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Directions. The Freedom Movements Unleashed in Acts 15. “Chaos!”. Dangerous People!. The Great Struggle. Freedom-Fighters. Kill-Joys.

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directions

Directions

The Freedom Movements Unleashed in Acts 15

slide2

“Chaos!”

DangerousPeople!

the great struggle
The Great Struggle

Freedom-Fighters

Kill-Joys

Some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Acts 15:1

Upon arriving in Antioch, Paul and Barnabus called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too. Acts 14:27

DangerousPeople!

“Chaos!”

the great struggle1
The Great Struggle

Freedom-Fighters

Kill-Joys

Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently. Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. Acts 15:2

…they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them—much to everyone’s joy—that the Gentiles, too, were being converted. Acts 15:3

But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.” Acts 15:5

When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. Acts 15:4

the outcome acts 15 13ff
The Outcome (Acts 15:13ff)

‘Afterward I will return and restore the fallen house of David. I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, so that the rest of humanity might seek the LORD, including the Gentiles— all those I have called to be mine. The LORD has spoken— he who made these things known so long ago.’

When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me. Peter has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself. And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted…

god s leadership is not chaos
God’s Leadership Is Not “Chaos”

Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders—Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas.

This is the letter they took with them:

“This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem. It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings!

“We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching, but we did not send them! So we decided, having come to complete agreement, to send you official representatives, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are sending Judas and Silas to confirm what we have decided concerning your question.

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell."

for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33

god s leadership is
God’s Leadership IS:
  • “Peace On Earth & Good Will Towards Men”
    • God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Cor. 14:33
    • THUS: "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well."

James: “For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.”

god s leadership is1
God’s Leadership IS:
  • “Peace On Earth & Good Will Towards Men”
  • “You will do well” (not a RULE BOOK)
      • All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 1 Cor. 10:23

in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-8

“Therefore, semnótēs stands between caring to please nobody and endeavoring at all costs to please everybody.” The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament.

god s leadership is2
God’s Leadership IS:
  • “Peace On Earth & Good Will Towards Men”
  • “You will do well” (not a RULE BOOK)
  • “They rejoiced because of its encouragement”

So when they were sent away, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourageone another… Hebrews 10:25

god s leadership is3
God’s Leadership IS:
  • “Peace On Earth & Good Will Towards Men”
  • “You will do well” (not a RULE BOOK)
  • “They rejoiced because of its encouragement”
god s leadership is4
God’s Leadership IS:

And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia…1 Thessalonians 1:8

  • “Peace On Earth & Good Will Towards Men”
  • “You will do well” (not a RULE BOOK)
  • “They rejoiced because of its encouragement”
  • Irrepressible Freedom

Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch. They and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord there.

Ruins of Baalbek

god s leadership is beautiful
God’s Leadership is BEAUTIFUL:
  • “Peace On Earth & Good Will Towards Men”
  • “You will do well” (not a RULE BOOK)
  • “They rejoiced because of its encouragement”
  • Irrepressible Freedom
directions from the holy spirit
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

  • From God’s Word

"With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, Acts 15:15

directions from the holy spirit1
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

  • From God’s Word
  • Consensus Among Believers

Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church… Acts 15:22

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Phil. 2:3

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; Romans 12:10

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. 1 Peter 5:5

directions from the holy spirit2
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

  • From God’s Word
  • Consensus Among Believers
    • Can be messy, at times

…other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. Galatians 2:13

directions from the holy spirit3
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

  • From God’s Word
  • Consensus Among Believers
  • Today’s “Open Doors”

After some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are." Acts 15:36

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Acts 13:2

directions from the holy spirit4
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

  • From God’s Word
  • Consensus Among Believers
  • Today’s “Open Doors”
  • Personal, Godly Convictions

Barnabas wanted to take John, called Mark, along with them also. But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. Acts 15:37-39

Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. 2 Timothy 4:11

directions from the holy spirit5
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

  • From God’s Word
  • Consensus Among Believers
  • Today’s “Open Doors”
  • Personal, Godly Convictions
    • But NOT clubbing others!!

…there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another… Acts 15:37-39

παροξύνω “to provoke, stir up a fight”

directions from the holy spirit6
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

  • From God’s Word
  • Consensus Among Believers
  • Today’s “Open Doors”
  • Personal, Godly Convictions
  • God’s Provisions

But Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. Acts 16:1-2

directions from the holy spirit7
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe. So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily. Acts 16:4-5

  • From God’s Word
  • Consensus Among Believers
  • Today’s “Open Doors”
  • Personal, Godly Convictions
  • God’s Provisions
  • Always Seeking PEACE
  • Fruitfulness

"So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:20

directions from the holy spirit8
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;

and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."

Acts 16:6-10

  • From God’s Word
  • Consensus Among Believers
  • Today’s “Open Doors”
  • Personal, Godly Convictions
  • God’s Provisions
  • Always Seeking PEACE
  • Fruitfulness
  • God’s Direct Hand

When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

directions from the holy spirit9
Directions From the Holy Spirit

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials…” Acts 15:28

  • From God’s Word
  • Consensus Among Believers
  • Today’s “Open Doors”
  • Personal, Godly Convictions
  • God’s Provisions
  • Always Seeking PEACE
  • Fruitfulness
  • God’s Direct Hand

Not Always Black & White

God Honors Our Freedom

God cares about how, not “what” or “where”