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?


Jesus rejecting Judaism?

Jesus did not embrace Judaism, because it did not embrace His Father.

I think the better way to say it is that Jesus rejected those forms of Judaism which failed to honor God, which according to the historical record you mentioned, were those forms of Judaism which strained at gnats and swallowed camels. There is no indication that Jesus founded a "new religion" during his lifetime--the break between Christianity and Judaism came generations after his crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus espoused a different form of Judaism, which later became known as an independent religion.

Unfortunately, lots of old-timey theologians and speakers failed to recognize the distinction, and preached and wrote huge volumes on the assumption that Judaism was some dark, murky, undeveloped religion which failed to please God, while Jesus came along as a bright light eclipsing all things Jewish. This is inaccurate. Jesus was a Jew who did embrace Judaism, but spoke out against the elements of corruption in leadership and establishment, which found rectification in him and the theology which sprang from his own example. This is an extension of the forms of ministry practiced by Ezekiel, Isaiah, Amos, and many other fully Jewish prophets who saw Judaism as a sacred thing, pleasing to God when observed correctly. Jesus wanted Judaism to be observed from the heart, and even at the expense of some technicalities, but that does not mean he rejected Judaism. It means he embraced an ideal Judaism which competed with the institutional and cultural models of his own day.

Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life;
And these are they which bear witness of me;
And ye will not come to me, that ye may have life. (John 5:39-40)