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Summary: When a fire doesn’t burn completely it creates deadly smoke. So how well do we burn? Are we truly on fire for God, or are we just Blowin’ Smoke?

“BLOWIN’ SMOKE”

Acts 4: 13-22

I) INTRO

A) Revisit Fire Triangle

B) Complete and Incomplete Combustion

1) Complete combustion Co2 and Water

a) Car as efficient as human body would get 900 mpg.

2) Incomplete…Co Smoke

“Today we are going to look at how ‘combustion’ applies to who we are in Christ.”

II) Text:

A) Recap

1) Crippled man healed

2) Number of those saved grew

3) Peter spoke Boldly to religious leaders

B) Read Text: Acts 4: 13-22

C) Religious leaders are Blowin’ smoke

1) Legalism elevated over all else

2) Relationship with God reduced to compliance with a list

3) List made it possible to exclude others from the group.

4) No Love

D) Apostles are combusting completely

1) Unschooled Ordinary Men

2) Doing mighty things for God

III) Incomplete and complete combustion is all about our identity

A) Our Identity in Christ is NOT ABOUT….

1) what we do (or don’t do)

2) what we say

3) How many times we come to church during the week

4) Legalistic righteousness

5) Who we exclude

6) How many things we point out in others

a) Reality is that their sins are not worse than yours…just different

b) Some complain about dress, smoking, drinking, etc. But don’t seem to have a problem with gossip, selfishness and pride.

B) Our Identity in Christ is all about 1 thing

1) The Wonderful Grace of Jesus!

C) Our identity as a church (if we want to be a Biblical church) CAN’T BE ABOUT

1) What we do

2) What we say

3) Who we exclude

4) People (or issues) that we attack

5) Sins we point out in others

D) Our Identity as a church is ALL ABOUT 1THING AND 1 THING ONLY!

1) The Wonderful Grace of Jesus!

E) The Old “Battle Cry:” Love God…Hate Sin.

F) Bishops calling us to a new Battle cry: Love God…Love others

1) Not really new though, is it?

2) Jesus taught it and lived it

a) Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul mind and strength… and Love your neighbor as yourself.

IV) Legalism trivializes Holiness

A) Legalism is incomplete combustion

1) Human effort, human defined

2) Holds people in Bondage

B) Holiness is complete combustion.

1) Gift from God

2) Sets People Free

C) Holiness is not defined by exclusion

1) Is not a standard by which we can judge others

2) Is not a litmus test to see “how faithful” people are.

D) Holiness is defined by one thing and one thing only

1) The Wonderful Grace of Jesus!

V) The Transforming Grace of Jesus

1) Given to unschooled, ordinary men (everyone)

2) Courage to face life’s challenges

3) Confidence in knowing the Truth is on your side

4) Peace in the middle of conflicts or changes

5) Joy that knows no bounds

VI) Can I see the hands of people here today that know of someone that is having or has had to face challenges, conflicts and changes?

“Note I didn’t ask for the hands of anyone here that is struggling with these things.”

1) How many of you could use a little courage, peace, or confidence?

2) It is found in one place and one place only

3) The wonderful, transforming Grace of Jesus that sets us Free!

VII) Final Observation

Quote from FM Bishop Joe James “The freedom we have in Christ was made believable to an unbelieving world through the Love that was expressed in and through a healthy Biblical Community.”

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