Monday, November 2, 2015

On 11-8-15, Acts 15:1-12 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Saved by Grace or God Makes No Distinction

Saved by Grace
God Makes No Distinction
Acts 15:1-12
November 8, 2015

Jed Greenough

“No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”  

This verse today is among the easiest and among the most difficult to accept for us now and always as Christians.

With it we over simplify and risk falling prey to the devil’s schemes.  We think in affect that we can do anything and get away with it.

It is among the most difficult to accept because in our passion for the Father we want to do more.

I don’t have ill feelings for these new converts who were Pharisees.  They were used to being a legalistic people.  In their passion for God they wanted to dot their i’s and cross their t’s and they thought others should as well.  Have you ever caught yourself doing that?  Have you ever worried that you are worshiping on the wrong day or not following things because you read about them in the Old Testament?  I will admit that I have.

But when Jesus said He wanted people to worship in Spirit and truth that covers it.  You know in your hearts when communion is sincere or when you are going through the motions.  And that covers all aspects of our worship.

We are a roller coaster people, we get in ruts or we get in good times where our worship and our kingdom work becomes less or more or mechanical or in the Pharisees sense it can become legalistic or worse Pharisaical.  

God proved through them why it didn’t work, Peter said, “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?”  This he was saying was  to oversimplify why we needed Christ and God’s grace to save us.

I love that part of today’s verse 8 which reads, “God, who knows the heart.”  Let that rattle around in your head awhile repeating those words, “God, who knows the heart.”  Use that to judge yourself when you are making your choices in church, at home or in public.  Not someone else’s measure of what you should do and not even your own.

I think it purifies like a refiners fire so even we ourselves know what we should do or what we are doing will be what He desires.

For Discussion:

  1. Share ways you may have been worshiping other than in Spirit and truth.
  2. Share your peaks and valleys of worshiping.
  3. Discuss why the Jews felt as they did both positive and negative.
  4. Discuss how Paul had been a Pharisee among Pharisees.
  5. Discuss the “dangers” of verse 11.
  6. Discuss the influence the Gentiles would have had on the Jews in this their new faith.
  7. Discuss how new converts could similarly have an influence on us.
  8. Discuss how we could have a negative influence on new converts.

Upcoming Lessons

11-15-15  From Derbe to Philippi     Acts 16:1-5, 8-15

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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