If God said it, believe it.
JULY 14, 2022
If God said it, believe it. Let’s talk about it, 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. If you have your Bible open into the 15th chapter of Acts. We’re looking at a church meeting and I’ve confessed how much I disliked church meetings and how important they are. And the one in the 15th chapter of the book of Acts changed the entire world. And it started with a church fight. You think they didn’t fight in the early church? You think they sat around the campfire and sang Kumbaya? That’s not true. Some of the biggest church fights that have ever taken place in the church were in the early church. And if you expect to do church in our day and age without dissension, you’re out of your mind. My pastor said, when we were all divided over politics, he said to us, one Sunday morning, he said, I want you to know that whatever your political views are, millions and millions and millions of people disagree with you. And I thought, yeah, but they’re all dopes. They’re all wrong. They just don’t understand the way I understand. And he said, I know what you’re thinking, and that’s not true. If that many people disagree with you, you ought to at least talk and you ought to talk in a civil fashion. That’s wise, and that’s a wise thing to apply to the entire church. And so there is dissension in the church and we’re looking at some things that they did to ameliorate the dissension, to create a passion, and to change the world. And they’re the same things that we need to do. And the importance of arbitration, we saw that in verses three and four of the 15th chapter of Acts. You’ve got to get together. You’ve gotta talk. You’ve gotta have some people that are wise that look at the entire situation. There needs to be a place where things are spoken aloud and dealt with by the body of Christ. And then secondly, the necessity, and we talked about this yesterday of every body being heard. Often the wisest things that are said in the church are said by the person that nobody expected would ever say anything wise. Among other things, that’s what Jesus meant when he said out of the mouth of a child, what the Scripture means when it talks about that. It talks about God making people valuable and sometimes the lowest, the youngest, the smallest, the least praised, the least valued will be the place where God speaks the loudest to his people. So, it’s important that everybody in the church be recognized as being valuable with an opinion that is worth being listened to. And then let me show you something else, if you’re going to have a passion, if you’re going to change the world, if church meetings are to be productive, there is the necessity of a Biblical norm. Look at verses 13 through 18.
And with this the words of the prophets agree.
This is James speaking, and then he begins to quote Scripture. Was he trying to show off his knowledge of Scripture? No, he understood that there is a constitution in the church and dear friend, it’s not Robert’s Rules of Order. Okay? It’s Scripture. And when he says it, you don’t vote on it, you just do it. There are a lot of areas where Christians can disagree about a whole lot of things. And still go to the covered dish dinner together, that’s as it should be. I’m not gonna fight with you about things like a rapture or when Jesus is going to come back or even about women’s ordination. That’s not going to be a hill on which I will fight and die or kill you, but there are some things you don’t abide. And when Scripture is clear, we have to be clear about that. I can remember when I was serving a church. And I’d been a liberal, just this side of wacko and they were two and they were dying and I was too. And then Jesus began to do something and sometime I’ll tell you that whole story, but it was an amazing time in my life. The church exploded with growth, the Jesus movement happened during that time and they started coming to church. They radically changed everything. I had in my own life, some significant problems and God intervened even healed one of our daughters. I mean, it was like everything was beginning to change and the church that was dying, and it really was, they’d had fistfights in the narthex of the church. And the thing was practically empty and you wouldn’t believe, listen, if you like hot dogs or you like the law, or you like the church, you don’t want to watch any of those being made cause you’ll leave. Well, that’s what was going on in the church and then God began to move. And it was absolutely amazing. I could talk to you for hours about that time in my life cause it was a wonderful time and I think about it often. But one of the things really interesting is that we were reading the Scriptures and we were believing what the Scripture said and we began to see what Jesus said about going into all the world. And we realized that we had absolutely no mission program in the church. And because Jesus said we should do it, we ought to do it. And we had never gone to a missions conference. We didn’t know anything about missions. I called a missionary in Korea, Sam Moffett. He’s in heaven now. And I said, Dr. Moffitt, you don’t know me, but I’m a preacher in the Boston area. And somebody told me you believe the Bible and you love Jesus. And if that’s true, I’ll send you some money. He said later that was the strangest call had ever gotten. And I said, not only that, if you’ll give me a list of other missionaries who believe the Bible and love Jesus, I’ll send them some money too. That’s how uninformed we were. We didn’t know where to begin. We didn’t know how to do it, but we started a mission program and then the mission program doubled and then it tripled and then it quad tripled. And then we started supporting missionaries all over the world. And our mission conferences were something to be old. Why did we do that? Because the committee decided to do it? No. Cause we voted on it? No. Cause we had a church meeting and said, you know, we ought to be doing something, what do you think we ought to do? No. We had the Bible as our norm and the Bible itself became the constitution of how we were to go about what God would have us do. And so, when we meet together in a church meeting, opinions are important, arbitration is important, everybody needs to be heard. That’s an important thing, but everybody ought to have a Bible within their grasp. One time Mr. and Mrs. Graham came to a church that I served in the Miami area, and we went out to lunch with them and Ruth Graham was sitting in the back seat. And, Mr. Graham was sitting in the front seat and I was, and my wife and a couple others were in the car. And some really controversial subject came up. And I heard, we were going to lunch and I heard some noise in the back seat and I turned around and Ruth Graham, Billy’s wife, Mr. Graham’s wife, had her Bible, a big black Bible open and she was living through it. And I said, Mrs. Graham, what are you doing? She said, I love controversial subjects because it allows me to get into God’s word and to find out what God has to say about that particular subject. Well, that ought to go on in the church too. Now, I haven’t always believed that, I haven’t always believed the Bible, but when I got serious with God, I said, listen, I don’t have an authority, and I need one. And, so from now on, and I put my hand on the Bible, this will be my authority. I’m not sure what it says. I haven’t studied it enough, but from now on, if you don’t say it, I’m not going to teach it. If you don’t command it, I’m not going to command it. If you don’t make things clear, I won’t make them clear. If you don’t speak, then I won’t speak. And in so far as I could, I’ve tried to do that ever since. Listen, my political views are better than yours, but God has called me to hold the constitution of the church in my heart and my hand and my head. And if the Bible says it, I’ll believe it, I’ll teach it and try to live it. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. And that wraps up another great week of our guided tour through Acts this week, camping out in acts 15. We’ll get back to that journey next week, but tomorrow of course is Friday Q&A. Be sure to join us when Steve and our friend Pete Alwinson answer the challenging questions you’ve sent in. Always a good time. So, you know about major holidays and even less than major holidays, for example, National Taco Day. But then there are holidays that aren’t holidays at all, but they should be, I’m talking about July 2nd, the middle day of the year. And yeah, you guessed that we just zoomed past that mile marker, so now that there’s less 2022 ahead of us than behind this, let me ask you, have you claimed your copy of the 2022 edition of Key Life Magazine yet? This issue features a moving article from Steve called For Heaven’s Sake: Lighten Up. It’s a freeing invitation to return to the wonder and joy of the good news of Jesus. Get your free copy 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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