On 5/2/18 Wednesday Service for Atlanta Bethel Community Church consisted of a message from the book of Galatians.
Preaching from Galatians 2:11-13, Pastor led the message.
We see the table fellowship of the early church. To us, this may seem normal. We gather like this all the time, and they started this gathering tradition, but before this period of the holy spirit, this was a foreign thing.
There was no discrimination among them, in Christ. What seems normal for us now, was a revolutionary event for them. The levels such as master and servant affected the table-fellowship before agape love came into play.
Antioch was the first place where they were called Christians. Peter came and saw this scene of the Antioch church was. But when the ones sent from James came, things changed within Peter. The law of the Jews told them they should not sit with gentiles. But this goes against the revelation he received in Acts 10.
God showed sensitive peter that even the Gentiles were worthy of the Gospel in God’s eyes. After, he was changed and opened his heart to the Gentiles. But when these Jews sent by James came, it really swayed his heart. And the sad scene got worse as all the Jews left with him. The table of true fellowship where status died and freedom lived was no more. The warmth and peace left and discrimination replaced it. Perhaps this crushed the gentiles who now felt discriminated in the church.
Put Paul confronted him as he stood condemned, advocating that they who had the written code knew the written code wouldn’t save.
Pastor used other scripture to further explain what Paul was clearing up for the church- that no one is saved by deeds but by grace. Jesus is the one who became the lamb of redemption for us. instead of us, he was cursed. Made precious by his precious blood.
Now, with the authority from God, we can receive peace in Christ. Paul asks why!? Why would you want to go back to being a slave? Through Christ, we have already been saved- hold onto this! If you can’t hold onto this, you become anxious and shake. Chased by sin, you become chased by sin when you forget that you’ve been saved. Paul had these truths overflowing all the time.
He truly believed that he who once slew and persecuted the church was made free by grace. Galatians is the gospel of freedom.
During sharing Tany shared, “Peter walking out on the gentiles shocked me- isn’t he the one at the gates of heaven? I also didn’t see the table fellowship as a big deal. Also, Antioch christening followers of Christ as Christians was a new lesson to me. I learned a lot today. I realized that I was placing certain laws above others as if they were more important and by doing this I also put the law above the scapegoat Christ dying for me.”
And Danielle added, “I also was surprised- when they rejected the Gentiles it shows you that even the apostles weren’t perfect. They had big breakthroughs but never were they perfect. I’ve been having this realization more and more through Galatians. Faith is more important than works- it seems simple but it’s so easy to forget. Faith in Christ justifies and that faith leads to what we do.”