Acts 15; Jew And Gentile

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 19.

This chapter is based on Acts Acts 15:1-35.

 I really love Peter’s humility in this story. Some try to claim that Peter was the first pope but Peter did present himself as infallible and if he was a pope then wouldn’t the church have just let his word settle this debate in Acts 15. Peter himself knows there is only one who is infallible and that is God Himself and that there is no man here on earth who can take His place.

Secondly I like how Peter accepted Paul’s rebuke when Paul tells his own version of the story of Acts 15 in Galatians 2. Peter does not respond to Paul saying, “Hey I have been in this church for years. You can’t talk to me like that! You are a new comer I have been here since the beginning.” No, Peter realizes that the Holy Spirit was speaking through Paul. Would that we all would realize that God can use anyone to correct us! Just because we may have been in the church longer does not mean cannot learn from new members. Even Peter learned from the new members. Peter did not resent being corrected by Paul, but later referred to him as his beloved brother in his own letter.

The Human Race Has A Sin Problem

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile Romans 2:9

Romans 2 and this week’s SS lesson makes it clear that we are all have a sin problem. Even those who preach the truth struggle with sin. “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1 NIV  For example, the same men who wrote those noble words on the Declaration of Independence  “All men are created equal” also owned slaves! And while we are at it, let’s make it clear that not all slave owners were white and not all slaves were black. This is not about race. It is not about time. Romans 2 makes it clear that the entire human race has a sin problem. Jew, Gentile, Yellow, red, brown, and black and white, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, we are all a part of the only race the Bible recognizes, and that is the human race. The human race has a sin problem.

The Jews were appalled at the crimes their fathers committed against God’s prophets and then turned right around and Crucified His Son! When you study history you find you are not studying about long ago and faraway places as much as you are studying about human nature in anytime and anyplace. We are all the same. We can stereotype and label other people as having a sin problem, or we can confront the fact the we ourselves have a sin problem. Here is good news for those who accept they have a sin problem:

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 NIV

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NIV

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD “—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalms 32:5

Before we can be a part of the solution we have to see ourselves as part of the problem. Romans has the solution for the sin problem!

You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.