What to expect

A traditional church that is passionate about loving our community to the gospel.

Acts 15:1-21

Transcript

Speaker 1: Well, good morning and welcome to the Baptist Tabernacle. If you would, please join with me and stand. We're going to sing here number seven. Blessed be the name. Let's sing it out this morning into the Lord. What a wonderful name we have in Jesus.

Unidentified: All praise to him who reigns

Speaker 2: above it, justice free, who gave his son for man to die, that he might be redeemed to be the name. Blessed be the name. Blessed be the name of.

Unidentified: Blessed be the name blessed. Blessed be the name of the

Speaker 2: Lord is namable. They found

Unidentified: exalted. More and more. I got. All right, and for Angel Hallstein. Blessed be the name. Blessed me the name

Speaker 2: blessed be the name of. Blessed be the name. Blessed be the name, blessed be the name of the Lord, his name shall

Unidentified: be the council. About brands are based on. All those kingdoms called.

Speaker 2: Whose reign shall never cease, blessed be the name, blessed be the name, blessed be the name of. Blessed be the name, blessed be the name, blessed be the name

Speaker 1: of the Lord. Wonderful singing this morning at this time, I'll have the Johnny Wade pray for us.

Speaker 3: Lord, we love you, swore to God we do take your father for the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for eternal life, forgiveness of our sins. We thank God for the opportunity to be here today, to have your word preached and taught to us, God, and prayed that you would have our minds and our hearts clear and open. God ready to receive the blessing this morning. Thank you, father, in Jesus Christ, and we pray, Emil.

Speaker 1: All right, you may be seated. Glad to have you here with us today at the Baptist Tabernacle. Hope that you've had a good weekend thus far. So great to have guests with us here today, some from our community, some family members that are here. And so we welcome you to our church and hope that you find a loving spirit here among us. A lot going on this morning. So this is a very exciting time for you to be here and hope that you'll be blessed by the service today. If you are a guest with us here today, hopefully you received one of our weekly bulletins on your way in this morning. And if you did, inside of that, you'll find a connection card. And we would appreciate it if you would fill that out and then drop it off at the welcome desk in the main foir. And if you do that, we'll give you a gift to show our appreciation for you being here with us today. A couple of announcements for you. Well, all right. I'm sorry. I'm not going to lie. It's not a couple. There's a lot. So I'll do a do this as quickly as possible. This week is a big week. On Tuesday, our new perspective youth pastor will be visiting our church and he'll be flying in Tuesday night, will be here with us Wednesday all the way through next Sunday. And so there'll be many opportunities for you to get to meet him and his wife, Clarence and Britney. And they've got another they've got a son, Titus, but he will not be making the trip with them. So it'll just be the Clarence Thomas Britney that'll be here with us during next week. He'll be preaching to our teens on Wednesday night. We're going to have an opportunity for the teens to get together with him on Saturday night. And then next Sunday, he'll do Sunday school for the teens. There will be a parent meeting with him at four thirty pm. If you have teenagers and the youth group, that'll give you an opportunity to meet him. Ask any questions you may have about his philosophy of youth ministry. And then next Sunday night he'll be preaching in our evening service for everybody to be able to hear him. And we're so excited to introduce him to the rest of you. Been meeting with him for the last few months now. Introduce him to the staff. About a month ago, a couple of weeks ago, the officers were able to interview him and ask him some questions. And so going through all of that, we think it's a good time to bring him in and introduce him to the rest of y'all. And so we're looking forward to that this week, May 2nd. That's next Sunday. After the morning service, there will be a volunteer meeting for all of our VBS helpers. If you would like to help with VBS, then you can attend that meeting. We'll help you get plugged in with a place to serve on May 15th. The teams are going on a kayaking trip. Cost for that is twenty five dollars. And there will be a meeting after the morning service today to talk about that with Brother Matt. And that is open to parents and teens. And so if you would like to go on that trip, come over here, meet with Brother Matt and they'll give you more information about him. And then May 17th in. Are you tired of watching the ladies have all the fun here? I mean, they've got all kinds of activities. My wife's going to come in the moment and tell you about another fun activity that they have. So I said, you know what? That's it. This is enough, guys. We've got to go do something. And so May 17th, from six to nine p.m., we're going to go into golf suites that used to be flying tee in Tulsa or I guess in Jinx. And the cost is six dollars per person that gets you in. And then we will eat food while we're there. And so if you would like to attend that, the cost is only six dollars. There's a sign up sheet out on the welcome desk and we'll limit it to 15 people for now. If we fill that up and more people want to go, then we'll call and see if we can't expand our reservation. But anyways, we would love to have you go with us on that. How many of you are golfers? How many of you have never golf before, you really don't like it? OK, from what I hear, this is nothing like real golf because I'm a baseball guy. All right. I'm going to be hitting that golf ball like it's baseball. But from what I understand, this is fun for the whole family, regardless of your experience. So men sign up for that on the welcome desk after the service today. We do have an opening for a janitor position. If you're interested, see Brother Jerry. For more information, we are looking for an adult to fill that. We do have a couple of meetings this afternoon, trustees at four, choir practice at four thirty. And then if you're able to help us with vacation Bible school prizes, you can drop those off at the church office at any time. And at this time, I'll ask my wife to come and just give us a quick word about the mother daughter brunch.

Speaker 4: OK, well, we all know the truth, I didn't trust him to say the right thing, so that's why I'm up here. OK, so we're so excited to get to host the mother daughter banquet this year. Of course, we missed out last year. And so we've got a lot of stuff saved up for this year. And I was just realizing this morning, this is actually our first ladies meeting we've had all year because we had to cancel the one back in February when we had all the freeze and everything. So we're very excited to host this. I'm planning for a large number of ladies and we have a sign up sheet in the back. It's going to be what's the date? May 8th at 10:00 on the Saturday. So please invite your family members. We'd love to host just a large amount of ladies and we'll probably actually do it in the gym this year. And a local lady is going to be catering the food for us. I don't know if you've heard of Gebek Gearboxes in Collinsville. She's going to be hosting the I mean, catering all the food for us, all the brunch food. So I'm very excited about that to you. Somebody somebody local. And it's going to be amazing food. And Miss Terry Horner is going to be bringing the devotion for us. So that's something that we've been planning for for a while and now getting to have her give her testimony. And the theme is going to be bloom. And we have a special gift for each one of the moms come in. It's going to be kind of a hands on gift and we're going to have fun with that. So please reach out. Now, I was also thinking, I know that Mother's Day can kind of be sometimes a hard time for some of us and those of us that don't have moms here on Earth anymore. And maybe you just don't have a mom and you're in our church, which that's me or your mother daughter. You don't have any daughters like me either. So I'll have my own little table of boy mom support group out there, I guess. And maybe you could come and join me, but I would really, really encourage the ladies of our church. I'm sure you'll do this anyways, but look around and see if you can find someone to bring with you that maybe wouldn't otherwise come or would be feeling like they're going to be sitting alone. And we don't want that. This is, like I said, our first meeting. We've got to have even this whole year. So just, um, really think of it as an encouraging time. The theme is going to be not just for mothers. Anybody that comes hopefully will get a blessing. So I hope that you'll all be able to come out and join us. I think that's all I have.

Speaker 1: She said everything I would have said anyways, but I guess she did a better job than me real quick before Bernie Mac comes and leads us in a few more songs. We got a couple of thank you cards that I wanted to read to you before we continue on. And these are from the the Baker family. As Susan wrote and said, words cannot express the gratitude for all the outpouring of love that we've been shown this last week calls, food cards and financial help. It is just overwhelming. Most of all, thank you for the prayers for our family. Thank you for opening the church to us and for all that prepared, the wonderful meal for our big family. Please continue to pray for Danny's family, for comfort and peace in lives to be changed. Susan and Steve and then Miss Krista also wrote us a note where she says, I am beyond thankful for the love shown by my church family in both times of joy and sorrow as I just welcome the new grandbaby. So many have wished us well, prayed for a healthy mom and baby as my family just experienced, a tragic loss and abundance of church family stood by our side. I am overwhelmed by those who gave up their day to help with my brother's service, cook and host a wonderful meal for his family and friends. I think how blessed we are to have the wonderful church facility that more than accommodated our needs. I'm so grateful for all of the cards, prayers, hugs and encouraging words. Thank you for being a loving church family pastor and brother. Matt, thank you for all of you, all of your hard work and guiding us in love. I am blessed to be part of Sebti. I love Miss Krista and we're glad to have many of the Baker family with us here this morning and continue to pray for them. The loss of Danny as Suzanne Somers, Christa's brother. And I know you'll continue to lift them up before the Lord in prayer. Brother Matthew. Come, let's all stand. We're going to sing some more songs sung many of you know my heart, Amazing Grace, Sing Until Lord this morning.

Unidentified: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that

Speaker 2: saved a wretch like me.

Unidentified: Once was lost, but now.

Speaker 2: TWA's.

Unidentified: But. I see. Twas grace that taught my. And Ray.

Speaker 2: My. Really? How? Something great, something

Unidentified: real, right, for first believe.

Speaker 2: Through May. That's raised by.

Unidentified: All right. Dick. Tisbury.

Speaker 2: What say passport

Unidentified: and Grace will lead me home?

Speaker 1: Hey, man, let's continue singing a good song

Speaker 5: here, wonderful, merciful, savior, might be new to some of you. Love the words on the screen to follow

Speaker 2: along as we see. Wonderful, merciful, save your precious redeemer

Unidentified: and friend, good the. Could you rescue the souls of

Speaker 2: all you rescue the souls

Unidentified: of. You are the one

Speaker 2: that we pray.

Unidentified: You are the one we adore. You give the healing and grace our

Speaker 2: hearts always hug for all our hearts, always hunger for. For Counselor Comfort to keep her spirit, Wielangta and Ray. You. Hoping hard time fruitlessly. Oh, hopelessly lost our way. You are the one that we pray. You are the one we adore, you give the healing and grace our hearts always for all our hearts, always hunger for. Let's go Cappello there on the course almighty and Fernet father faithfully loving your own hair and our weakness. You find us falling before your throne. Oh, we're falling before.

Unidentified: Your. You are the one

Speaker 2: that we pray.

Unidentified: You are the one we

Speaker 2: adore, you give the healing and grace our hearts, always hunger for all our hearts, always hunger for a man prays over.

Speaker 1: Whenever ushers come forward this morning as we prepare to receive our tithes and offerings, and if you look on the back of your bulletin, you'll see that we're in the midst of two different fundraising campaigns. One, we're trying to raise money to relocate our teen room. Currently, they're on the bottom floor in the gym. And we would like to renovate and finish out a large space that was built into the building when the building was constructed, but was never completed 20 years ago. And so we're raising money for that. And we're also raising money for a new playground. And our current playground has lasted probably much longer than it was intended. And so we are trying to prepare for that. And tonight, if you come back, tonight's offering will be special for the playground. Any undesignated money tonight will go towards the playground. And our children are actually going to be helping to take up that offering tonight. And so we're looking forward to that and be a fun thing for them to be able to be involved in the service. But if you're a guest with us here today, please do not feel obligated. This is for our church folks and this is how we trust God to supply the needs of this ministry. And I'd like to ask for the same black star who doesn't mind, pray, ask God's blessing on our offering this morning. Hey, man, thank you, may be seated. That. And thank you for that, Miss Michel. We're definitely traditional church. I mean, there's no question about that. But we're so grateful for newer songs that are written that deserve to be sung right alongside. Those were written many years ago this morning. We'd like to ask Jimmy Short to come and several weeks ago at Brother Jimmy's first service back. His voice was still very weak. He was unable to talk for very long or very loud. And so we had mentioned that once his voice had recovered some, that he would like to give a testimony about what God has done in his life. And I, like you, share about what your shirt says. Right? The proof that miracles happen. And Jimmy's going to come and just share your testimony and then after he shares his testimony, the mystery is going to come and sing a special for us. But, Jimmy.

Speaker 3: Uh. Thanks, Pastor. I take my watch off and put it here, but, you know, it's a Baptist church and that doesn't mean anything, so. I'm take a little bit of liberty right here for a second. Hello, my friends.

Speaker 2: I'm here to tell you. All those prayers you prayed for me.

Speaker 3: They were not in vain. Before I say anything. I just want to say thank you. Everybody in this church. Everybody. That may be listening to Live Stream right now at. I put it out on Facebook and told my friends on Facebook, all my prayer warriors, you know, that I was going to be doing this this morning and. Thanks isn't a. A good enough word for what the Lord has done for me. I'll just give you a little perspective what I went through, not all of you know, not all of you have heard, but on December the 14th, I was in Austin, Texas, and I went and got a coffee test because I was I was feeling terrible. And so I got a covert test and it came back positive. And I was supposed to fly from Austin to Omaha, Nebraska. To work a job up there and so obviously I'm not going to get on a plane. And so I got in her car and I drove from Austin home and got the airport, got my truck, came home and quarantine for the next. Five nights. Continually just got worse, harder to breathe, coughing. Stephanie came over on Friday night and she listened to me with her stethoscope and put the oxygen meter and my oxygen saturation was, you know, still going down and down and down. So she told me if you're not better tomorrow morning, I'm taking you to the hospital. I said, by this point, the short. Stubbornness was worn smooth out, and I said, OK, and so the next morning we did a breathing treatment and nothing and so she's let's go. I said, all right, you got the backpack. So I went to the to the hospital and 19th. That's a Saturday. And the last thing I remember was Sunday morning, they asked me, can we intubate you, you know, because they had already given me as much oxygen as I could because I could handle and I said, I don't care what you do, I can't breathe. And so the last that's the last thing I remember saying or doing until. Somewhere around January the 15th, I woke up. In a hospital room. What was Terry there? And. Couldn't hold still, had a, uh uh. Feeding tube down my nose and. But. I guess I could smile. I think I've seen a few pictures of it, but. Uh. If you saw any of those pictures on Facebook, you know, it was me 40 years ago. I haven't weighed that. I weighed 150 pounds under 55 pounds since I was. Twenty three years old, and so I woke up at and Terry was there and yeah, I I'm thinking, all right, well I've been sick, um, you know, tried to lift my arms, try to lift my legs and. You know, nothing, I just can hardly move. I couldn't couldn't even for the first few days, I couldn't even hold my iPad and punch into an email or text somebody, so. I continue to get better. Uh. Through that weekend, that was, I think, 15 to somewhere around Thursday or Friday that I really became aware of my surroundings, but, uh. Monday or Tuesday, Stephanie was working that day and Terry was up there, she had to leave at six thirty visiting hours are over and. She said, you want to know? I said I shook my head, yes, because I still can't talk. Uh, got this thing in my throat and, uh, still got a trick to my throat. And I said I shook my head. Yes. And she commenced to tell me. You know what had happened to me, that. I was supposed to be dead. They put me on it well. Sometime within about a week or whenever I got sick or whenever I was in the hospital. And the ventilator wasn't working, and so last last ditch effort, let's let's put him on Tecmo, which is basically it takes the blood out of your body, puts it through a filter, puts oxygen back in it, puts it back in in here. So quite a quite a contraption and. But. It was to save not necessarily to save my life, but it was to where I could wake up. To be able to tell my family goodbye. So they would be able to tell me good bye. And. And she explained all that to me, and I had no idea I mean, I had no clue how sick I had been. I had no clue how what I had been through. Uh. So from there, I, you know, got that explanation and then once I was able to. Work my iPad, get on Facebook and, uh. I went back and started looking at all the posts, seeing the posts that the kids and family members had had been posting and the responses to it. It. Made me. So where? Of God's love. And God's grace. Pastors have been preaching on Grace all month, they're all all year, but all year this year so far and. Even when I was in the hospital, I was able I was I'm there, you know, I'm watching. And, uh. But God's grace is what got me through God's grace is what. Saved me.

Unidentified: And. You know,

Speaker 3: um, and I tell you, I've told this to several people that, uh, you know, I had the easy part in this. All I had to do is wake up. You know, I know my body was fighting, it was doing what it was supposed to do, but, you know, the chemo did. Help me turn the corner and and like Stephanie said a month or so ago, that I started getting better right off and had some setbacks, blah, blah, blah, but you know it. It got to. Um, you know that it. It was able to let me. Come away, you can find out. How many people had been praying for me? I talked to a friend of mine about a week and a half ago, his name's Gary Williams. He lives in, uh, northeast Arkansas and good friend, good Christian guy. And, uh, he always texts me on Thanksgiving and Christmas. And whenever I didn't answer him on Christmas, he called my phone and then I didn't answer, obviously. And then a few days later, I think he finally got a hold of Tyler. And Tyler told him what was going on. And whenever I talked to Gary, I gave him a call and, uh, uh. He said, man, I've been praying for you. And he said, I've got two older sisters, I told them, I told them about you. And they put you on their list at church. And. That's this is just one example. Of what happened to me. And for me, I mean. I figured it up one time, I had to have had people praying for me around the globe. But without a doubt, but I even talked to some heathen friends down in Florida, you know, they're praying for me and said. All right, OK, that's good. You know, God hears prayers, so. But, uh. Looking at my notes, I did write notes, but not very many. Uh. But again, it was it was the prayers that. An absolute miracle that I would not be here. I'm convinced if it hadn't have been for for all your prayers and everybody's prayers. So what's this done for me? What what have I what I mean, what is what I accomplished from this? I don't take anything for granted anymore. Yeah, I. You know, I love my family and most of them are here today. Uh. And extended family, friends. And I know friends of mine are listening today, right now, but I don't I will not take that for granted, I told passing one of the first things I told him. Was I'm not going to waste this. So. You know, whatever God wants for me, you know, I'm on their. You know, what is it what is it done for this church? You know, we had. And again, when pastor said, you know, we want to make a big. Thing about you being back your first day at church is that. All right, that's fine, but why he explained it. You know. We don't often see. God's answer to our prayers, sometimes God, God's going to say no. Sometimes he's going to say yes, but he's always going to answer. And, you know, for me, it was a yes, and I thank God for that, I think it has made this church stronger. I think that looking out over this crowd. You know, a lot of you know, by face now, a lot of you didn't know before I got sick because I was on the I was on the road all the time. But just to see this full house here. This morning, it makes my heart swell and I think I thank the Lord for that. And so what's ahead for us? You know, I'm going to continue to do what God tells me to do. We as a church need to continue to grow and do what God wants us to do. Reach other people with the gospel. He needs us to get people involved in the ministry. He needs us to be able to show the grace that he is given to us and to me and to each of us. And for me and mine, it has made us a stronger family, without a doubt. I love all my kids. I love my wife. She has been there beside me for this whole thing. Uh. I'm not an easy person to live with. I know that's hard for some people to believe and Willie would be here and he would be saying, hey, man, uh, but, uh. She has been my rock and this church has been my foundation, and I thank you all for it and I thank you for all your prayers. So that's it. All right. Thanks, Pastor.

Speaker 2: Uh. Oh, Lord, my God. When I in awesome wonder. Consider. Waldstein. I see the St.. I hear the roar.

Unidentified: Rolling Thunder. Thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings My Soul.

Speaker 2: My savior,

Unidentified: God to thee.

Speaker 2: How great.

Unidentified: The. How, Greg? Then sings My Soul. My savior, God to thee. How great thou. Oh, great. And when. Think.

Speaker 2: That God, his son, not spiring, sent him to die. I scarce and take.

Unidentified: That on the. Meiburg.

Speaker 2: And gladly bearing, he bled and died to take away my sins. Then sings

Unidentified: my soul. Oh, my savior, God to thee. Hypothyroid. How great the.

Speaker 2: And then sings my song.

Unidentified: My savior, God to thee. Haubrich. When Christ shall come. With shouts of acclamation and take me home. What choice shall fill my car? Then I shall. Now with. Rachel. And Barbara claims. My God, how great. And sings my song. My savior, God to thee. How great I was. Then. Singh Smyser. My savior, God to thee. Oh, great. Great. The.

Speaker 1: Hey, man, thank you for all of the special things that have happened already, good music. Thank you for the testimony, Brother Jimmy, appreciate always hearing how God is at work in people's lives. And it's good for us to hear from others about what God is doing in their life. And I think all of us need to be more open with those around us about the work that God is doing. The part of what we believe here at the Baptist Tabernacle is that fellowship is important, fellowship, brotherhood going the same way together. There is great strength in that. And I know I was strengthened personally by what God did in the life of the short family and many other families here at our church who have been through the valley of the shadow of death. And God has brought them out on the other side. And I think it's very fitting that we would sing a song right after that of how great thou art. He is a great God. He's a good God and he's a God. That really I mean, you just don't have any valid excuses for not following Jesus. I mean, there's nothing there's no reason legitimately why you would say Jesus is not worthy of me following him, and I am I am excited about getting to this passage here this morning with you. And I told my wife, this is not good. Some of you are already looking at the time. I said, really? Today's sermon could have been three sermons. And then I'm like, oh, man, I got 19 minutes before noon. I didn't say the service ends and I know noon is 19 minutes away, but take your Bible so you haven't turned to chapter number 15 and will not read the whole passages that were going to look at for the sake of time. But Chapter 15, and if you wouldn't mind, join me in standing in honor of reading God's word. I'm just going to pick out a couple of verses for us to read that kind of give the the the main verses for the text. And it will give a little bit of a punch here for us next. Chapter 15. And let's begin reading verse number eight to 15, verse number eight. We'll cover some before and some after this. But this is the main meat of the section Bible says in God, which no, if the hearts bear them witness that's the Gentiles giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did to us, and put no difference between us and them purifying their hearts by faith. Now, therefore, why tempt God to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear, but we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved even as day. Let's pray their holy father, we think, for this day. Thank you for all the folks that are here this morning. God, I pray that you'd help us as we look into your word. But give me the word. You'd have to say the folks that are here to listen and apply here to their lives. Words in Jesus name, I pray a man thank you may be seated. I mentioned some of this before, but I'd like to reiterate it this morning and perhaps for some of you, this may be the first time you've heard me say this, but I think we do our children a great disservice when they when we teach them to be followers of us, before we teach them to be followers of Jesus. You guys want to get out of here, right? So we need to get the head, the muscles loosened up and just you don't say man is not along as long as your head's moving. I know you're with me, all right? We teach them. We'll try to teach them to be followers of us before we teach them to be followers of Jesus. And so our kids grow up doing right and wrong because it's what mom and dad want rather than it's what Jesus wants. Our pastors can be guilty of this as well. I could start listening to a whole bunch of things that I don't think you should do. I don't think you should drink. I don't think you should smoke. I don't think you should, you know, have a relationship with someone that's not your your spouse. I think you should be at church three times a week, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and Sunday school, too. I just I think that's what you should do. I think you you should definitely read your Bible. You should pray. You should give. I mean, I can start listening. We could go on and on and on. I don't think you should watch certain movies. I don't think you should listen to certain music. I don't think you

Speaker 2: should

Speaker 1: have any fun at all. Now, some of those things that I said are valid biblical principles that we could apply to our life, but if you do them because the pastor said do them, not because you have a conviction that Jesus wants you to do them, then there's a problem. And pastors do their their churches a disservice when we teach or preach a behavior and expect people to follow, because I'm the pastor and I'm the leader of this congregation. So you should do what I say. I want you to be followers of Jesus way, more importantly than I want you to be followers of Gary. Here we have a passage where there is an issue that is coming up in the early church culture, and really it's a fight that breaks out among the Christians and you can see some of the details and verses one through six. I'll summarize for you. But they're in the church at Antioch where gentiles were getting saved and plugged in the ministry. There were some Jews who came from Judea who were trying to impose certain standards on the new believers. And if you look at verse number one, you'll see that the main issue is this issue of circumcision. And they're pretty blunt with what they believe. They say, except to be circumcised, you cannot be saved. That is legalism in the strictest definition of the word. Legalism gets thrown around a lot these days. You see somebody like the legalist and it's like pouring cold water on somebody. I don't like you legalist, OK, at a very specific definition of the word is adding works to salvation. You must do this in order to be saved. Now, we'll see later on the passage that they actually go further than that. And it's not just you must do this to be saved. It is you must do this to be right with God. And so anyways, I don't know what really led these Jewish Christians to to do this. I think there might have been some concern. Perhaps they were threatened by gentile conversion. Perhaps they were afraid of losing their way of life. You realize that for a Jewish person, Judaism is not just their religion, it's their culture. OK, first, we barely even scratched the surface as Christian Americans with combining Christianity with our culture, we can't even hardly understand how intertwined Judaism is to a Jewish person. It is their culture. And so any attacks on Judaism would have been an attack on them personally. And so these gentiles who are uncircumcised, getting saved was a great cause for concern to the Jewish Christians. Now, Paul and Barnabas verse number to withstand these teachers says that they had dissension, there was disputation. They're going back and forth. There's an argument that's taking place, but it doesn't seem like they're getting anywhere. And so later on in the verse, it is decided that they would go down to Jerusalem and present their case to the apostles. Now, in verse number three, if you'll look, you'll see that they make their way through a couple of different regions. And as they're going, they're sharing the testimony of what God has done in the life of the Gentiles. They're saying, hey, guess what, gentiles are getting saved. Gentiles are receiving the Holy Ghost. And as we would expect, the situation would be everyone in finace, everyone in same area is rejoicing. I mean, they are lifting up their voices. They are giving glory to God is the cause great joy unto all the brethren. Now, isn't that what you would expect Christians to do when news comes out that somebody is getting saved? Yeah. There are some when they hear about someone getting saved, they hear about something God's done in somebody else's life, they don't have joy, they don't rejoice. Instead, they throw rocks, they criticize, they have a bad attitude. They're quick to pour some more cold water on the situation. That's really what the Jewish Christians were doing. But not not in Venice. Not in Somalia. These places were populated with non Jews. And so for them, the idea that Gentiles could be saved gave them great cause for rejoicing. Now, conversion or for Bible says that they were come to Jerusalem since they were received in the Church of the Apostles and Elders. They declared all things that God had done with them. There are rules of certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed saying that it was needful to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses. So there's this mixed reception. The apostles, the elders that were there in Jerusalem, they welcomed Paul and Barnabas. They receive their report. There's these Pharisees who the Bible says believed these are these are Pharisees who had gotten saved. However, they bring up this issue of circumcision again. Parousia fetishism had a history of legalism, basically saying that God bases his pleasure with you off of what you do. Legalism is the belief that a right relationship with God depends upon the individual keeping a set of rules. And so ADV. seven through 12, the council is formed to consider the issue. Version number seven, the first person that that we have recorded speaking is Peter. Peter speaks up about his experience in sharing the gospel with the gentiles. We see that Peter was the first to witness gentiles that believed the gospel. Of course, if you are familiar with the Book of Acts, this took place in the home of Cornelius, the Roman soldier. Peter had delivered the gospel to Cornelius and the rest of his family and the whole household had believed. Oh, and verse number eight, the Bible says, God no and God, which no at the heart bear them, witness giving them the Holy Ghost even as he did under us. You see, God based his acceptance of the Gentiles, not on their actions, but on what? It's right there, God, which knoweth. The hearts. You see, God doesn't accept us based on our performance, God accepted them based on what was in their hearts and what was in their hearts was that they believed the gospel. Let me ask you this. The thief on the cross, did he have any chance to perform some good deeds so that God would accept him when he died that day? Absolutely not. But in his heart, he believed that Jesus Christ was the messiah, that Jesus was the only way of salvation. And so Jesus himself said today, you will be with me in paradise. Jesus, God demonstrated his approval of the gentiles of Cornelius and his family, their faith, by granting them the same Holy Spirit that he had granted to the Jewish believers. This is a singular, unified response from God to both Jew and Gentile. God doesn't give the Gentile a lesser relationship. Well, because you're not keeping the law. I mean, talk about an intimate relationship with God, the Holy Spirit, in dwelling a person, you don't get much closer than that. That doesn't say to the gentile world, because you're not circumcised, because you're not following the law. You've never sacrificed one offering to me. I'll let the Holy Spirit rest upon you until you get things right. And then he'll indwelling. Nothing going on like that. When the Gentiles believed the Holy Spirit was given to them, just as he was given to the believing Jews. According to Peter, the salvation experience is the same regardless of whether a person is circumcised or not. Personal number nine, he says, and put no difference between us and them purifying their hearts by faith. Wouldn't it be nice? If as soon as you got saved, all of a sudden, like your body was redeemed and you got your glorified body like that. I mean, we we have hope that one day we will be transformed, that this this vile, corruptible body will put on in corruption, that we will be like him because we will see him as he is. How cool would it be? Somebody comes down here, gets it, and you can just watch their body, which is broken and affected by disease and age and decline all of a sudden boom. It's glorified. Pretty cool. God doesn't work that way, it doesn't say that he he the immediate front of salvation is not a purification of the body, but a person. I would see it as a purification of the heart by Thane. The interesting purification of the heart. He's purifying the heart. Then what Peter says next is, including the law as a qualification for salvation is wrong and it's wrong on several levels. Number one, Peter says, we therefore like tempted God. It doesn't say why Tinchy the gentile's is why tempt God? Why are you messing with God's plan of salvation? Gods, the gods plan to offer the gospel to people the fact that they can believe on Jesus and Jesus is the one upon whom God places his acceptance of us, I'm not accepted because of Gary Boyd. I'm accepted because of Jesus Christ. Tempts God, it puts also an unnecessary burden upon the new believers, he says, to put a yoke upon the neck. I think it was Jackson last night came up to me and says, hey, I want to wear one of those those long, skinny things that you put around your neck. I said, you want to wear a tie. Yeah. And we don't have a tie that matches your outfit. Number two, don't rush it, man. Enjoy these days of no tie. It's like a joke, huh? That's the way the law is, it's a burden. I mean, you read the Old Testament, you read the five books of Moses, and you'll see that there was a lot of detail about what you could do, which you can't do, blah, blah, blah. I mean, it's it is a yoke. Peter says, hey, it's something that neither our fathers nor we were able to bear. We couldn't bear it. Why would you impose it upon somebody else? God did not factor in the individual's adherence to the law when he saved them. Merson or elevenses, but we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, they shall be saved. That's not what it says, says we shall be saved. Can you imagine how they must have felt when Peter turned the tables on them? My how the tables have turned? So if you don't get that on. He doesn't say they will be saved by grace. He says we have been saved by grace, even as de. You see, the point here is it doesn't matter if you're a law abiding Jew or a pagan gentile or a heathen Floridian, you are saved by grace. The law has nothing to do with it. All men are saved by grace and grace alone. And so at this point that Paul and Barnabas, who have been quiet this whole time, they get up and verse number 12 and they give a report of all of the miracles that God had done during the first first mission's trip to the Gentiles. Why? Because it is good for us to hear about what God is doing. When we sing praise praises to God in our in our service, I know you probably know a lot of different churches. We're not into a performance up here that you all sit there and watch and say, oh, that was pretty good. That guy really plays the guitar. Well, that girl's voice is really something else. God is really blessed or praise God for that. And we got some good instrumentalists. I'm thankful for instrumentalists and I believe it's going to grow. I'm thankful for the people who sing. The whole point of the praise time in our service is participation. When we seeing how great thou art or Lord, I need you, it's not just a nice sounding song. It's so that when when the person sitting next to you is singing Amazing Grace, you can tell in the way they're singing, they've really been shown God's Amazing Grace. This guy believes it. I said, this guy believes it. I mean, you guys open your mouths and seeing if you receive the grace of God. Sometimes I feel like I'm singing louder than all the rest of you, all by myself, even by the men, he's on the mic. I know, I wish you would stop. Sometimes we get in the office on Monday morning like. You were struggling yesterday, I was like just yesterday about every day. Verse 13, James gets up and James raps the whole thing up, James gives the decision that should be written and then disperse to to the other churches. James, just so that you're aware, James is the author of the book of James James that speaks here is the half brother of Jesus, the unbelieving brother of Jesus until Jesus rose from the dead. If he were James, the brother of John was the leader of the church in Jerusalem until Herod chopped his head off, killed him. And so then here comes James. Number two. I mean, James is out there in the New Testament, like at least four. Very confusing. James, he's a he's a conservative Jewish person, but he obviously had a lot of influence, he held much sway here in this meeting. James was important because he had gained the respect of both sides of the aisle. Think about this. The conservatives were saying, we need the law. You must follow these standards. The liberals are saying, hey, God has offered the gospel to all men. You see, sometimes it pays to be liberal. Liberal giving. Liberal in your version of the gospel, liberal in the grace that you showed others. I thought this guy said this was a traditional church. I think you know what I mean. James reminds them that everything that has happened among the Gentiles is a fulfillment of prophecy. Inverses 15 through 17, James quotes Amos nine and I'll read what Amos says. You can follow along with what James says and see how they match. But it says this. He says, In Amos nine in that day, will I raise up the tabernacle of David that has fallen and close up the breaches thereof? And I will raise up his ruins. I will build it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all of all, the heathen, which are called by my name, said the Lord. That do with this James investment 18 makes the point that God from from the Old Testament and even before that has always intended for Gentiles to be reconciled to himself. Yes, that's me. Praise God, he's always had a plan to include me in the plan of salvation. So because of this, James decides in December 19 that it is not right for the gentiles to be troubled with the matter of circumcision, he says wherefore my sentence is that we trouble not them, but from among the gentiles are turned to God. Every author I read on this matter stated that this applied not just to the issue of circumcision, but to the whole sorry, but to the whole of the ceremonial law. Peter had said that the law was a yoke on the neck of the Gentile believers, James says that the law was a trouble to the new believers. It was not necessary for salvation, nor was it necessary for a higher level of spirituality for these new gentile believers to follow the law. If anything, the law was a detriment and a deterrent to Gentiles accepting the gospel. Oh. Yes, the gentile's can just do whatever they want then, huh? Now. Don't be immature like that. Now. Verse number 20, James. Give us some advice. Interestingly, one, he tells us that there are Jews in every city, there are Jews meeting in synagogues, reading the law in every city, and so just like the Jews were not to dissuade Gentiles by expecting them to uphold the law, the gentile believers were not to dissuade Jews by living in complete disregard for the law. Is he James rightfully did not want Christianity to become known as an anarchist movement. It wasn't anything goes. Whether policy or send it about grace is much more profound, and I think there was this other thought which said. Should I send more so they can have more Grace? I think he said, God forbid. So we're not a. no muralists, no law. He lays out a few ways that gentile believers can be considerate of their Jewish brethren. Most of these things have to do with pagan idol worship. It says, avoid things that are polluted by idols. Paul deals that a lot in First Corinthians 13. He says avoid poor Neya in person twenty point eight. Does that sound familiar to you? It sounds a lot like pornography. Porn is not just sex outside of marriage. It is all forms of immorality. This is avoid eating things that were killed by strangulation. That's weird. Well, Jews were always careful to drain the blood from a carcass before cooking it because they believe that the life was in the blood. I think modern medicine has told us some things about that. But anyway, so the Gentiles, they would strangle something and then they would cook it in its blood. Blood would stay inside the body and making faces. You eat rare steak. You gentile. James James says, look, avoid strangulation, avoid blood in your food because it's offensive to your Jewish brethren. Everything that James has mentioned was part of the Jewish application of the law, but the reason he appeals for their observance is different than what the Pharisees had said. The Pharisees had said, you need to live by the law so that you can have a right relationship with God. James says, hey, there are some parts of the law that you should observe, not so you can have a right relationship with God, but so that you can have a right relationship with other believers. Similarly, I believe Luke is showing the readers, showing his readers that the Pharisees were wrong to make the law a prerequisite for a relationship with God. Relationship with God is solely dependent upon one's reception of the grace of Jesus Christ. Your relationship to God is solely dependent upon what you do with Jesus Christ. The key statement in this passage is from Peter inversed number 11, where he said, But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved even as they. Notice that nowhere in this passage or in the Bible does it say that salvation is Jesus plus the law. Salvation is Jesus plus nothing. I also want you to notice that nowhere in this passage does it condemn the Jews for endeavoring to observe the law for themselves. There's nowhere in here that James says, hey, not only are you Gentile's not supposed to do it, but you choose what's wrong with you. Quit observing the law. He doesn't condemn them for that. The Pharisees were believers, according to verse number five, you have Pharisees who were believing in Jesus and still keeping the law. James commends the gentile's to be respectful of the beliefs of their Jewish brethren. Ferris's they were wrong to expect the gentiles to live the same lives they were living. You know, it's natural to think that our way of living is the right or the best way of living. It is natural for us to think the way that we live is the right way to live. I was home schooled, you were home schooled. You can relate to this. When you're home schooled. Everyone asks you the same question. Why did your parents make you homeschool? How many times do you have to answer that question? Some so many times. You get to the point where you're very adept at defending home school, so much so that you start to to treat other other school option children as lesser than you, because I am home schooled. Just because home schooling is right for your family doesn't mean it's right for the next family. Public school may be the right choice for some families, I've heard of some some families that go to public school and their kids are like little little missionaries in that school. Christian school may be the choice for your family. Listen, just because it's right for your family doesn't mean it's necessarily right for the next family. There are some families I know. I mean, you probably have maybe you grew up in a home like this. I did not. Movie theaters. No way. You will not go. The appearance of evil. Presumably, it's no big deal. I didn't even know that the movie theaters were a bad thing until I went to Bible college, I was like, well, good night. And then in my whole life, didn't even know it. It is not OK to force. Our way of life on someone else as a prerequisite for God's pleasure when it comes to this issue of standards, rules that we follow as a family, maybe they don't follow as their family. It's wrong for me as a pastor to just stand up here and say, because I don't drink, you shouldn't drink either. It's wrong for me to stand up here and say, because I don't watch this, you shouldn't watch it. Now, if I can say Jesus wouldn't want you to watch this, and here's where it says in the Bible that this is not right. Well, then we were on a whole different topic. But just creating good, loyal followers is not our task. One of the supposed trademarks of being a Baptist is that we believe that you, as a believer, are a priest under God. The individual priesthood of the believer, basically this you don't have to come to me to have your request or your petitions brought to God, you don't have to come to me to find out what God says to you. You have his word. You have access to the throne room. Another another part of it is this whole issue of individual liberty. It's clear that you're responsible for what you do with Jesus. I'm responsible for how I lead this charge, but I'm not responsible for the the choices and the decisions that you make within your own home. I believe that there is a time and place for standards and rules. But our primary message should always be Jesus and his grace. We have rules and standards here at this church, for example, we don't let people work with our children that are not members of this church, that's one of our rules. Can you show me in the Bible where it says you can't do that? No, but I can show you in our insurance policy where it says that that's not a good idea. Rules and standards like the law are temporary stop gaps that treat the symptoms rather than the problem. We have to ask ourselves as parents, it's teachers, ministry leaders. Are we more interested in developing law followers or are we interested in developing Jesus followers? This is hard for me. It's hard for me to talk about this kind of stuff because I'm naturally a rule follower, I do better with rules. Last pastor I worked for, he was very he was a macro leader, macro manager, he was not a micromanager. I'd go to him. I said, what you want me to do? He'd like to do everything his best. No. Tell me, what should I do? I like rules, I love good rules, you know? I didn't marry a rule follower, so that stretches me. I need to be more interested in Church of Jesus followers than I am a church rule followers. I want my children to be Jesus followers first because, you know, if they are following Jesus, Jesus told them, children obey your parents. They're following me will come naturally if they're following him first. I want my children to be Jesus followers. I want the church that I pastor to be full of Jesus followers. I need to be a Jesus follower first. The Pharisees thought that the law would purify them, the word Pharisee literally means pure ones. They wanted people's behavior to fall in line with the law. So the law had been given by God, and so this must be what God expects for pure living, and in many ways they are right. There are principles in the law that are foundational to pure living. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor, his wife. That's the foundational principle to pure living. If your ox, Gore's his ox. And it loses an eye or he dies, your donkey falls in a ditch. There's some principles there that we can apply. But I'll have any toxin. Or DOGIES. We did Peter give credit to for the ability to purify version number nine. Was it the law? I was God. Where did God begin the purifying process, was it in the behavior? Those in the heart. So the law deals with outward submission to a set of rules, it does not provide for the purity of the heart. The law was necessary for the governance of a nation. But it proved over and over that it was incapable of producing pure hearts. God renews us from the inside out of the power of his grace and his Holy Spirit. How can you know this morning whether you are a law follower or a Jesus follower? I have a few questions I want you to consider. And only you can answer them. Are you more concerned? About what people think about you. Or what Jesus thinks about you. Rule follower says, I can't do that because so-and-so will look down on me. Well, I can't do that because then I wouldn't be accepted by so-and-so. So, Jesus, his opinion is the only one that really matters. And if we're right with God. We'll be right with others. Second question. When you face a crisis in your life. Who do you run to first? Humans. Or Jesus. Life throws some curve balls at us, doesn't it? A lot of people are looking for someone who will just tell them, do this and you'll feel better. Do this and everything will be OK. That's that's just following the rules. I need to turn to Jesus. And let Jesus work on us. Finally, is your Christianity. More accurately, described by words like burdensome. Troublesome. Or Grace. And purity. Some of you've been saying for a long time. Maybe your experience with Christianity has been that it is a burden, that it is troublesome and all these rules that you can keep, all these rules, Christians just they expect so much. How do you how can you keep up with all of it, all the expectations that you can't even do it? That's what I'll say it again, perhaps you're trying to carry too much on yourself. Paul fought the flesh with the flesh, is the flesh, is trying to deal with life in our own strength. That says, I don't want you to do that, I gave you my spirit. I gave you my grace. We don't need more rule followers. What we need in our church and our homes and even in our country are more Jesus followers. I believe that's why the early church was able to do some of the things they were able to do because they were following Jesus before they had the name Christian, what did we call them? Jesus followers. What is the name for Christian me, a follower of Jesus? You don't follow me, you don't follow me, and we're seeking to follow Jesus. Let's pray differently, Father. We thank for this day. Thank you for the folks that are here and their good attention. Thank you for their their patience. The service has gone a little longer than normal. God, I ask that this morning. You would not allow us to be distracted. By the time Lord, we would open our hearts to your Holy Spirit, we will allow you to speak to us and change us from the inside out. God, I know that there are many here who have experienced this. This issue of just following the rules and basing our Christianity off of that. Lord, I pray that you would lead all of us into a closer relationship with your son. Help us to be followers of Jesus first, to desire a closer walk with him, to try to find fulfillment and purpose and strength in our connection to him, not in our and our connection to a set of rules. Or we love you so much. We can only begin to understand and acknowledge the many blessings that we have received because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Lord, I pray that you would help us today to begin to apply those things to our lives. There's somebody here today that has never received your grace. They've never accepted Jesus as their savior. I pray that today would be the day that they make that decision, or if there's someone here today that has been basing their their spiritual life, their Christianity off of following a set of rules, I pray that today they would commit in their hearts to seek a greater relationship with Jesus or we love you so much and thank you for all you do for us. It's in Jesus name, I pray. Amen. Let's all stand. We're going to sing a song of imitation. Page two eighty five. Jesus sitcom. God has spoken to your heart. And please don't hesitate. You need to get some things right with him. Then this morning, won't you do that. We're going to open this altar to you to pray. You can pray there at your seat. If God has spoken to your heart and you respond as brother Matt sings.

Speaker 2: Oh my

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Speaker 2: Jesus,

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Speaker 2: Oh, Jesus, I called.

Unidentified: The out of my. Pope.

Speaker 2: And Lord Jesus, I call. Jesus, I come

Unidentified: to like, oh, you're scared of

Speaker 2: Mike Ross.

Unidentified: Jesus, I got. Up to the. Soros had to divert. Out of line storms heading to the. Now, the district. Storm chasers, I call. To this day,

Speaker 2: there's still time to do business with the Lord on

Unidentified: the third out on Reistad arrogant, right? Jesus, I called. Jesus, I call. And by the. I said, well, to abolish Jesus, I call. Out of myself to. Out of this. To Rapture's up. Bought for. Mornings like God, oh,

Speaker 2: Jesus, I got.

Speaker 5: Today, I decided this time was better, Gary prepares for baptism as Miss Alicia continues to play

Speaker 1: and the kids make their way into the auditorium. All right, well. All the young people are making their way in, they come in because we think it's important for them to see other young people making decisions for the Lord, and you never know how this testimony will affect one of them and maybe lead them to ask some questions on the way home about why did that happen and give you an opportunity to share the gospel with your children. So today, we're very excited. Is a very special day. And last week, Bethany's family, the Smiths, joined our church and she she has not been baptized yet. So she she came forward, made the decision, having accepted Jesus as her savior, that she would like to follow him in believer's baptism. So we're excited to be able to do that today. And if the family wants to come closer, you all don't have to stay that far back. Feel free to move closer if you'd like. But, Bethany, come on down and. It's nice and warm. Yeah. Lonsway. All right, Bethany, how old are you? Ten years old, you've accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, trusting in him alone to get you to have him step down a little bit right here. All right, go and hold your nose. Bethany, upon your profession of faith, I now baptize you, my little sister, in the name of the father and the Son in the Holy Ghost, buried in the likeness of his death, raised in the likeness of his resurrection, all God's people said, amen, Dr.. Well, we've done, as the Lord commanded, and yet there's still room excited to see what God will do next and who the next life will be that is touched by his grace, the man you come closest and our closest service. Don't forget about the parenting meeting right after the service with Brother Matt.

Speaker 5: Let's pray Father in Heaven. Thank you again for the time that we've had in your and your house together just to see how many people are here and desiring to worship you, to lift you up, to make you a big deal in their life. I pray, God, that we would take the message that we have received or that we would take it to heart Lord and apply it to our life, God to take it not only and use it here at the Baptist Tabernacle, but Lord our community abroad. Lord, help us to share your love with others in Jesus name, I pray. Amen. You are dismissed.

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Clarence Nettles