Though it is often overlooked, racial tension is present throughout the book of Acts and had serious implications for the development of the church. This message introduces the issue of racial tension by examining the history of racial tension in the first century church and how it applies in our generation.
The curses of the Mosaic covenant result in what we can call the discipline of the covenant. While the discipline of the Mosaic covenant is unique to Israel, Israel’s story reveals God’s nature and His character. Therefore, God’s discipline of Israel instructs us in the knowledge of God. God’s discipline
Luke’s description of the church in Antioch in Acts 13 presents Antioch as the prototype church in the nations and Paul and Barnabas’ sending from Antioch as the biblical pattern for formation and sending in the church. This chapter is foundational for our understanding of church, formation, and sending.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is far more than the beginning of the church. It represented a commitment by God to fulfill His promises to Israel and also gives us clues to how God is going to fulfill those promises. In the outpouring of the Spirit, God did not shift His plan from Israel to the nations, He invited the nations to participate in Israel’s story.
It is a common assumption that the New Testament shifts the focus from Israel to the nations. The New Testament does give a clear directive to take the gospel to the nations and also describes the spread of the gospel among the gentiles. However this Great Commission is not disconnected from God’s promises to Israel.
The New Testament makes a bold prediction related to unity – God will have a unified people from every tribe and tongue who are one and yet retain their diversity. This seems like an impossible prediction, but the Bible predicts it, the gospel makes it possible, and it is part of God’s plan to advance the gospel.
One thing that is consistent in Paul’s life is his willingness to use his own strength and ability for the sake of others. Paul’s body, his rights, and his privileges were simply tools and resources that he willingly used to advance the church. Paul’s suffering in the city of Philippi provides one of the best examples of how Paul functioned in this way an apostle.
This message examines two primary themes in the end-time church that must be understood as primary for the church in every generation. The neglect of these two themes, which are emphasized in the Gospels, the book of Acts, and the book f Revelation, will produce a church that is abnormal and disconnected to where God is leading the church in this age.