The Jerusalem Council
Dr. Jeffrey Clark
The Big Question: What to do when the gospel message is subverted?
- Confirm the gospel message with no compromise, v. 6-11.
- Advise Christ-followers on behavior marked by compromise, v. 19-21.
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: There is a human tendency to add law-keeping to the gospel. If you agree, why do you think this is the case?
1) The occasion of the Jerusalem Council was the assertion that people can not be saved apart from some form of law-keeping (15:1,5). In this case, it was the Jewish law-keeping of circumcision. Why was this such a momentous occasion, calling for a council?
2) The apostles and elders unanimously affirm that non-Israelites are saved in the same way as Israelites, by God’s grace through human faith, plus nothing (15:9,11). What is the gospel? How do the words “justification” and “imputation” relate to the gospel?
3) In our modern culture, are there certain times, occasions or ways that the gospel message is attacked or subverted? How and when must Christian people stand against gospel distortions?
4) For the sake of unity, these church leaders advised prudent behavior for non-Israelites who had come to faith (15:20-21). Instead of using their freedom for selfish purposes, they were to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). Where must Christian people listen to this counsel today? How about you?
Taking It Home: How can you witness to a restored relationship with God, apart from your own efforts or accomplishments? What stories can you tell your friends and neighbors about your salvation? What freedom may God be calling you to renounce for the sake of Christian unity?
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.
Please join us following the Saturday evening service for soup and fellowship. If you are interested in joining this soup’er fun ministry, reach out to Jodie Cates at [email protected] to be added to the list. We are looking to add to our soup makers, set-up/clean-up crew and bringers of desserts and soup sidekicks.
The first weekend of each month is an opportunity to contribute to the benevolent fund. This is an important ministry of Aspen Ridge and has been used for our church family and community members in times of need. You can give your gift to a member of leadership or mark your check accordingly. We have had significant requests over the last few months and appreciate your support.
A GIFT FOR YOU
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!
SECURITY TEAM NEWS
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.
IF: EVERGREEN 2019
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 aspenridgechurch.iflocal.com. 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 5 and 12 and 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 6 and 13. You are only asked to attend one of these sessions.
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, January 13 from 4:00-7:30 PM. This class meets in the Fellowship Hall, downstairs.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT DINNER
Dinner is served at 5:30 PM on Wednesday nights. This week, our menu includes baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, bread, salad and dessert for $2.50/person or $10/family. All are welcome.
The Coes (Russia): The Coes are focused on their new ministry in Russia, connecting and reaching the 250 million Russian-speakers across the globe through strategic online interactions. Their team has been studying and running surveys as part of the beginning stages to connect with their first target audience, students. This process will be a learning curve as they continue to work and grow as a team. Pray for their efforts and for the team to be effective. Pray for the family members of the team as they are also still adjusting to life in Russia. For more detailed information about this journey, contact the missions team at [email protected]