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Summary: The penalty of envy and the blessings lost because of it

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Paul is here preaching in Antioch of Pisidia and his theme being “Justified by Faith.” Often times we get uneasy when we see new and different things going on in the church but most of the time these uneasy feelings cause us to loose God’s blessings and bestow them upon someone else or another congregation. Just like the Jews of Acts 13, we stand by and watch other churches explode and then ask the question, “Why can’t we do that?”

1. THE GENTILES HUNGERED FOR THE WORD

Acts 13:42

• They had heard the words that Paul had preached in the synagogue and desired that they too be partakers of the Spirit of God

• When we hunger for the Word, we get fed

Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

• We must meet God halfway, just as the gentiles did, they hungered for the Word

• Draw nigh, in other words; we must hunger for the Word for it is our guiding force, our direction for life both good times and bad

• In hungering for the word, we seek the things of heaven rather than the things of the earth

Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

• The new things translate into a hunger for serving God

2. TRADITION = STAGNATION

• Tradition prohibits growth because of it’s lack of desire to change with the peoples need’s

• Don’t confuse Tradition with History

• History is what has brought us to where we are, tradition is how we got there

Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

• When we give into tradition rather than the word, we fail to give due service to the Lord

Mark 7:8 “For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.”

• “A very poor holy man lived in a remote part of China. Every day before his time of meditation in order to show his devotion, he put a dish of butter up on the window sill as an offering to God, since food was so scarce. One day his cat came in and ate the butter. To remedy this, he began tying the cat to the bedpost each day before the quiet time. This man was so revered for his piety that others joined him as disciples and worshipped as he did. Generations later, long after the holy man was dead, his followers placed an offering of butter on the window sill during their time of prayer and meditation. Furthermore, each one bought a cat and tied it to the bedpost.”

• As we can see in this illustration, tradition can begin from individuals and not necessarily from God

• The Jews in Acts 13 were followers of tradition rather than the new gospel of Jesus Christ and were reluctant to adhere to it’s teaching

• It was the tradition of the law that no doubt caused enough rejection in the people that many died and woke up in hell

• The Gentiles had two things going for them:

a. They were not bound by the law

b. They were hungry for the NEW message

3. WHAT MUST WE DO TO AVOID THE BONDS OF

TRADITION AND POSSIBLY LOSE THE BLESSING OF GOD?

• Paul and Barnabas got bold in their preaching

Acts 13:46

• Paul tells the Jews that the gospel was to be given first to them; but in their rejection God has extended his grace to the Gentiles

• We must tell the world with boldness that God loves them and is willing to save their souls but with continued rejection comes the loss of his blessings

• God will give those who continually reject him over to a reprobate mind (Reprobate: Abandoned in sin; lost to virtue or grace.)

• We must adhere to the word of God and obey his commands

4. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE STAY TRUE TO GOD?

Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”

• People accept Jesus

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