Action follows conviction, or it’s not conviction.
FEBRUARY 24, 2022
Action follows conviction, or it’s not conviction. Let’s talk, on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. And this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the 10th chapter of Acts and we’re looking at it in the context of our own cultural particularities, our own cultural milieu. And if you haven’t noticed, we’re having some racial problems. And now, I personally think it’s more class problems than it is racial problems, but if you don’t see the racial aspects of that, then you just haven’t been looking very carefully. And we’re divided as a country. This is true in Canada too. We’re divided as a country about what to do about it. And when we finally get the power to do something, it’s the wrong thing and it gets worse. And so, it’s a good practice. And that brings me to the third point. The first being, you don’t have to be pure to be a obedient. And the second being, that God intervenes when it gets really bad, when it gets dark enough, you can see the light. And then there’s another thing in this 10th chapter that is really important. Notice Acts 10 assumes that action follows convictions, or it’s not conviction. In other words, don’t just talk the talk, do what the convictions suggest that you ought to do. As you notice in the book of, in this 10th chapter of the book of Acts, that God didn’t say to Peter, well Peter, after this vision I’ve given you and our little talk here on the roof of this house, I am so pleased that you’ve changed. I was worried about the kinds of things and the prejudices is that you had, I was worried about you and I am, as your Father, just pleased that you’ve changed your mind. No, God said, Hey, Peter, now go to Cornelius. And he did. And revival took place. You know, I’ve said this so often that I’m getting tired of saying it, but there’s a lot of teaching about race that is nothing but racism going on in our country. And you don’t fix racism with more racism. As you look at the history of the world, those who have hurt others, racially and culturally and in every other way. We don’t have a very pretty picture of world history. There isn’t a single nation on the face of the earth that can stand up and tout their past as a godly, good and loving one. There is no glorious savage as a sociologist of another century used, there just isn’t. I mean, the Fall has permeated all of us. And it is permeated, particularly our countries that are dealing with racial division and hatred that is going on right now. And so, we’ve seen, as we’ve talked about this 10th chapter of Acts, a good place to begin, it’s where Peter began, was to repent. I mean, he saw what he had been doing and he went to Cornelius and God used that in an amazing way. And God still does that, if we believe what we say we believe. It’s amazing to me that Christians become, if we’re not careful, the exact opposite of what the Scriptures teach, we ought to become. And you say, oh, you’re going to beat me over the head because no, no, no, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about how the church has become filled with people who think they’re good people and the people outside the church are not good people and that if those outside the church will come into the church, they will become good people like us. That violates everything the Scripture teaches, dear friend. That violates the basic principles of the Christian faith. And that’s why when we started studying this 10th chapter of Acts, as a part of our study of Acts. One of the things that I said, and I say often to myself, is repent, for God’s sake repent. What’s repentance? Repentance is agreeing with God. And it’s not always a pleasant experience when you begin to see who you really are, what you really think, what you really have done, the people you really have hurt. I’m dealing right now with the most self-righteous man I’ve ever known in my whole life. And he’s dealing with a member of his family, who’s the most self-righteous woman I’ve ever known in my life. Except me because by saying that I become the most self-righteous person that you can imagine, and there’s not going to be any hope in their family situation until they become what they say we are or what we say we are, that is great sinners who need a great Savior. And so, action follows that, once you get it, once it becomes a part of your being, then you can reach out and God began, and we’re going to say something next week about family matters because Christians are the only ones who have the answer to the racial problems. And we’re going to be more specific from the 10th chapter of Acts. But we do have the answers as long as we act on what we say, we believe. We love because we have first been loved. Yeah. That means the person who drives you nuts. And if it’s part of your life, it means those who are different than you, who are racially different than you, who may believe some things different than you, who may go to places you wouldn’t go and say things you wouldn’t say and are people you just wouldn’t be, because if we believe what we say we believe, the only option is, but of course. And so, God first brought Peter to the end of himself, then he revealed to Peter who he really was. And then he sent him to Cornelius. Action follows conviction, or the conviction is not conviction. What are the implications of the things that we believe as Christians or the things we say we believe as Christians. We say, we believe that love is the most important thing, but we make propositions the most important thing. We say that we are called to be witnesses to the world, not to our goodness, but to the righteousness of Christ, which is given as a gift to sinners. We say, we believe that all people are created equal. Yeah. That didn’t come out of the blue. That wasn’t included in the founding papers of our nation, just because somebody thought it was a good idea. It was the basic conviction of Scripture, that there is no Jew and there is no Greek, male or female, there’s equality. And the Scripture so clearly teaches that. And if we say we believe it, then we’ve got to act on it, or we don’t really believe it. And so, and as I said, we’re going to address this next week in a little bit more detail, as we stay in the 10th chapter of Acts. We’re going to talk about that action that we do simply because it’s who we are, simply because that’s what it means to be a Christian. My assistant’s name is Cathy Wyatt. And, we have a special relationship with an African-American church here in Orlando, where we serve. And you know what Cathy does, and she loves the pastor there and the people, and often attends. She loves to bake cookies. And so, she has a cookie baking party for the children of our church and the children have their church. And they get together and have an absolutely wonderful time. Cathy, if she knew, I were telling you this, would be really upset, but I need an example of somebody who says they believe things and then act on it on their daily lives. And every cookie that she makes says, I love you guys. Every child who comes into her home and joins in those parties of making cookies, every child feels accepted and apart and valued. Those are the normal things that Christians do. And why is that? Because actions followed convictions. And if there is no action, there’s no real conviction. So, I’ll give you some specifics next week. And it’s not a new legalism, as you know, I’m not into that. It’s simply what a Christian does because of Jesus. Jesus says, go and love. Then go and love. You think about that. Amen.
And thank you Steve. That wraps up another great week of exploring the book of Acts. If you missed any of it, remember that you can listen to all of our episodes for free, anytime you want at keylife.org. And of course, tomorrow is Friday, so get ready to enjoy another classic Friday Q&A with Steve and our friend, Pete Alwinson. Hey, can I ask you a personal question? Have you ever felt like the church no longer meets your needs? For a lot of Christians, it’s a very relevant and timely question. It’s also a question, Kendra Fletcher explores in her article called When the Church Can’t Meet Your Needs. You’ll find that piece in the current issue of Key Life magazine, along with articles, from some of your favorite Key Life voices, like Chad West, pete Alwinson and yes, of course, Steve. Get your copy for free right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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