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We worship on Sunday mornings at  Chaparral High School located at 27215 Nicolas Rd, Temecula, CA 92591
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A New World Order (Acts 15:1-21)

Rev. Robert Recio, February 5, 2017
Part of the Acts: The Church's One Foundation series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

This month we return to our study in Acts at what many consider to be the very heart of the book, the Jerusalem Council in chapter 15. This ancient deliberation of the early church that navigated Jew-Gentile relations stands as a central event in redemptive history and is absolutely relevant for the church in every age. Ultimately Acts 15 is all about determining and confessing the very heart of the Gospel. In Acts we read of the church being built up with men and women from the nations joining the body of Christ, not through external rites or obedience to Moses’ law, but through faith in Jesus as the crucified and resurrected Messiah. This is the kind of news and reality that defines a people and has everything to do with how we relate to one another as people of the crucified and risen king.

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Acts 15:1-21

15:1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16 “‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’

19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.” (ESV)

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Acts: The Church’s One Foundation - This month we return to our study in Acts at what many consider to be the very heart of the book, the Jerusalem Council in chapter 15. This ancient deliberation of the early church that navigated Jew-Gentile relations stands as a central event in redemptive history and is absolutely relevant for the church in every age. Ultimately Acts […]
O that Birth Forever Blessèd - Last Sunday’s sermon was about the hopes, expectations, and faithfulness of Mary, as the angel Gabriel announces to her God’s plan of salvation in the birth of Jesus. The first couple of weeks in this advent series we’ve seen the testimony of creation (Jesus is the firstborn of all creation and the image of the invisible […]
Now He Shines the Long Expected - In our first sermon on Advent, we looked at the cosmically grand reality that Jesus is the image of the invisible God and firstborn of all creation. This week we turn our attention to Jesus as the long-expected Messiah foretold by Israel’s prophets. Far from the incarnation being a kind of Plan B to an […]
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