Intro: The worst upon our record ever.
Apollo 13– this could be a disaster of monumental consequences.
On the contrary, this will turn out to be our finest hour.
CHALLENGES TO HOPE
I. REAL FEAR OF CHANGE: 15:1-6
They were watching the progress but it looked all the more foreign to them.
II. REAL POTENTIAL FOR DIVISION 15:5
The real potential for schism
III. A REAL CONCERN FOR VITALITY 15:1,5
Lack of anything tangible/ living in their relationship with God.
A world devoid of hope, infected with cynicism/ despair and living only for themselves.
IV. REAL PRESENCE OF LEADERSHIP:
James’ argument built upon the actions of God
Not from the power of his position/ the piousness of his life.
His humility of a life before the face of God rendered him most fit to serve the people of God. (Schaff)
Came later to the inner court of
believers, the oldest of 4 brethren of whom John records did not believe in the famous brother. (Mk 6:3,4; Matt 13:55; John 7:5.
The terse comment associated with this passage.
Having lived 3 decades in unbelief of his righteous brother, the realization of The authority of His person and the commanding authority wrought now realized in his atoning death had Transformed him from jealous sibling to a jealous guardian of A new and living way.
From a historical fragment associated with early church father Jerome we get this…” he had sworn we are told, that he would not eat bread from that hour wherein the Lord had drunk the cup of his passion until he should see him rising from the dead.” the Lord appeared to him and communed with him, giving bread to James the Just, and saying my brother , eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen from them that sleep.
The most conservative of Jewish converts, yet he recognized and welcomed Paul in fellowship…
He appears to be level headed, kind and accommodating, yet possessing a firm grasp of the issues presenting themselves as impediments to the church’s future growth.
Schaff says of him,” he was an honest, conscientious, earnestly practical conciliatory saint, the right man in the right place, and at the right time…” pg. 267
Likely married I Cor.9:5
His mission to stand in the gap at this critical time and lead the “church” of Moses to a better way in understanding the manifold mysteries of Christ.”
Later, according to Josephus, he was stoned at the instigation of the high priest Ananus 63 AD.
One sources says he was thrown down from the pinnacle of the temple and then stoned…. Final prayer so reminiscent of his brother and Lord, Father, God, forgive them, they know not what they are doing…
His legacy improved by history and a desire to build upon his record, but the truth, according to Schaff and others is that,
” the character that shines through the legend, is that of a loyal, zealous, devout, consistently Hebrew Christian who by his personal purity, and holiness, secured the reverence and affection of all around him…”
I have watched all to often the affection felt by the father and son…
Results of the Council:
1. The message of the Gospel has been freed from the entanglements
2. Attitudes to Paul within Jewish Christianity were clarified.
3. The decision of the council further antagonized many Jews and the Jerusalem church would now experience an uphill climb.
Leadership best defined by influence and influence is only generated when our interests for the Lord exceed any interest in our own position.
- Influence is best achieved in the absence of self promotion and in the abundance of interest in others.
1. Change is rendered less painful where God’s word is revered and his leaders most humbled
2. Change is rendered less painful where God’s Word is revered and his leaders most humbled.
I have watched more times as children displaced by divorce…
Mark J. Congrove
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