There will be a hymn at the beginning and end of the sermon.
Before the sermon Brother Joe Anderson shared a few personal comments regarding the Lord’s love, care, and protection before providing a heart-felt opening prayer on behalf of the congregation.
Elder Jonathan Cook, our Pastor, then continued teaching from the Book of Acts, as in many recent weeks. His sermon used Acts 15:7-41 as a primary text with added scriptural support from Galatians 1:1-9, Genesis 9:1-4, 1st Corinthians 8:4-13, Amos 9:11-12, and various other texts. Elder Cook reflected on how the early church wrestled with a very serious and heavily debated issue – – that of the proper conduct of newly converted Gentile believers under the dispensation of grace brought in by Jesus Christ. Complicating the issue was an environment where they desperately were trying to blend two vastly different historical cultures. The first was the Jewish culture where all had been raised under Mosaic Law and the second was the Gentile culture which included many practices which were totally contrary to the first. In essence, both sets of cultural norms had to be set aside for something better and which provided greater liberty and which had freed all believers (Jew and Gentile alike) from the burdens and yoke of the Mosaic Law. All were now under grace. Elder Cook also emphasized that the early church at Jerusalem dealt with this issue in a very orderly and direct manner: first, the Apostles and elders came together to discuss the matter and listened to what each man (e.g., Peter, Paul, Barnabas, James) had to say regarding the issue; second, the church prepared letters to communicate the outcome of their session with the other churches; and lastly, chosen elders were selected to go to the other churches with these letters for their instruction and edification.
“What A Day That Will Be” was selected as our closing hymn as we again exchanged hugs of affection and shaking of hands, followed by a sweet prayer by Brother Brian Dixon.