Summary: Bringing the gospel outside our comfort zones
Ethnocentricity - my nationality is superior to yours
(A) Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
(B) The French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
(C) Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
(D) Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
(E) Conclusion: Eat & drink what you like. It’s speaking English that kills you.
Christians spend too much time trying to figure out "who’s in and Who’s Out"
if someone went to heaven or is on their way there - without asking of course :)
Pope, funerals, natives - and not enough time figuring out what matters
There’s a technical theological word for that - it’s called self righteousness
Radical Reformission - pg. 74 shows we all have our "gentiles"
Acts doesn’t pose the question, "Will the Jews be saved?" - it hammers away at the faithfulness of God to keep His promises - from Abraham on down.
The real question is "Will the Gentiles be saved?"
Israel never got around to being a blessing to all the nations of the earth, what is God going to do about it?
So the Character of God is the real issue here, not the character of the Jews or the Christians.
It’s a mystery to me, how is it that the ones who taught the world to hope for a Messiah seemed to have missed out on Him?
Luke puzzled over the Jewish rejection of Jesus as Messiah, but he puzzled even more over the embrace of the Gentiles by God.
Chapter 11 begins with controversy. Peter is in trouble - as usual. The pork hits the fan!
11:2 contended/criticized - Without permission he crossed the line. EAT BAPTISM
The level of shock by the Jews was even greater than Peter’s over unclean food
(or yours) and yet we know who won the day.
This realization is what gets Peter and later Paul into really hot water.
Proclaiming a message that God is for all people!
What happens when your identity is threatened (Jews - Laws, Protestants - Doctrine)
Fight to the death - or lay down and die. Either way you end up dead. But by laying down to die, you can be raised in Christ.
Why is this story repeated, - central to the book of acts.
Acts 11:1-30 The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."
4 Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened: 5 "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, `Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’
8 "I replied, `Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
9 "The voice spoke from heaven a second time, `Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.
11 "Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, `Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’
15 "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: `John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?"
18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."
The key teaching here was not for the newcomers - but for the oldtimers!