SERIES: The Book of Acts
TEXT: Acts 15:12-21
MESSAGE: “Living By A New Standard”
Q: Do you believe that grace is God’s standard for your acceptance?
TEXT: Acts 15:12-21
Q: How can these believers live by this new standard of grace?
By seeing three aspects of grace — (1. The reality of grace 2. The reinforcement of grace 3. The restraint of grace)
1. The Reality of Grace v 12
“And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.”
2. The Reinforcement of Grace v 13-18
“After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old…”
3. The Restraint of Grace v 19-21
“Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”
“If our teaching of grace causes us to make light of sin, or to slight the requirements of the Savior, then we have not really understood either the monstrosity of our sin or the greatness of the heart that forgives it.” — Bryan Chappell
TAKEAWAYS: How can we live out of our acceptance?
- By believing the gospel overcomes our worst days and our best days
“Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.”” — Jerry Bridges
- By remembering that God’s Word is solid and unchanging
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” — Ephesians 6:13-17
- By displaying a new sensitivity to others and their needs
“If your fundamental is a man dying on the cross for his enemies, if the very heart of your self-image and your religion is a man praying for his enemies as he died for them, sacrificing for them, loving them – if that sinks into your heart of hearts, it’s going to produce the kind of life that the early Christians produced.” — Timothy Keller
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” — Ephesians 2:4-9