Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
Every now and then, even when we think we have it all right we need a little help: Watch this.
Table Fellowship—This has to do with the purity of the Gospel (Ephesians 2)
Barnabas introduced Paul as a Christ follower to the Jerusalem believers. It was Barnabas that sought out Paul in Tarsus, he needed a little help with evangelizing in Antioch. It was Barnabas that went with Paul in his first missionary journey to the Gentiles. I guess they both needed a little help…
Hypocrisy: You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Matthew 15:7-9).
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5
There are those, like Peter and Barnabas, that fall to legalism and there are congregations that would, and will, not tolerate a sinner among them. That is like a hospital refusing to treat a person because they are sick. There are times we all need help…
When you try to make yourself look good by following something other than Christ, whether it is tradition or some other set of standards, then you easily set yourself apart, or above, other believers. When you separate yourself to exclude those who don’t measure up, when you consider yourself better than other believers, you are just plain wrong!
Chuck Swindoll once put it this way:
“Believe as I believe – no more, no less;
That I am right (and no one else) confess. Feel as I feel, think only as I think;
Eat what I eat, and drink but what I drink. Look as I look, do always as I do;
And then – and only then – I’ll fellowship with you.”
– Chuck Swindoll, Seasons of Life
God does not care what man thinks. He does not care if others are offended by you doing what is right. God is about using imperfect people, like you and me, to spread the gospel of Christ and His Kingdom to a lost and hurting world. Congregations need to be a Spiritual hospital, rehab center, and teaching institution where people go to for spiritual healing, recovery and growth. These congregations should welcome with open arms, the broken, the hurting, those sin sick, as well as those dead in their sin.
In Mark 2:16-17, when the legalistic, hypocritical pharisees saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors they asked His disciples, “’Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
The Great Commandment tells us to love God and others, especially those who are different than we are! That is why we are called to Reach Out, to go into the world, not to be of it, but in it. To enjoy fellowship with those who may not measure up to our standards, but not to hold them or our brothers and sisters to our standard. As you mature in Christ, you become a disciple who makes disciples, nurses and caretakers who help those that need help to come to the Great Physician, the healer of our souls, He who raises those dead in their sin to new life!
Most people who come to a hospital know why they are there, they do not need others to point out their wounds, their sickness, they are there to get help! We should remember that! Jesus said to remove the plank in your own eye before trying to remove the spec in your brothers…
We must never forget from where Jesus brought us and that we are to help one another when we slip or fall and that we are to encourage, correct, and admonish as Paul did Peter, using the Word of God in love… not as a weapon.
In Romans 13, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. When we love, we fulfill the Law, we help one another to stay on track and away from worldly sins.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8
- What is a hypocrite?
- What is it to be legalistic?
- How are you to confront Hypocrisy and Legalism?
- General: Acts 2:46-47, Acts 8:4, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, Jude 1:12-13, Romans 13:8-10, Hebrews 10:24-25
- Barnabas: Acts 9:26-27, Acts 11:19-26, Acts 15:1-35
- Israel: Ephesians 2:11-22 (12)