Scripture Nugget 11.14.2016

Offering Christ - Although John Wesley did not use the precise phrase “offering Christ,” his entire life embodied this Christian concept. To offer Christ is to bear faithful witness to God’s love for the whole of humanity in Jesus Christ. We share our faith with others so they may know the way that leads to life. Yet we offer Christ not only by proclaiming or sharing God’s word but also through “works of mercy” or the good works we do in the world. Wesley believed that we offer Christ by visiting prisoners, helping the poor, educating children, and providing medical care to those who cannot afford it. When we offer Christ through our words and our actions, we become a means of grace through which someone may receive the gift of faith. When we offer Christ through our words and our actions, we serve as instruments of God’s grace and offer the possibility of salvation, the fullness of life. -Wesley Study Bible pg 1347

“As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.” Acts 16:4-5

What were the decisions that were delivered? “Therefore I (James, brother of Jesus) have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood.” Acts 15:19-20 … “Since we have heard that certain persons who have gone out from us, though with no instructions from us, have said things to disturb you and have unsettled your minds, we have decided to unanimously to choose representatives and sent them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden than these essentials: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. Acts 15:24-29 It seems to me there is a powerful message of instruction to individuals, to churches (denominational and independent) and to other values based institutions. Each of us, as representatives of something bigger than ourselves must carefully teach and enforce the beliefs and values of that which we say we represent. If one finds him/her-self at odds with those agreed upon beliefs and values then first address them with the group. If one finds they “must” teach something contrary to the group they are a part of then they should leave that group first. The Leadership of the group (church, denomination, civic organization) has a responsibility to hold accountable, their messengers – official or unofficial. The result: “churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily”