Who gets to be part of the church? Are there rules? Guidelines? Limits?
Who is in charge of saying who is in and who is out?
That’s a major question for us in our era.
That was a major question for the earliest church too.
The Gospel was preached to those who were Jewish, and they celebrated the work of the Messiah.
The Gospel was preached to those who were Gentiles, those outside the People of God who needed good news and who celebrated the work of the Christ.
One Jesus, one Gospel, two very different cultures.
The Scriptures up to that time had a narrow pattern of inclusion. Food laws, circumcision, etc.
Did Gentiles have to follow these rules to be Christian?
Yes, said many early church leaders. No, said Paul. And Peter, until he waffled and said no.
The key question is what the Spirit said. That’s the issue the early church sorted out in Acts 15. Paul addresses this in Galatians 2-3.
What is the Spirit saying to our era now?
Let’s talk about that early church and talk about our current concerns as we have coffee with Paul.
Sunday morning from 7-8ish at Panera Bread on Del Paso in Natomas.
We’ll be going through NT Wright’s new biography of Paul, but reading that isn’t required to participate. Bring a bible, bring questions, bring an interest in casual chatting about important issues.