I really enjoyed our gathering of the church last night. There was some really good discussion as we talked through some very good stuff.
We are slowly working our way through the book of Acts, looking to see how the Bible describes the early church and the original Gospel message. We were in Acts 13 last night, and we were talking about two primary things.
One, the chapter opens with the church fasting and praying. In my spiritual background, we did not do much (any) fasting. I know others do more of this, especially when seeking an answer for a specific issue.
This led to talking about the different “tools” (disciplines) we can see in the Bible. We recognize these are good things and have value in our lives, but we also talked about how some can use these things to manipulate others. It was a really good discussion, and I landed with seeing that these tools are valuable and the Spirit will lead me to use these tools in my life, as needed. However, I must beware that I do not attempt to use them to get others to do what God is calling me to do.
The second big discussion was around the Gospel (shocker, I know). What we see in Acts 13 is a pure Gospel message culminating with –
“And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus…
Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man [Jesus] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” – Acts 13:32-33, 38-39
The result of a pure Gospel message…
“As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath.” -Acts 13:42
Today’s Good News is we can trust the pure Gospel message to capture people’s hearts. We do not need to add any additional stipulations nor motivations. The Spirit will guide and teach those who have truly “believed”.
My prayer is that, if you haven’t already, you would see that the pure Gospel message is one of absolute freedom. When you understand the enormity of the love that has freed you, your natural reaction will be to beg to hear more of this Good News. No manipulation. No guilt.
That’s really Good News!
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