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Glad to be Home (Acts 21:17-26)

July 29, 2015

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon demonstrates the grace of God in the community of believers. Pastor Carter encourages us to be most thankful for the mutual fellowship in the Lord. The focus of this sermon is on the expressions of gratitude, evidences of Gods grace, and examples of love amongst the believers in Jerusalem.

The Expressions of Gratitude & Evidences of Gods Grace

20140311-184658.jpgWhen we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. (Acts 21:17-25;ESV).

The believers in Jerusalem were thankful to see their brothers, because the fellowship of believers would be one of thanksgiving. For this reason, Pastor Carter emphasized the importance and necessity of actively participating in the fellowship of the Spirit among the saints. Moreover, rather than focusing on the things Paul suffered prior to his coming to Jerusalem, he spent his time talking about the goodness of God and rehearsing the evidences of God’s grace, one by one.

The Examples of Love

And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law, and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law. But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. Then Paul took the men, and the next day he purified himself along with them and went into the temple, giving notice when the days of purification would be fulfilled and the offering presented for each one of them (Acts 26:16; ESV).”

Jerusalem was a church primarily comprised of Jewish converts. There was great potential for division based on rumors of Paul’s teaching among the Gentiles, so James asks a big request, namely, to live publically as a Jew in Jerusalem. Although Paul had every right to decline, he understood that love does not have to be right, right now by willing to oblige to this request and patiently give the believers in Jerusalem time to have a better understanding of the Gospel (cf. 1 Corinthians 13).

Are you able to see evidences of Gods grace in your life?

Everyday you should be looking for evidences of God’s grace in your live, because the Lord is actively working in and through it. There are always problems, but we ought to focus on what God has done. The love of the God the Father was displayed in the self-sacrificing ministry of Jesus Christ, and this love for us should compel us to endure well, because those who are in Christ are going to home He has prepared from them.

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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