Real church always means costly commitment. You need to commit to stay, commit to serve, and commit to reconcile.
The Gospel is not a burden, but a blessing.
The Gospel brings transformation.
Therefore, it is worth celebrating and proclaiming.
In a vital discussion of the doctrine of salvation - the conclusion of which is that God is the one who saves, not our actions and not our ethnicity - we learn how to properly address doctrinal conflict.
- Know what hills to die on.
- Seek to understand the actual position of those we disagree with.
- Seek to understand the difference between absolutes, convictions, opinions, and questions.
- Know that experience points to theological reality.
- Experience is only helpful as long as it is tied to a Scriptural foundation.
- The church needs to be strengthened and encouraged.
- The church needs to be elder-led.
- The church needs to be connected.
All of these are to be understood in light of the fact that Christ is the core foundational identity of the church.
There are three identities shown in this passage that we need to have a proper understanding of:
- Natural human identity, or the world's identity
- Our identity as believers
- God's identity
Paul and Barnabas show us three ways their identity in Christ impacts how they follow and serve Him:
- In the wake of positive reception, they continue making disciples.
- In the wake of resistance, they maintain the integrity of the Gospel message.
- In the wake of rejection, they continue faithfully spreading the message of the Gospel.