Prepare – Week 3

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We are getting ready to begin Acts 15 this Sunday. We’ll be unpacking a section of scripture known as the Jerusalem Council. Essentially, this is the first major debate within the church after Jesus. This council is meeting to decide whether or not gentiles (people who are not Jews) need to be circumcised after becoming Christians. The men in charge of the council are identified broadly as the Apostles (likely the 11 men who traveled with Jesus + Matthias) and the elders. The only men identified by name are Peter (the Apostle) and James (the brother of Jesus). Peter is also referred to as Cephas at times in our reading, but it’s the same person: Peter = Cephas. This council decides that Jesus is all they need, there is no need to be circumcised. Essentially they decided that: Jesus  + Nothing = Everything.

Hopefully you are working on Reading Acts 13-14 (Paul’s 1st missionary journey) and Galatians 1-6. Paul wrote Galatians sometime between Acts 14 and Acts 15.

Pray: Ask God to speak to you through this week’s message. Ask him to prepare your heart and your mind. Ask God to identify one person who you can encourage or invite to church this week.

Do: Make a list of things you enjoy doing and/or are good at. Pick one of them and think about how you could use that for the kingdom. If you would like, talk to John-David or one of the other staff members.

Questions:

  1. What do you notice about missions work in Acts 13-14?
  2. What do you learn from Paul’s conflict with Peter in Galatians 2:11-14?
  3. What do you learn in Galatians 6?

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