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Acts 15_22-41

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On The same Page

Acts 15:22-41

1.       Psalm 133:1 "A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

2.       There are things on which true believers should never differ

3.       There are sometimes disagreements that are not doctrinal, but separate people. Yet both parties remained focused on the goal and the reason we are here.

On The Same Page

1.      Communicate Clearly (22-30)

a.       Response: No Such Commandment

                                                               i.      Subvert = to overturn or overthrow from the foundation; to undermine the morals, allegiance, or faith of; corrupt

1.       Verse 24 “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls”

2.       Overturning the foundation of their soul’s salvation

3.       Undermining their faith

4.       Matthew 12:25 "And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:"

5.       Separation of truth from lie.

6.       Separation of wolves from the sheep...”to whom we gave no such commandment”

                                                             ii.      Same Page, same message (communication is the nervous system)

1.       Confirmed by witnesses

2.       Confirmed in writing

3.       No one could claim there were poor communications about this delicate issue.

4.       Salvation was by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and not by or in conjunction with good works or law keeping.

b.      Recommendations: Seemed good (not a new law)

                                                               i.      Importance of unity…don’t offend

1.       1 Corinthians 10:31-33 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved."

2.       Expediency

                                                             ii.      Importance of avoiding offending

                                                            iii.      Don’t burden down people (28)…”rule q39 states”

2.      Chosen Men (25-28)

a.       Faithful men

                                                               i.      Verse 25 “One accord”: same page

                                                             ii.      Beloved Barnabas and Paul

                                                            iii.      Some people might be hard to call beloved, because they are so cantankerous

                                                           iv.      Not so with Paul & Barnabas

b.      Proven men

                                                               i.      Hazarded their lives

                                                             ii.      For….the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

                                                            iii.      Two other brethren, Judas & Silas

                                                           iv.      Faithfulness is paramount in God’s work

3.      Consolation & Continuance (31-36)

a.       Comforting brought by a consistent scriptural message (31)

                                                               i.      Consolation: comfort, solace

b.      Confirming (32)

                                                               i.      Reinforcing

                                                             ii.      How often do you tell your LORD, spouse, children, grandchildren that you love them?

1.       JRR: I told you once and if anything changes I’ll let you know

2.       Not…often

                                                            iii.      Paul and Barnabas were on the same page when it came to reinforced, confirming, building up the faith of new believers.

                                                           iv.      You may get weary in the work, but don’t grow weary of the work (people)

                                                             v.      Sunday School, visiting, preaching, music…all on same page.

c.       Continuing (33-36)

                                                               i.      Verse 34…Silas

                                                             ii.      Verse 35

                                                            iii.      It takes an investment of time to reach people and build them up in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1.       This generation wants a microwave dinner, drive through discipleship process.

2.       Quality time = Quantity time

                                                           iv.      They also wanted to see how the others were doing (36)

                                                             v.      Check up on people. Accountability is not a bad work.

1.       Checking means you care.

2.       Checking takes effort. (Kids in yard)

4.      Contention (37-41)

a.       Unified in purpose (36)…same page

b.      Cause of the contention: a second chance

c.       Barnabas determined

                                                               i.      He made an executive decision

                                                             ii.      He chose John Mark, who was  relative… Colossians 4:10 "Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)"

                                                            iii.      John Mark had left the work before

d.      Paul thought

                                                               i.      Paul just plain did not think it was a good idea

                                                             ii.      No prayer, no fasting, no direct leadership from the Holy Spirit is mentioned

                                                            iii.      Paul looked at people and asked, “What can they do for God’s work?”
while Barnabas looked at people and asked, “What can God’s work do for them?” Both questions are important to the Lord’s work, and sometimes it is difficult to keep things balanced.

e.      Parting from company, but not a departing from the faith

                                                               i.      Sometimes good people have disagreements

                                                             ii.      Sometimes good people part company

f.        Honesty is the best policy

                                                               i.      What might have been said if this had happened today?

                                                             ii.      Well we prayed about it and ….? –You liar!

g.       Paul takes a pre-approved, tried and true partner, Silas

                                                               i.      Roman citizen: Acts 16:37 "But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out."

                                                             ii.      He was an official representative of the Jerusalem church in taking to Antioch the decree of the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:22).

                                                            iii.      He was a prophet (15:32).

                                                           iv.      The church at Antioch knew him well, so both Paul and Silas were commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.

h.      “Being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

                                                               i.      Not just Paul and Silas…there is no period at the end of verse 39

                                                             ii.      Also Barnabas & Mark

                                                            iii.      Now there were two missionary teams!

                                                           iv.      Not enemies, not in competition

                                                             v.      They were still playing for the same team. Neither claimed to be the only hope for the world and the only one doing anything right.

i.         The second chance for Mark was a good move

                                                               i.      Wrote the book of Mark

                                                             ii.      2 Timothy 4:11 "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry."

Romans 12:17-18 "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Providse things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."

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