What you believe is really important.
JUNE 20, 2022
What you believe is really important. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Key Life is all about God’s radical grace. Grace that has dirt under it’s fingernails and laugh lines on it’s face. If you want the Bible to be a book of rules, you may want to stop listening now, but if you’re hungry for the truth that’ll make you free. Welcome to Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. And, hope you had a great week-end. And I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we’re in the middle of a rather long study of the book of Acts. And I’m your tour director, as I’ve said often. And we’re in no hurry. We’re simply taking our time as we go through this amazing and powerful book that tells us about our history. Now, we’ve been looking at the 14th chapter of Acts. And spent the last couple of weeks looking at shallow and superficial religion. And how you get there. And I have one more thing to say about that text. And I’m not going to read it to you again, then we’re going to look at the results in the last part of the 14th chapter of the book of Acts. A reporting in, if you will and what God had done. But before we do that, it’s our practice on Monday to pray before we study. So let’s do that. Father, we come into your presence amazed sometimes, with this family you’ve made us a part of, our brothers and sisters, the people who have stood for centuries and have passed that heritage on to us. Father, keep us faithful too, so that the next generation, if Jesus doesn’t return, will receive from us what we got from them. Father, you know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast. It’s hard for some and easy for others. Scary for some, fun for others. Filled with tears for some and laughter for others. But in every bit of that, you’re the God of our laughter and our tears, the things we think are good and the things not so much. We praise you and we worship you for your sovereignty and your oversight and your love. Father, meet us at the point of our needs. And you define the needs because you know. And then Father, we pray for this broadcast and the time that we will spend studying the book of Acts. And we pray for the teacher. Forgive him his sins, because there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Now, if you’ve been with us and as I said, I’m not going to read this whole text to you. We’ve been living in the 14th chapter of Acts for a pretty long time. And we’ve looked at Paul’s ministry at Lystra. And we have seen a shallow and superficial and dumbed down religion. And how it affected the apostle Paul and the people who were involved in the first missionary journey. And I’ve, we’ve looked at a number of different things, but let me show you one more thing that’s important before we leave that part of the book of Acts. And it’s this, I would have you note that in Lystra bad doctrine led to bad actions. In the 19th verse.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city.
And so, you see that what they believed was wrong and sinful, and it led to wrong and sinful attitudes. I used to say from the pulpit, and now I say from this microphone, and I say it often to students. I’m not so concerned with how you act, what you do or what you say. Sometimes you’re going to say good things and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes you’ll be successful and sometimes you’ll fail. Sometimes you’ll be sinful and sometimes you’ll be faithful. But what really concerns me is what you believe, because what you believe will eventually affect your life in a major way. And if your belief system is wrong, your life is going to be wrong. I’ve recently spoken for the commencement at Belhaven University. And the reason I did it is because my granddaughter graduated this year with two degrees from Belhaven. And they asked if I’d come speak at the commencement. And I had a wonderful time. I told them they were very fortunate to have me because first I’d been to more commencements than they could possibly believe. And I knew for certain that this thing was not about a commencement speaker. And then I said, the second reason you’re fortunate to have me is because I’m old. And if you want to hear the truth, you’ve gotta ask an old woman or an old man, because we don’t care. We’re not trying to build our reputation. We don’t want anything from anybody. We’re doing fine and we’re cramming for finals. So we speak truth and I spoke truth to them. And the truth that I gave them was the truth that I just gave you. What you believe is very important. And what’s happened at Belhaven and so many other strong and good colleges, Christian colleges and universities is that they had been given a doctrinal, yeah that’s true, base on which to build their lives and the disciplines for which they had been trained. And that doctrine, that base is true and everything will be alright, as long as that is true. Listen, I know that living the Christian life isn’t easy. Sometimes we do it well, and sometimes we don’t. It’s covered, by the sufficient blood and finished blood sacrifice of Christ. Sometimes we do things that bring glory to Jesus, and sometimes we do things that cause him to blush, but it’s covered by the blood of Jesus sufficient and finished. But what you’ve got to be careful about, is that you never prevaricate when you’re talking about the truth, that you never get away from the doctrinal base on which the Christian faith is built, that you never change the truth in order to justify your sin, that you never pretend that it doesn’t matter. It does matter. So, I want you to believe the right thing. Now, I’m not talking about all of the little things, about which Christians can disagree, but at the very heart, as C.S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity.
There is a faith that is shared by Christians around the world, that there is a God, that that God has entered time and space.
He’s walked our roads and lived with us and died on a cross in our place. And a dead man got up and walked and he’s coming back to clean up the mess. He loves us. He is generous. He is kind. He is sovereign. He is eternal. Those are the, and he is revealed truth in his word about where we go and what we do and how we act. It’s important, what you believe because bad doctrine always leads to bad actions. And bad doctrine also leads to superficial living, to silly comments, to shallow impacts on the world. So, get it right before you start moving. And that’s what happened in Lystra. What happened was that they believe things that weren’t true, and it led to some horrible things to happen to Paul and Barnabas. Now, we’re going to move into the last part of the 14th chapter of Acts. And I don’t have time to get into it much today, but what’s going on here is that the first missionary journey in the history of the church as just finished. And Paul and Barnabas have come home. Well, at least it was Barnabas’ home, Antioch, from where they started that first missionary journey. And they’re going to have a praise gathering down at the old church house. They’re going to sing songs of praise and worship because God has done an amazing and wonderful thing that nobody had ever seen before in that first missionary journey. And they were going to praise God for it. Oh, and by the way, God still does that and deserves our praise. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing our unhurried tour through the book of Acts. Today, beginning our wind down of our examination of chapter 14. And of course we will continue our tour tomorrow. So, be sure to join us. So, we know we should pray, but sometimes, I mean, come on, it’s hard. Did you think you were alone in experiencing that or feeling guilty about that? No. And that’s why I want you to know about a special CD called The Tenacity in Prayer. This is a conversation between Steve and our friend Pete Alwinson, based on Steve’s book called Approaching God. If you ever find yourself reluctant to pray, afraid to pray, maybe you just don’t know what to say, then get your copy of this CD right now, by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an e-mail to [email protected] to ask for that CD. By mail, send your request to
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