Acts 15:6-11.. 6 The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
After a lot of debate Peter reminded the brethren that in a vision he had been directed to go to see a gentile. A Peter obeyed and presented the gospel to Cornelius who responded with faith and was saved and instantly received the Holy Spirit. It was clear to Peter and later back at Jerusalem that God was serious about the command of Jesus to take the gospel to all nations without distinction.
Peter said in v.10 “why do you put God to the test” B by trying to place a yoke of works and legalism around the necks of new disciples of any nationality. Then he made the strong statement about salvation through the grace of Jesus being available to every individual.
Our church, FBC of Jacksonville, Florida, has many ministries to the nations including: earphones with instant translation for many languages during our worship services, separate services and pastors for Burmese, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Chinese speaking people and an International Pastor who has a ministry in apartment complexes with many foreign residents. FBC budgets money each year for the Cooperative program which is used for outreach to all the nations in the USA through the Florida Baptist Convention and Home Mission Board and internationally through the International Mission Board and the annual Lottie Moon Christmas offering for world missions. FBC also sends mission teams of our staff and volunteers all over the world including recently India, Haiti, Russia, Cuba, Philippines, Thailand, etc.
All disciples from all nations have “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”
It is clear that FBC believes in a ministry of the gospel to the nations, but what am I doing to minister to the nations and races who live in our city? Am I putting God to the test?
Henry Luke 12/29/2017
For other posts on Acts 15, click on “Acts 15” in tags below.