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Freedom - Mission Part 3 (12 of 16)
Open to Acts 15. We're taking a few months to walk through the book of Acts, which is the history of what happened right after Jesus left this earth, when the church was just getting started. So this is like mid-first century AD. And up until now, it has been mostly action, action, action. Hasn't it? Because the Holy Spirit came down from heaven and filled the church, and we've seen healings and arrests and stonings and jailbreaks, and we've seen 3,000 people come to faith in Christ at one time, and then we've seen these powerful conversions of a sorcerer, and an Ethiopian diplomat, and even the arch-enemy of Christianity, Saul himself.
And then the last two weeks, we looked at the first missionary journey of the church, you remember? The church sent out Paul and Barnabas and some other traveling companions from Antioch, and they went out to spread the gospel, and there was all kinds of resistance, but they got back home and they gathered at the diner and told everyone how God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, and how powerfully God had worked through them.
So it's been almost non-stop action. And now, all of a sudden, it's like somebody pushes ''pause'' on the action, because there's this huge question that comes up. And it's such an important issue that they drop everything until they can get an answer to this question.
So let's set this up-Acts 15, verse 1:  Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: ''Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.''  This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.
 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentile ...
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