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Summary: The Scriptures do not address all eventualities or issues; we still must use godly wisdom to fill in the cracks. Nonetheless, God's true will always passes the Scriptural strainer.

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God's Word: The Strainer of Truth

(Acts 15:6-18)

1. I have only made applesauce once in my life, and that was a month or two back when the Newells brought all those apples to church for all of us.

2. I made sauce the easy way; I had a press down apple corer / section maker, and then threw the apple slices – skin and all – into a food processor. I then put it through the strainer. Best apple sauce I ever ate.

3. God's Word is like that strainer, a filter though which we evaluate all of life's choices.

4. The Jerusalem council was about making official decisions. It was populated by the apostles and James, arguably the most influential and respected Christian leader of the time. (show picture)

5. Did the leaders feel free to use their own judgment, or did they feel bound to make sure their convictions passed the Scriptural strainer?

Main Idea: The Scriptures do not address all eventualities or issues; we still must use godly wisdom to fill in the cracks. Nonetheless, God's true will always passes the Scriptural strainer.

I. The Scriptures Interpret EXPERIENCE (6-12)

A. Jesus Spoke His CHOICE of Peter to open the door to the Gentiles (6-7)

Matthew 16:15-10: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Peter used these keys when he was called to evangelize Cornelius in Acts 10

B. Salvation is a matter of the HEART, as per the Old Testament (8a)

Deuteronomy 30:6, "The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live."

These verses would be familiar to all Jews who memorized and meditated upon Torah

C. The Holy Spirit testifies that Gentiles are SAVED apart from becoming Jews (8b)

D. Salvation is by grace, not LAW keeping (9-11)

E. Paul and Barnabas: A great HUSH (12a)

Paul was a great theologian, but he was also a great minister, evangelist, & missionary.

F. SIGNS and Wonders (12b)

Application: We interpret life through a Biblical framework, which is one reason we embrace a program like AWANA.

1. Do we understand morals as a result of cultural peer pressure, or the absolute revelation of God's Word?

2. When tragedy strikes, do we view God as weak or unloving, or do we face the fact that we are living in a world under God's curse, and that the redemption of our bodies is yet future?

3. When we hear about tensions in Israel, do we have an understanding of End Time prophecy so we know how to interpret what is going on?

4. Are we products of mere chance? Shouldn't we just follow our hearts?

5. How do we interpret competing religions? We need a Scriptural framework to help us interpret life and the world around us.

The Scriptures do not address all eventualities or issues; we still must use godly wisdom to fill in the cracks. Nonetheless, God's true will always passes the Scriptural strainer.

II. All Arguments Must Be Checked Against the Teaching of the SCRIPTURES (13-18)

A. James ties in the ABOVE with what was predicted (13-15)

1. This James is the brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem Church

2. James serves as the chairman, like the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court

3. He was amazingly respected by both Jewish Christians and mainstream Jews

4. James' version different from Paul's? No, they collaborated (see Gal 2:9)

B. In Amos 9:11-12, God promises to rebuild David's TENT (16) sukkah

Translation from our Hebrew Masoretic text:

In that day I will restore David’s fallen shelter—I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins— and will rebuild it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name, declares the LORD, who will do these things.

אדם

Translation from the Greek Septuagint (LXX):In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and will rebuild the ruins of it, and will set up the parts thereof that have been broken down, and will build it up as in the ancient days: that the remnant of men, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, may earnestly seek me, saith the Lord who does all these things.

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