Sermon for Seventh Sunday of Easter, 05-16-2021

Acts 15:1-17, 21-26; Psalm 1; 1st John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19

From Acts we see some men came down from Judea to Antioch teaching the brothers that, “Unless they had been circumcised,” according to the custom taught by Moses, they could not be saved. These teaching brought Paul and Barnabas into direct dispute and they debated them on the subject. Jesus and Barnabas were selected, along with other believers, to go to Jerusalem and discuss this issue with the apostles and elders. Paul and Silas talked about going to churches in Phoenicia an Samaria, telling them how the Gentiles had been converted. When they arrived in Jerusalem some of the Pharisee began to say that they must be circumcised and to obey to law of Moses.

After much discussion Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles must hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who know the heart, showed that, he accepted them by giving them the Holy Spirit to them, just s he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. He made no distinction between them and us. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe is is through the grace or our Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved just as they are. Beloved God knows all things: He knows what is in the heart of each individual; He knows our true attitude to Him; His knowledge of persons and their various needs, problems, and attitude is not detached knowledge of much information gained by study, implication, or some other indirect way. Rather, it is personal knowledge which God gains first hand in His own observation of and relationship to people. God uses His redemptive love to bear upon all individuals and he knows each of us and seeks to deal with us on the basis of that knowledge than only a tradition.

From Psalm 1, God’s people marked a consciousness of God which pervades all of life. God’s ways are a source of guidance, encouragement, and moral strength for us. God’s people portray patterns of integrity to their society and are known for their moral uprightness based on obedience for His Word. In these verses we also see that we are accountable for our character and conduct, and that if we aren’t mindful of God’s Word and hold ourselves accountable to proper conduct and character, we will be shaped by people of the world, instead of God’s people.

In 1st John, we are taught that, we accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, but God’s is greater, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar. Pray for all those who fall into sin, that they may be returned to good standing and find eternal life again. God loves all of us, desiring not to lose anyone, but not all will listen to His voice and turn their lives around and serve only Him. Allow others to pray for you, when it seems that nothing is going right, that you are under attack from the evil one, and you will find that God will respond to their prayers for you. Live you life for Him who died on the cross for Your sins, and eternal life will be yours, of this we are assured.

Finally in the Gospel of John this morning, we read that even Jesus prayed for Himself, and rightly so. This is a prayer we ought to be able to read as Christians. It is a prayer to the Father, that He has revealed You to all those that surround us, that God gave them to us as He did Jesus, and that they obeyed Your Word. Now, they know that everything You have given us comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave to me and they accepted them. They know with certainty that I came from you and they believed that You sent us to continue the mission Jesus began and people have accepted this and obey you now.

One say, Father, we will be coming back to you, though we do not know when. Holy Father, protect them by the power of Christ’s name the name You gave him that unites of as one body. We love You Lord, we worship You, and we pray to You alone Lord. Let Your will be done through us, to further the kingdom and all inhabitants, that You alone will be glorified and that Your will be one on this earth and in heaven. Amen

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