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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Change Agent – Part 5

We have seen Peter move from a conviction, wrong though it was, that it was unlawful for him to associate with gentiles, to the point of welcoming Cornelius, his family, and his friends into the Body and insisting on their baptism.
Change Agent – Part 5
But Peter’s journey of change is not complete.

In Acts 11:1 – 18 we read of Peter’s return to Jerusalem.  Those in the church there took issue with Peter for eating with the “uncircumcised” men.  Peter had authority as an apostle.  He could have used that authority to declare what was to be.  He did not.  Rather, Peter shared in detail with those in Jerusalem what he had experienced starting with the vision on the roof, the Spirit’s urging to accompany Cornelius’ messengers, Cornelius’ vision, and finally the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on these “uncircumcised” men as he was telling them of Christ.

The result?

The church’s understanding of what God was doing in building His Church was altered, Acts 11:18.  The issue was settled – no, not quite.  This issue comes up again in Acts 15, Galatians 2, and many other of Paul’s epistles.  We seem to be slow to change our perception…

This series raises a number of questions which I will pose tomorrow.  It also instructs us on how God may initiate change which may be the most important observation.  I will share that in two days.

Posts in this series:
Change Agent - Part 4
Change Agent - Part 3
Change Agent - Part 2
Change Agent - Part 1

1 comment:

  1. Should we be surprised that reworking our convictions is a long process (at least life-long)? My understanding is that convictions begin to be formed at least at birth, but likely even before, in utero - but even before that as we are products of our environment. From a Biblical perspective that would be back to the Garden at our original creation. There are a lot of generations in there that have a bearing on my life today.

    Doubtless Peter was some decades old, and although not a "trained" religious professional had absorbed the natural ethnic prejudices of his day, just like I have mine. When those prejudices have the status of "biblical truth," as Peter's religious convictions were, they are even more entrenched.

    Most of us haven't seen flaming tongues of fire descend from heaven and transform a group of people on the spot like had happened to Peter, then seen it all repeated in another context.

    If he had such problems correcting his heresies, what about me? I have no question I'll carry all too many of mine to the grave despite significant effort to identify and deal with them. Fortunately the Holy Spirit is still just as powerful as He was in Acts 2 and 10. I need all the help I can get. Saturation in the Word, and help from people like you are an essential environment for that to happen.

    Keep it up!