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Acts 15 19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. .

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Acts 15

19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

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21 For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.

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23 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.

24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.

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25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.

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28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.

Farewell.

growth and conflict acts 13 15 35 and galatians
Growth and ConflictActs 13 – 15:35 and Galatians

The church explodes into the world through…

The disciples, Saul (Paul)

Persecution

We begin to see local leaders

Central governance

Denominational-like behavior

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We begin to see that there is leadership and coordination

The preaching of the Gospel is coordinated

More leaders are appointed

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Acts 13

In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.

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16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers…

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32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.

38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.

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The preaching of the Gospel continues

More leaders are appointed

Reports are given

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Acts 14

At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.

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21 …Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

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26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

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Disputes break out

Denominational-like behaviors come into play

We begin to see a leadership structure

Decisions and rulings are made

Proper dissemination of information

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Acts 15

Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them.

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5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.”

6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

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19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

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22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

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Galatians continues to deal with this issues of competing interest…

Within the church

And outside the church

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Galatians 1

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

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Galatians continues to deal with issues

Are Christians Jews?

How much sway does the Hebrew faith hold in Christianity?

Who is in charge?

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Galatians 2

8 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.

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15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.

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Galatians 3

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

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10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”

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Paul reminds us that it is not so much that we have sought God out

But that God found us

Reached out to us

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Galatians 4

9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

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What the Gospel offers is freedom

But freedom with a purpose

To live in freedom without regret

To know forgiveness and acceptance

To help and serve each other

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Galatians 5

13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

slide34

Cooperate

Forgive

Work together

Serve each other

slide35

Galatians 6

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

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9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

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Putting it all together

Leadership is essential

Without leadership institutions die

It is difficult to have a plan

It is difficult to find direction

slide38

Putting it all together

Differences of opinion are inevitable

Our generation is not the first to have major denominational disagreements

We are saved by grace!

Not by the church, denomination or group we claim to follow or study

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Putting it all together

What is freedom in Christ about?

We know we are saved by grace and are free to stop trying to earn God’s love

We are forgiven

We are free to serve

We are free to demonstrate our new character.

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Every generation…

Has had their own leaders

Has experienced conflict with the church

Has struggled to come to a common understanding of who God is

There is nothing new under the sun

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We are the Federated Church.

Our Mission is to…

Seek Christ, Serve Christ andShare Christ.