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?

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Kaitiaki's picture

Christianity IS Jewish

I am not intending to answer any of the statements in detail. I would, however, like to make one or two salient comments.

1. I believe both Paul's approach to the Great Commission and that of Peter were uniquely Jewish. They argued their case from the Jewish Bible, they claimed Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, they believed that Jesus was in the process of setting up his kingdom and that all nations would bow the knee and confess him Lord to the glory of the Father. Neither believed it was necessary to require Gentiles (see the council in Acts 15) to keep the laws which the OT Jews were unable to keep - ie to keep them as if they could bring a person to salvation.

2. We neglect the Jewish side of our heritage as Christians at the cost of a richer understanding of the glory of God and of our salvation. Where would we be if we were to neglect the Psalms of David or how much poorer would we be if we did not understand the elements of the Passover - when it comes to thinking of the significance of the events of the crucifixion? And why (if we are to forget the Jewishness of our faith would Matthews Gospel be a part of the Gentile Bible - with all those "all this came to pass so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet ..."

3. That said - our faith is to be distinguished from that of the Judaizers who claimed that we *have* to keep the law of God in order to be saved! It is the requirement to add to faith in the Christ which is the error which has plagued the Church from its inception and the reason Paul withstood Peter to his face. It was not that the faith is any less Jewish but that we understand more fully what that faith is than many of the early Jewish Christians.

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Christ died for one Church:
Our failure to recognise other Christians
changes neither their place in the Kingdom of Heaven
nor our responsibility to encourage them in the faith

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Christ died for one Church:
Our failure to recognize other Christians
changes neither their place in the Kingdom of Heaven
nor our responsibility to encourage them in the faith




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