Christian Triage
Acts 15:22-35
Dr. Jeffrey Clark

The Big Idea: Christians sort a dispute into at least two levels of importance.

  • Essential-level Importance
  • Lower-level Importance
  • Conviction-level Importance


Do not err on the side of those who deny essential-level theological issues.
Do not err on the side of those who elevate lower-level matters to essential-level prominence.
Respect local church leadership on conviction-level issues.


Quick Review: Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

My Story: How does “triage” work in hospital emergency rooms? In what way does “triage” illustrate an important responsibility for all Christians, and for leaders and teachers in particular?

Digging Deeper:

1) This passage has much to say about how the apostles and leaders exercised judgment about certain teachings or practices (Acts 15:22, 25, 28). How did these leaders decide, and what does this tell us about how to weigh various disagreements?

2)The matter of salvation, by grace through faith, is a first-order issue (Acts 15:11). Different approaches to this (Acts 15:1,5) must be corrected. What other teachings may be described as “first order?”

3) The problems of meat sacrificed to idols and Israelite dietary laws are understood as lower-level issues (Acts 15:29). These were ethnic issues that should not bring division into local church life. What other teachings or practices may be “lower-level” issues?

4) There do exist conviction-level differences that may result in significant differences between and among local Christian churches.  Convictions about Christian baptism would be among these, and church government may also. What should one do with mid-level differences?

Taking It Home: Do not err on the side of those who deny essential-level theological issues. Further, do not err on the side of those who elevate lower-level matters to essential-level prominence. Finally, respect local church convictions on conviction-level issues.


We want to extend a special welcome to visitors and guests, and we invite you to an informal reception immediately following our worship service. Please visit the Welcome Center to get church information and receive a special gift when you turn in a Communication Card.


We’d like to share the gift of small groups with you this season. We have sermon-based small groups, topical groups and fun groups, such as ice skating. Please see Eric’s latest blog on our website and stop by the table in the lobby to ask him which small group gift has your name written all over it!


If you are interested in finding out more about life at Aspen Ridge Church and how you can get involved, you are invited to the next session of The Bridge, this weekend, on Sunday, January 13 from 4:00-7:30 PM. This class meets in the Fellowship Hall, downstairs and includes dinner and childcare.


We would like to thank Chris Van Inwagen for spending this last year establishing our security team. There have been many upgrades and improvements! Chris has now passed the leadership of this team to Dave Retterer, and we look forward to Dave’s continuance of this ministry.


All women are invited for two days of worship and fellowship together at a special event at Aspen Ridge. We are hosting IF: Gathering 2019 for Evergreen, on Friday, February 8 from 5:30 – 9:00 PM, and Saturday, February 9 from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM, via live stream. We will learn what it means to rely on the wisdom of God and not on our own understanding. The cost is $30, with meals included. Please register online at Contact Sandy Cyphers at 303.674.0290 for more information.


Our next baptism weekend is January 19/20. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the church office to schedule your pre-baptism interview. Interviews will be held at 4:00 PM on Saturday, January 12 and 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 13. You are only asked to attend one of these sessions.


Dinner is served at 5:30 PM on Wednesday nights. This week, our menu includes meatloaf, mac-n-cheese, green beans, peaches, bread, salad and dessert for $2.50/person or $10/family. All are welcome.


John and Elaine Mehn (Japan)
John started the new year by attending another Japanese church leadership conference that focused on church planting and a seminar on the next steps. About 30 people gathered from that region to consider the process of church planting. John shared about the larger vision in Japan, as well as other information pertinent to the culture and vision.

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