the the generations of Isaac.
Every time you come across that in the Old Testament Scholars go. Okay. So does this statement? This is the book of the generations of Isaac and With this thing like everything before it is in the book or everything after it is the book. And I'm I'm just ecstatic that right at the beginning of the New Testament. They have this confusing verse biblos Genesis Jesus Christ when Rob is this the end of the generations of us the beginning. Yes. Jesus Christ is what connects? It's like a bookend in the middle. Of the Shelf the Bible does a lot of this middle bookends. They don't they don't do a lot of beginning and end book and they do a whole lot of middle bookends. This is a middle book end.
I got to say it Alleluia. Increased involvement God's plan in the New Testament for some reason we seem to be more involved in God's plan God's holy spirit is moving in the congregations and all kinds of things are happening and the church's looks exploding and growth it sits on on a on a scale unseen in the Old Testament. Increased responsibility to the Tabata to the body of Christ as well as we bless we take on this this believe this trust this relationship with Jesus. We have increased responsibility to God and God's purposes and Christ and Christ body. We are the body of Christ even if we disagree About kashrut or about celebrating Christmas or whatever it is. We have a responsibility to build up the body of Christ and whatever way we can not just to find fault with differences.
God's salvation plan on expanding to All Nations. Wait a minute that's in the Old Testament to Rob. Yeah, but it's not expanding. Call Peter others are seeing God's salvation of the Gentiles explode. On a scale never seen in the Old Testament. Yes, we had God fears. Yes. We had Garrett OSHA jobs resident aliens who chose to honor the ways of Israel, but we didn't have this expansion through all the nations of the world. This is new in the New Testament. And another thing we have in the New Testament and I don't know when this began in Judaism, but we have binding and loosing. Whatever you bind on Earth whatever you loose on Earth will be bound to lose. As it is in heaven Jesus promises his first Peter and then he promises it to all of the disciples. What's it mean by binding and loosing?
Well, very simply put its permitting and forbidding. So Paul can loose. some of the requirements of the law when he's entering into Gentile congregations. Does that mean he's a heretic? Or does it mean he's been given authority to loose these principles? or to add on principles that they're not responsible for I'll give you a example of rabbinic binding. Okay, how many know that the story of Esther? is not
was later than God's instruction.
Was later right was added. This isn't one of God's festivals, right? But the rabbi's decided to celebrate it. And so they're bound. This requirement to celebrate Kareem. On the body they added a requirement. So we have a Biblical example of binding. Something the loosing and binding Authority was given to according to all the pharisaic tradition the Pharisees and it was also given to the Sanhedrin dating all the way back arguably to the first Sanhedrin which is the 70 elders appointed by Moses. They have the authority to bind and loose. To add requirements to the law and to release requirements from the law to ease requirements binding and loosing. So all this leads up to a question that I often hear. What are we going to do with the Gentiles? They're not like us they're not Jews. They're not they're not they're not. Yeah. Well the New Testament kind of explains it, so we're going to go into that.
Jesus binding and loosing Circumcision here's an example of of loosing. Every male, this is God, who is he talking to?
Abraham he's talking to Abraham and he's talking about all of the descendants of Abraham. all of them every male throughout your Generations he who is born in your house and he was bought with your money. Even if he's not part of your bloodline shall be circumcised my Covenant in your flesh will be an Everlasting Covenant. How long is it going to last six months three years till the end of the new know forever is his Everlasting Covenant and some people take this is a very serious and so they think that when they circumcise their son, it's a good thing and it is it's great.
Our culture is going away from that. There are actually people who are suing their parents for disfiguring their body when they didn't have a say throughout the world. So God ordained it. I have no problem with it. I'm not going to say you're wrong. I'm just saying if someone happens to disagree with that view, I'm okay with it. That's okay my Covenant in your flesh will be an Everlasting Covenant and on any uncircumcised male shall be cut off man. That's powerful language from his people. He has broken if he's uncircumcised. My Covenant. God said this you can't get more serious than God saying something right?
Paul Galatians among other places there are other places but this is the one I chose to use in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision and I have to go and other things as well. I kind of have to do that. Cuz when you have a principal, it doesn't it isn't just specifically that thing unless it's really specifically that thing but I don't think Paul is talking about just that thing. I think he's talking about more. I think he's talking about a way of living.
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything but only Faith working through love. That's all that counts Faith working through love Franklin Graham is acting is acting out his faith working through love with this Operation Christmas Child and I am grateful to that and for the work that goes forth through that. When you were in Macedonia, did you see these Christmas boxes? Okay, so severe can Andrew actually saw this happening in their in their in their country.
Okay, we've covered circumcision clear.
It's Square. This is a case of he is loose to commandant release the Restriction of it because God instructed to release the in the restriction on it. Now some people think will Paul's a heretic he needs to be excised from the Bible completely. I don't agree. If we take Paul away, we've lost two-thirds of the New Testament. There's some really good stuff in there.
Special days in Foods. Okay. Now we're going to talk about kashrut and festivals and Sabbath's and all that stuff. Let no one pass judgment on you regarding food and drink or festivals new moons or Sabbath. We just celebrated Sukkot how many loved and enjoyed enjoyed with celebrating Sukkot wonderful thing to celebrate, right? What if one of your friends said? Why are you celebrating Sukkot? Why are you doing this Jewish stuff? And then you want to explain to them why it's important and it if you if you say you need celebrate Sukkot with us because it's a Biblical cuz if you start going there you're getting there's a point which you cross the line and you become very legalistic and your practice and legalism is not always good. I'm not saying it's not always bad, but it's not always good. I've been on the wrong side of Christian legalism many times in my life. Various forms dispensational no, nevermind. No too much. Let no one pass judgment on you. These are a shadow. There a shadow they're not they're not the whole thing there an indication of what's coming.
A shadow of things to come to substance of these things all of these things belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you you you hold fast to the Head from whom the whole body nourished and it together grows with a growth from God. So if there's a Christian in your community and and you have differences of opinion with them, you don't have to not celebrate with them. You don't have to tell them that they're wrong and you're right or you're or they're right and you're wrong celebrate celebrate the unity in Christ that you have with that person in some way. You could study together. Which always improves both people's Faith? No problem studying together by Jack one person considers little bit later one day is better than another that is to say that one day is Holy and another day is not wholly another considers all days alike in plaid. Holy each should be fully convinced in his own mind. Whatever You observe observe to the Lord of paraphrase that but I think if you read this first you'll get that same understanding whatever You observe observe to Lorde. If you shave your head because there's a verse that says you should shave your head shave your head to the Lord if you grow a beard. There's a verse that says you should grow your beard. Don't round the corners of your beard do that unto the Lord, whatever you do to the Lord when you pack a Christmas Box to the Operation Christmas Child do it unto the Lord. If you don't pack a box do it unto the Lord. Whatever you doing do it to the Lord eat, whatever you're supposed to eat or don't eat whatever. You're not supposed to eat live and die all of it your life or death everything about you should be unto the Lord.
We are the Lords. Why do you pass judgment on and despise your brother when we find differences that can cause schisms brakes fractures between the members of the body of Christ. We're passing judgment on our brother who doesn't believe or understand things the same way we do and Paul says when you do that you're despising him. It's not just your wrong. I'm right. It's your actually demonstrating hatred.
We will all stand before the judgement seat of God Paul says. It's all going to figure it out later guys. We're going to stand in the judgment. If you're ready for that good, I'm not.
Let's live our lives knowing that's coming. Let's not pass judgment on each other or put stumbling blocks in each other's way. This is something that Paul wrote that I I'm just kind of okay. Okay, I know nothing is in unclean and itself. But it is for anyone who thinks it's so.
Walk in love and don't grieve your brother by what you eat or don't eat. I practice kosher eating for about five years and I thought it was a very important thing for me to do and through study later on I decided it wasn't critical. For me to do that because I'm actually German I'll say I'll say Slovenian Scottish. I know I'm one of those Nations that was brought in. I'm okay being a gentile believer. I don't need to be a Jew. We just spent a year reading through I'll Paul within Judaism that talked about this extensively in so I'm I'm even more.
Confident that Paul was practicing first century Judaism in Gentile. communities who would come to receive Jesus as Lord and the Holy Spirit in filling and they didn't have to change what they were eating.
Whoever serves Christ God's kingdom is that the God's kingdom isn't about eating and drinking but righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, whoever serves Christ is acceptable to God.
Let's pursue what makes for peace and mutual up building. So here's the Torah reading and Frank hammered on to the second verse of the Torah reading your God's special possession Begins the first verse with we are sons of the Lord our God. Let's live like it. It's the same verse in a sentence. It's the same emphasis.
And and here's a summary of the of the verses that are covered don't make bald spots for the dead parent Lee. They shave part of their head to honor the dead don't eat Abominations.
Ties eat rejoice in a place he'll choose. So God's going to tell you where he's going to have these festivals bring a three-year title. Evite sojourners fatherless and widows within your Town's every every here bring the ties every 3 years bring another ties, but the three-year tithe is brought into your community. So did Levites the sojourners the fatherless the widows Etc will be able to eat.
And then the year release the year of shmita every 7 years. I really like this satyr cycle that we're going through this twice and 7 years cycle because it makes sense to me that repeating the Torah. Within seven years probably made sense to the early church that was trying to practice these years of release. You have two cycles of Torah reading and then a year of release. Jesus was with the disciples about three and a half years roughly the length of our current tour schedule. I think that makes sense that Jesus taught the disciples one whole Torah cycle just fits. So that's the Torah reading and here is this word tow Ava.
Tow Ava this word right here. tow Ava Don't eat Abominations. Why wait a minute. I thought we were talking about clean and unclean Foods in this verse we are if you go back to Leviticus it is talking about clean and unclean Foods. You're right. It's about that and this verse does talk about what's clean for you. What's in clean for you? But here in Deuteronomy Moses is using a word not used in Leviticus.
Different word don't eat Abominations don't eat abominable things there different ways to interpret this but I kind of just stayed there while not trying to figure out what this means, but what's this word? And how how does it apply to me and my life and where else is it in the Bible? And I realized oh, yeah. It's in Proverbs.
The Lord hates sex things hates. Well, that's a strong word. Wait 7 are Abominations to Ava Haughty eyes lying tongues hands that shed innocent blood a heart that devises Wicked plans feet that run to evil false witnesses that breathe out lies and one who sows Discord among the brethren.
If you have a difference of opinion with church the Messiah and you decide you need to leave, that's okay, but my my prayer to you and my and my plea to you is don't cause Discord among the brothers. If you think you're right and someone else is wrong, don't use that to cause injury in the body of Christ. Don't hurt the body of Christ with your disagreement about A method or principle or interpretation of scripture anyting else. Don't be an Abomination by causing Discord celebrate the unity of Christ in this season.
Please Unity, please.
So we have two examples. We have Peter's missionary tour. So Peter is traveling from Jerusalem. And why is he traveling? I don't know. It doesn't say why it's traveling but he goes from Jerusalem here over to Lida or load. And in this place there was a man who had been paralyzed for while we get to it. This is the map and then he goes to Joppa. He's called the Java to raise a girl from the dead and then he has his vision and he goes to Cornelius household incest area and then he goes back.
Here's another representation of that. This one shows that sell Surya is kind of northeast of central Samaria. So he's not like in what you call normal Israel. He's kind of in Phoenicia Samaria area here.
So here's a summary of Peter's missionary tour. He first goes to Lida and he healed Aeneas of an 8-year paralysis. He had Pirelli been paralyzed for 8 years and you've been bedridden. He couldn't get up. And as a result of this healing all has recorded all of lydda and Sharon another nearby Village turn to the Lord so major major growth in the body of Christ because a man was raised from the dead know a man was healed of paralysis in Lida. And then he's in Lida and in Chapo, which is a first-place away. There's a girl who's died Tabitha, which means gazelle. I think it's only used a few times in the Bible and in Hebron in Hebrew. It's Tabitha. And in Greek, it's Dorcas Isis Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. She heat they come from Joppa to Lida. Which is probably a couple days and then it goes from Lida to Joppa and he heals Tabitha he raises Tabitha from the dead so she's been dead for some days.
in in in Joppa And then it says many believed in the Lord because she was raised many came to believe and Peter was staying with this guy named Simon and it tells you his profession Simon the Tanner. Now I know some people in here tan hides and the hides that you tan today you use generally chemicals. Not the things that you would have used in the first century in the first century you would have collected excrement. urine and the other stuff
the other stuff and you use the urine first to cleanse it and stuff and make things right a little bit and then you pound the other stuff and to the leather that's developing this was this was
nasty work Tanner's today don't have to do that kind of nasty work. Anyway, so we had a vision Heavens were open to sheet came down with animals reptiles birds and a voice said rise Peter kill and eat Peter said by no means Lord. I've never eaten anything common or unclean and then the voice calls back what God has made clean do not call common. And if it's happened one time it would Rock My Boat. It happened three times the same sequence according to scripture happened three times Peter had this same vision same words three times. And keys on the roof of Simon the Tanner's and if I were at Simon the Tanner's I'd be on the roof. I wouldn't want to be down in the workshop. And I'm not surprised he had weird visions of weird foods. things that were abominable innocence, right Well, how how how bad is this? How bad is this? Okay, so they'll just give you a little history for a century Tanner's. So if you were the wife of a Tanner you had an awesome opportunity. You could go to the rabbi and say I can't take it anymore. I need to get a divorce make my husband write me a certificate of divorce and the rabbis would force the husband to write a certificate of divorce.
It's it's okay.
A Jewish wife could demand a divorce from a Tanner? Even if he was a Tanner when they entered married Rabbi mirror a famous Rabbi said even if the Tanner made my condition with her that the marriage was valid despite. His blemishes is what Rabbi Meir calls them. She can still claim. I thought I could take it. But now I find I can't.
This this sounds weird doesn't. This is how bad the life of a Tanner was if he was married his wife could divorce him anytime. without question Now wait a minute, why is can't divorce husband's that's true. Not in the first century. The rabbis could force the man to write a certificate of divorce. So the man had to divorce the wife, but he could be forced to do that because it was such a nasty job.
Sounds loathsome. Net. Kind of remind you of the word Abomination, doesn't it?
kind of does This is a picture of Joppa old Joppa now. It isn't really old job Bell Java was destroyed. But this is where old Joppa used to be. It was on this hill and so they found ruins all the way up this hill and you can picture that Simon the Tanner would want to live in a house at Joppa where the Sea Breeze is coming in all the time on a hill right? It's easy to see That's a little there's a little Seawall there that was there. so
there's a juxtaposition here. That's kind of bizarre.
Peter is having this vision of abominable Foods being brought down of Abominations of foods that are Abominations brought down and he's living in the house with a man who's clean ritually clean. Who to me would seem abominable?
He probably is a really nice guy if he came into this church to celebrate with us today. I think I might have him go home and take a bath.
I just saying this guy is clean, but he's filthy. And Peter seeing filthy, but God's telling him is clean. And all this is going on on the on the roof of the Tanner's house. So Cornelius had this Vision one day at 3 p.m. In the afternoon roughly an angel of God came and said Cornelius your prayers and alms have ascended send man to Joppa to get Peter. He's with Simon the Tanner not hard to find.
Cornelius sent three men to servants and one soldier to Joppa the next day. Around noon Peter had this vision and while Peter was pondering this Vision on the roof at Simon the Tanner's Cornelius has been arrived and God said go with them. I've sent them to you. So he gets down from the roof of Simon the Tanner's and goes to Cesery to meet with Cornelius. Now, how long did it take cornelius's man to get here.
3 p.m. One day till noon the next the walk very fast this about 40 miles. So I'm imagining they probably used a chariot or horses. They were walking. This wasn't casual. This was like a military mission for these men to go and get Peter. And then they they brought him back all in short order.
This is caesarea by the sea. It's a beautiful this is look like a nice typical Jewish village.
This is a Roman village. Why is it called ciceria? It's just a cute thing. They made up, you know. No, it's built by Caesar. Caesarea maritima so was built by Herod the Great in 18 BC and it was built to display herod's and augustus's greatness throughout the world. It was the first artificial Harbor ever constructed in the world ever constructed in the world artificial Harbor. They had that breaker breaker out there to the ships could come in and within that area where the the breaker is encircling they had some five hundred foot boat things. You could pull a boat into one of these both things and pull it with ropes 500 feet. So you could work on the boat pretty incredible Roman Roman city. Did the Romans eat? They were kosher right?
Can this is caesarea maritima by the sea? They all kinds of fish all kinds of shellfish. They don't oysters. They ate snails they ate sausage. They were particularly well known for their pork sausages and accessory by the Sea. So the idea that Peter is going to a house that serves this kind of food kind of messes with our head if we're thinking that Peter remained kosher and I may have just remain kosher and said, I'm just going to eat vegetables. I'm not going to have any of this stuff but it's in terms of ritual cleanliness Peter knows when he goes to this house. He's going to be made ritually unclean Even if he doesn't eat any of the food that they're eating it's a radical thing for God to tell him to do this and he knows it, but God said it. God told him. And so he did he went.
The concrete used in Cesery maritima was a special kind of volcanic concrete hydraulic concrete that actually hardened underwater. They could poured into seawater and form concrete. All that method was unknown for roughly 1,500 years. We didn't know how they did it and scientists to finally figured out how to do that today, but it's a modern thing that we can make the kind of concrete that they made two thousand years ago amazing extended 1500 feet into the water and they had 500-foot quays those things you could put a boat in and haul it up to the shore. This was the Roman Judy NC to power and was a capital after Jerusalem's the destruction. We have several verses that tell you about caesarea maritima in the and the Bible in Acts. so Peters at Cornelius house
Jew kosher Jew had this dream has written at warp speed to talk to his household. And he knows that God has said this is clean and going to the house. So Peter knows that's this is clean according to God not according not according to Jewish tradition of the day. And he he says God shows no partiality.
That sounds very nice to us. But you have to hear this coming from a Jew to an audience of Gentiles who they were never supposed to eat together or be in the same house together. It's it's in the extent of this is even even if there were two women in a small town and one of them was a Jewish than one was it was a gentile and the Gentile woman was having a baby the US was prevented from helping the Gentile woman have the baby according to the strictness of Jewish tradition of the day.
So he tells them every nation is acceptable to the Lord. You know what happened how God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power doing good and healing those oppressed by the devil for God was with him. He he was put to death but God raised him on the third day. He is appointed by God to judge the living and the dead and the prophets Proclaim. This is Peter Peters writing this the prophets the Old Testament prophets Proclaim that everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins in his name.
I don't remember reading that.
Come to Torah class.
We get into that there sometimes. Everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through his name the prophets Proclaim. He's telling us to Gentiles who may not even know who the prophets are. While Peter was preaching he hadn't even finished his sermon. He hadn't even had the alter call. He hadn't done anything. He's just preaching the Holy Spirit fell.
And everyone in the room was filled with the Holy Spirit and they were all speaking in tongues and praising God and Peter declared can anyone withhold water for baptizing from these people in the name of Jesus Christ?
autism yet We had ritual immersion certifying a change in state. This is a Mikvah Peterson. These Gentiles can undergo the Waters of the Mikvah because their state has changed. God has gifted them with his in fill it with the in feeling presence of His Holy Spirit and their status has changed. They can undergo the waters the ritual Waters of immersion. One thing that I found it was really interesting from Steven. Not lie. He said there is not a single instance in all Jewish writings where it says that a gentile should even consider ever undergoing the Waters of a Mikvah because Gentiles are incapable of changing their state through this is this is this doesn't make it in Judaism. It's not there never is it mentioned? There's no Garrett fishaw of Resident. Alien who can undergo a Mikvah. It's a strictly Jewish thing here. Peter is saying for the first time we can't keep them from undergoing the Waters of Mick for they've changed their state. God has filled them with his Holy Spirit, this is Holy new thing praise the Lord and they were baptized.
first Christian baptism
nevermind they've received the Holy Spirit just as we have Peter remain with them for several days 1 verse that I did not in emphasizes that circumcised Believers were amazed Peter had traveled with Believers in Christ who were Jewish who were circumcised and they were traveling with him and they were blown away. Seeing the holy spirit of God fall on these gentiles. They were blown away. Just going there with Peter. But they were amazed because the Holy Spirit has been poured out even on them. So a little bit later. Some people from Judea Jerusalem traveled all the way from Jerusalem. All the way up to Antioch, that's 500 miles. If they're taking it at a nice relatively decent hiking speed it's 10 miles a day. That's about what you can tolerate and what they think was the the the good travel distance for the first-century test 50 days. 50 days from here to here Peter must have been traveling in the previous win by Chariot or horse is no other way you could get there that quick but they traveled all the way from here all the way to here to tell these guys that You can't be saved unless you're circumcised. They're telling the Gentile Believers in in Antioch Syria that they can't be saved is the word they use unless you're circumcised. And this caused some confusion in the community.
Peter was saying something slightly different Paul was saying something slightly different. So the whole congregation at Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas and others all the way to Jerusalem 50 days to discuss this with the elders and see what they had to say about it. This is what resulted in the Jerusalem Council.
Jerusalem Council Paul and Barnabas and others went from Antioch to Jerusalem to discuss the circumcision among Gentile Believers. And at this point in Acts. It's interesting previously. It called these Gentile Believers Believers or something else. But now they've they've gotten this close to this this building the body and now at this point, I don't know what just happened.
Now at this point they're called Brothers. Now if you want to know more about that, listen to Clair fans teaching on Brothers on the ax It's a Wonderful teaching but they're there their designation has changed their no longer there on the level of family now.
To discuss circumcision of of the brothers after significant discussion now. I wish I'd been there that would have been a really great meeting to attend. I've been at some contentious meetings just saying this one would have been pretty off-the-wall pretty full tilt. But after they discussed it a long time because of what Peter said and what Paul said and those with Peter and those with Paul other Witnesses about what it happened. The Jerusalem Elders ruled only require four things of these people abstain from what has been sacrificed to Idols from blood from what has been strangled and from sexual immorality.
It's my view in the view of some others that all of these four things have to do with idolatry. The only thing that they're not going to lose is this don't worship idols. Thing everything else can be loosed a little bit, but that can't be loosed. There's only one God don't worship a false god that can't be loosed. Everything else can be loosed. Why can we do this? Because Moses is read every Sabbath and when I get to this point and actually go. Yeah, and there are some letters being written that are also being read in the congregations. It's not just Moses's being read. But this new understanding of what God is doing in the world is being read as well. We don't need to worry about the rest will sort it out for themselves. So as we go forth from this place. I think I think in this season it's really important to just mention these things once This is my prayer for you. My prayer for me My Hope for Church of Messiah. I was talking to Andrew before the service and he said that one thing about church the Messiah is to be here at church of the Messiah where we have different views really requires a lot of Grace.
I like that. You're right. Have you ever been in a Christian congregation? That didn't have Grace?
We have Grace. We may not agree on everything but we have Grace. God has given us this gift. Thank you Lord. So this is my prayer that we not pass judgment on each other. We not find fault with Franklin Graham for celebrating Christmas. We not walk out of the congregation because Liberty puts up a Christmas tree. We don't have schisms in the body because of minor differences of opinion which may seem major to us.
That we walk in the spirit with love as from the verse that we live in God's purposes and in God's Kingdom. We're his special treasure as Frank kept emphasizing where the sons of God. We have a responsibility to live according to his purposes and in his kingdom to some degree to live in righteousness peace and joy as much as we can to accept and not judge those who serve Christ in anyway, and the verse says because one who serves Christ is acceptable to God.
But what if they're a dispensationalist? But what if you didn't accept those who serve Christ because one who serves Christ is acceptable to God. Celebrate the unity of the body Witnesses person to all people Everyone you come in contact with should know that you're a believer. Then you walk a life of faith in Christ. And pursue peace and mutual a building and mutual understanding among the body of Christ Lord. This is our prayer for us. that we get what you're saying. And that we live according to your teaching not just according to your written word in a strict sense, but but according to your entire word. Because we have to wrestle with these tensions in order to know what you are leading us to do. Please guide us and lead us strengthen us and protect us as we attempt to do this in Jesus name. Amen. And amen. Thank you very much.