The Church God Wants – Speak Hard Truths

The Church God Wants – Speak Hard Truths is a heavier topic.  (Right in the name tells you this won’t be easy.)  We jump into the confrontation between the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter – two leaders in the ancient church.

Peter had fallen into the trap of only eating kosher and excluding certain Christians.  You might say, Pastor Fred, who cares who eats with whom.  This sounds like the stuff of a middle school cafeteria.  The so what of all this is that if anyone finds their trust in anything not Jesus, then the gospel – that is Jesus died for your sins – is at risk.  A person’s faith can shift from Jesus to – I also need to only eat Kosher – or as long as I don’t eat with THOSE people, then I’m good with God.  The truth is that none of us are good with God based on our performance.

Is it worth the risk?

The hard truth is that confronting someone who has sinned against you or in this case, against others, is terrifying and exhausting.  It’s risky business.  What if Peter told Paul off and there was now a schism in the church!  People would leave and walk out the door with Peter.  Is it worth the risk?

What if you’re a parent and you see one of your children doing something that you know is not God pleasing – I know that it’s not easy or fun to discipline children.  What if that child doesn’t want to come home for Thanksgiving.  Is it worth the risk?  In short – absolutely, it is absolutely worth the risk.

15“We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

An Easy Choice

Tonight you go to bed only to be awakened by your dog barking because the neighbor’s house is ablaze.  There are flames coming out of the upstairs windows.  You don’t see anyone outside, so you run up the door, but before you start pounding, you think – what if they get mad at me?  Relations with neighbors are kind of a big deal.  No one else notices it – it’s 2 AM.  If I leave it alone, maybe it will just stop burning.

Telling your neighbor his house is on fire is a hard truth, but that’s an easy choice.  His life is at risk.  Pound on the door?  You throw a brick through the window!

My neighbor’s house isn’t on fire, he’s just living with his girlfriend.  My neighbor’s house isn’t on fire, he getting drunk every weekend, stealing from his employer, stopped coming to church – it’s been six months.  By his behavior his faith in Jesus Christ is at risk.  The Apostle Paul didn’t throw a brick through Peter’s window, but he did have a hard conversation with him.  We can agree that this is an easy choice – we know what we need to do, but it’s hard.  Everyone might know about it – as in the case of Peter, but usually it’s best handled one on one.  If you leave someone in sin, normally it doesn’t just go away.

Want to hear more, including details on a tasty family tradition?  Watch this week’s message taken from Galatians 2 – The Church God Wants – Speak Hard Truths.