Summary: What are the identity markers of the Christian?
Changing the World-
one person at a time.
How to Change the world without being religious
Why study Acts?
Not just a story but a template for how church should be
Acts is the key to understanding the rest of the NT
Acts shows why Jesus died- to start the church
Acts provides the background to the letters and says something about who they were written to
Acts shows God’s strategy- start where you
Acts- Key verses
“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also” (Acts 17:6)
“…. you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
From Jerusalem to the ends of the earth
2000 miles away, 2000 years ago
How to change the world without being religious
Religions give us identity markers
What are the Christian’s identity markers?
Do you have a religion or a relationship?
What is happening in Acts 10
A key moment- the first group of gentile converts
Peter plays his part in a transition that will see him become smaller and Paul greater
The “big” movements of later in the book are introduced by this the last of a group of individual stories
A key aspect of the law is placed to one side for believers
The Jewish Law
Tribal Identity markers
What eat, drink wear…….
What is the Christian’s tribal identity? Is he to become a Jew?
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
(Ro 14:17, ESV)
How to recognise a Christian?
A keeper of certain religious rules?
A “certain sort” of person?
A “good person”?
“Prayers and alms”?
God does not show partiality
How to recognise a Christian
Those that know their need of God pray, really pray
Those who realise all they have is from God give
But Cornelius wasn’t there yet....
Early signs of God possibly being at work should encourage us
What is the gospel?
We are all in the same boat before God
God does not like favouritism nor the divisions that religion brings
No-one without Christ fears God and works righteousness- Jesus did it for us!
There is no one not “suitable” for the gospel
Jesus is the Lord of all = God
The question is not “Am I good enough?” but “Do I realise how forgiven I am?”
How did Peter recognise a Christian?
The Holy Spirit falling on people confirms their salvation which came by faith
This gave the representative of the church courage to baptise them and
Join them to the Jewish church
=The NORMAL Christian Birth (if the order is a bit mixed up!)
The identity markers of the Christian Do you have them?
Prayer - “Calling to God” (cf Romans 10)
Acts of kindness to others
Faith and repentance
Baptism in water
Receiving the Spirit
Joining the church