Missions and Acts - Covenantal Approach?

Kaitiaki's picture

Basically this is just a "what do we learn about the Church from Acts?" thread. As we watch Paul and Barnabas and then Paul and Silas building the Church in Acts, what can we learn about their concept of the Church as a whole? Robert suggested my original plan was too cumbersome so asked me to create new threads.

Thread Moderator - Kaitiaki

Jesus said he was sent to seek and saved the lost sheep of Israel - yet he still had a place for Gentiles who were present when he was preaching. When the new Church began in Acts i took a sign from God before the Apostles were prepared to take the Gospel to the Gentiles at all. Then when Paul did, he went first to the Jews and then to the Greeks. We explore this aspect of his method of missions.

The process Paul used (The Jews first and then the Greeks) may set out a policy we should keep in mind for missions outreach. Do you think this was a deliberate policy? Do you think he began with those who, not only should have been the easiest to reach with the truth but also, were the ones who should join with him in the further work of outreach? What part did their greater accountability under the covenant have to play in his use of this policy?

ElderDad's picture


I would not rule out "deliberate policy." Jesus Christ sent him to the Gentiles, but love sent him to the Jews. Would this mean he didn't make it his policy? No, not necessarily. His policy was to preach to the unsaved from both groups and bring them into one body. Nor would I say it was in disobedience to the command to go to the Gentiles. God's love is for all, so He gives us love for all. When that love makes us evangelize, we are acting within God's love. I do not take the command to go to the Gentiles to be exclusive, but inclusive. For the most part, the other apostles were centering their ministry at that time in Jerusalem to the Jews. As a business man who already travelled the Roman empire, Paul was given a similar command to what Jesus said in the gospels. "Going, preach and baptize." On a practical level, going to the synagogues first also appears to have the benefit of showing Paul some of the Gentiles hanging around the Jews with a desire to find the truth. When the Jews rejected his message, Paul often continued with the Gentiles who had already been listening to his message, building the local church congregation on this core group. (Not specific to the point, but also interesting regarding his ministry to the Jews in the synagogue, is that the Sabbath is only mentioned regarding the synagogues. This was when he could preach to the Jews. After he left off preaching in the synagogue, the Sabbath is no longer mentioned in any of those cities.) When we consider the evangelistic outreach of the apostles in later years, it would appear that our Lord also intended that Paul would set an example to the others -- "Go into all the world . . . "

Dave S.
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