Worship Preparation: September 12, 2021

Sunday, September 12, 2021
Read the sermon text: Acts 11:1-18
Read the sermon summary: This Sunday we will conclude the extended section in Acts concerning Gentiles being included in the church through Peter’s preaching of the gospel. We’re spending three weeks on this section to reflect the attention Luke gives to this monumental shift in the early church. The walls of division between Jew and Gentile are being torn down. In this passage, certain Jews criticize Peter for fellowshipping with Gentiles, so Peter gives a defense of his actions. Peter’s defense rests on the fact that inclusion into God’s kingdom is based not on ethnicity or performance, but on a gift from God… the gift of the Holy Spirit. We see, then, that the criticism from the circumcised, Jewish Christians springs from the idea the Spirit wasn’t a gift from God, but it was something they deserved, whereas the Gentiles didn’t deserve it. In preparation for the sermon, consider the following questions: Why might Luke have included Peter’s reference to Acts 1:5? How does v. 17 demonstrate equality between Jews and Gentiles despite their many differences? In what ways do we behave which demonstrate we’re mistakenly thinking the Spirit is earned or deserved rather than a gift of grace?
Read the following song lyrics in relation to the sermon:
Death Was Arrested
Alone in my sorrow and dead in my sin
Lost without hope with no place to begin
Your love made a way to let mercy come in
When death was arrested and my life began
Ash was redeemed only beauty remains
My orphan heart was given a name
My mourning grew quiet my feet rose to dance
When death was arrested and my life began
Oh Your grace so free washes over me
You have made me new now life begins with You
It's Your endless love pouring down on us
You have made us new now life begins with You
Released from my chains I'm a pris'ner no more
My shame was a ransom He faithfully bore
He cancelled my debt and He called me His friend
When death was arrested and my life began
Our Savior displayed on a criminal's cross
Darkness rejoiced as though Heaven had lost
But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand
That's when death was arrested and my life began
Oh we're free free forever we're free
Come join the song of all the redeemed
Yes we're free free forever amen
When death was arrested and my life began
CCLI Song # 7046448
Adam Kersh | Brandon Coker | Heath Balltzglier | Paul Taylor Smith
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Preaching: Jim Upchurch
Leading Music: Seth Hubler