Monday, March 14, 2016

Acceptance of the Gentiles

Today's sermon = Major Even in Acts, in Christianity
The Acceptance of the Gentiles into the church.

Definition and background of Gentile:
Gentile = a person of non-Jewish origin, ancestry - no Hebrew background of any kind
In Greek the word is ETHNOS (from which we get Ethnic).  This word sometimes translated "foreigner".

Often translated 'nation'(s)
BUT the focus = race/origin (social, cultural, racial background)  not government or country - a "People Group" - example:  Roma - ie: gypsy. Recognized as a distinct people group.

Jews recognized 2 people groups:  (2 ethnos)
   1)  descendants of Abraham, Issac, & Jacob
    2)  everybody else (non-Jews) => Gentiles

How that came about:
#1.  God's desire is to draw all men to Himself - 1 Tim. 2:4, 2 Pet. 3:9

#2.  He chose (selected) a particular people group (Ethnos) Through Whom He would  (a) Reveal Himself and (b) Bless all people

Gen. 12:1-3   Ex. 19:3-6 - holy nation (separate)

The Plan was NOT "YOU will be my people and no one else"
The Plan was "you will be my people and through you I'll Reveal and Bless" - Ex. 34:10

PROBLEM = the Jews not only separated themselves, BUT isolated themselves!!! - separation to an extreme.  They were to stand out, not stand apart!

So.... New Testament Clarification -- Mark 11:17, Matt. 28:19, and with Paul - Gal. 3:14

Up until this time, the church has accepted  (1) Jews   (2) Samaritans  (3)  Gentile proselytes (converts to Judaism) - example:  Ethiopian Eunuch

BUT - what about those people groups who accept Jesus as the Christ (Messiah), BUT are WITHOUT any previous ties to, adherence, acceptance of the Jewish Race??  or the Jewish FAITH??

Historically, this was very monumental.

TEXT:  Acts 10:1-48, 11:1-4, 11:15-18

THREE Relevant Questions:

#1.  Does God (therefore) accept and receive all people?
Acts 10:34-35
Answer = He accepts all who:  WILL come   TO Him  THROUGH Jesus Christ

On one hand:  Rev. 22:17   However, James 2:19
Universalism says Jesus Christ came and died for all our sins, therefore all are saved and going to heaven.

The gospel says Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin on the cross and we are saved by believing and trusting Him.  We come with a C A T - Content   Assent   Trust

#2.  Is God through with the Jews?  (as revealers, conduit)
Are 2 views:  no consensus - wait and see

#3.  Has God chosen another people group?
Answer:  one sentence summary FROM Peter!!  1 Pet. 2:9

#1. "you are .... a chosen (elected) race, a holy people group
#2.  "so that... you may declare - reveal, bless

ADD:  1 Pet. 2:10 - The baton has been passed to the church!

Final Application:
(1)  Are you one of the people? - C A T
(2)  are you functioning as one of the People?  - Conduit - Are you striving to reveal God to other people

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