What is Jesus Only?
Trust in Jesus above all competitors—that is Jesus Only.
Two phrases are helpful:
- Jesus only saves me
- Jesus only matures me
Acts 15 Context
Born again Pharisee’s, let that sink in for moment, the very Jewish leaders who put Jesus on the cross became Jesus followers about a decade later.
But they had a difficult time putting off their Pharisaism. When those Jerusalem Pharisee’s found out how Gentile’s became Christian’s, it bothered them. They sent teachers out to those places where the gospel was spreading in order to convince those new believers about their need to first become a Jewish convert, and then a Christian one.
Such thinking is bondage and not of Christ.
When the Apostles and Jews gathered in Jerusalem to figure things out it was agreed, if God sent the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles in the same manner that he sent it to the Jews then God has spoken. Gentiles do not need to become Jews, they need to simply follow Christ and be his disciple.
A letter was sent out confirming those facts, and it was well received.
Some specifics were mentioned as to things to keep in mind:
- Stay away from idols…they corrupt the heart
- Stay away from sexual immorality…it corrupts the body
- Stay away from from blood and things strangled…it corrupts the soul
…the italics come from me and not the text
Prophets in the New Covenant are different than in the Old.
Their ministry operates in the stream of divine encouragement (edification) more than anything else.
The ministry of prophecy was prominent in churches that experienced revival, here is a partial list:
- Rome (Acts 12:6)
- Corinth (I Corinthians 12:7)
- Ephesus (Ephesians 2:20)
- Thessalonica (I Thessalonians 5:19)
Most people only have a problem with the ministry of prophecy if you have a bias against God invading your life.
The Next Mission Trip
In God’s sovereign plan, two missions teams were desired, but Paul and Barnabas could not figure that out, so God intervened.
After the amazing conference in Jerusalem, a rather intense spiritual matter that meant with godly resolution, and the ministry to the surrounding areas to quell unrest, Paul and Barnabas had to be spent. Even when things go well in the Spirit, we can experience great fatigue.
Paul took offense at Barnabas wanting to bring his cousin back into the ministry team, and younger man named John Mark. In a prior ministry trip Mark abandoned them when they needed him the most, the details of all that we don’t know.
They argued about it to the point of parting company, but it would be wrong to see it as a bitter feud, in the future they would all reconnect with Paul, especially the younger Mark.
Mark’s gift were more of a background support type, and only a fool would dismiss those valuable gifts.
Here is how Marks’ ministry career played out:
- Peter called him “My son” (I Peter 5:13).
- Paul was with him again (Colossians 4:10).
- Paul said he was “Useful to me” (II Timothy 4:11)
- Peter used him to compile Peter’s gospel that actually goes by “Mark’s” name.
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