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Summary: Every church will face problems. How can we overcome them? 1. Beware of misguided convictions (vs. 1-5). 2. Seek wise counsel (vs. 2; 5-9). 3. Consider the right questions (vs. 10). 4. Reaffirm our core beliefs (vs. 9-11).

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Problem Solving in the Savior's Church

The Book of Acts - Part 49

Acts 15:1-11

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - July 20, 2014

INTRODUCTION:

*George Mallone told about a psychologist who spoke at a pastor's conference, and he decided to do a little experiment. Every time he introduced himself to a preacher, he said, "I'm sorry to hear about the problem in your church."

*Nearly half of the pastors replied, "It was there before I came." The other half said, "It's getting better." Only one pastor responded by asking, "What problem?" But maybe he was dealing with a whole boatload of problems. (1)

*Every church will face problems. How can we overcome them? God's Word shows us in today's Scripture because the early church had problems too.

1. First, we must beware of misguided convictions.

*Misguided convictions were the big problem in vs. 1-5, so please listen to these verses again:

1. And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.''

2. Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.

3. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren.

4. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them.

5. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.''

*As believers, we must beware of misguided convictions. Some of the Pharisees had trusted in the Lord, but they were tenaciously hanging on to Old Testament rituals. They were zealous for the Lord, but they were zealous in a misguided way.

*Most Christians need more passion for God, and that's a big problem. But another problem is that some of the most passionate people are passionately wrong. Some of the most passionate people are also some of the most misguided people. Muslim fanatics prove that every day.

*We must beware of misguided convictions, like the legalism we see in vs. 5. There some of the Christian Pharisees said this about the saved Gentiles: "It is necessary to circumcise them, and command them to keep the Law of Moses.'' Those Pharisees did not understand that we are living in a new day. On the resurrection side of the cross, we are living in the age of grace. And those Pharisees did not understand that all true Christians are under the New Testament or New Covenant which was sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

*Therefore, it is no longer necessary for us to keep Old Testament ritual law. Of course, that doesn't mean anything goes. Anyone who looks at the teachings of Jesus Christ will quickly see that He calls us to a much higher standard in the Old Testament law.

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