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Acts 15:16-18

Acts 15:16-18


Series: The Church
Sermon: “David’s Fallen Tent” Under Restoration
Bible Passage: Acts 15:16-18

I. Background to this passage:

a. In the beginning, the Church was full of Jewish believers
b. With the conversion of Cornelius and his family (cf. Acts 11:18), the demography of the church was fast changing
c. During their first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas witnessed many non-Jews becoming followers of Jesus (Acts 13:4-14:28)
d. Some Jewish Christians insisted that these Gentile Jesus-followers adapt certain Jewish religious and cultural practices, but some others thought about it as unnecessary
e. Therefore, all Jewish leaders came together in Jerusalem to find a solution—“Jerusalem Council” (cf. Acts 15)

i. At the Council, Apostle Peter informed the Jerusalem Christian leaders that God gave the Holy Spirit to the non-Jews just as He gave to the Jews (Acts 15:7-11)
ii. He emphasized further that the non-Jews were saved by grace just as the Jews were saved (Acts 15:11)

f. The question was how the leaders would handle what was happening with the spread of the Gospel and how non-Jewish Jesus followers would be treated
g. What Apostle James said at the Council put an end to the issue (cf. Acts 15:13-21)
h. Therefore, what Apostle James said at the Council needs further clarification

II. Apostle James quotes Amos 9:11-12 as an apology for the inclusion of non-Jewish Jesus followers to be included in the Church

1. According to Apostle James, the Church “partial-fully” resembles the restored Israel
2. The expression “I will return, and I will rebuild the broken tent of David” refers to the Church—a community around Jesus with his Jewish and non-Jewish followers
3. The restoration began with Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension (Acts 2:32-33a;[1]

III. How does a restored Israel look?

1. God “returns,” “rebuilds,” and “restores”
2. Jesus, the new Davidic King (cf. 2 Sam 7:11-13)
3. The new restored Israel looks different from the earlier one

a. It has both Jews and Gentiles
b. The Gentiles believers are called “those called to be His own”
c. In this restored Israel, it’s not only the Jews who seeks the Lord but also the Gentiles

4. The restored Israel has new roles:

a. It points both Jews and Gentiles to God—no discrimination
b. It is a welcoming place for those who come to God
c. It is a place of grace, not a place of legalism (Peter’s speech)
d. It is a place where cultural practices don’t take precedence or dominate, but the other person’s welfare takes precedence
e. The members of this restored Israel voluntarily carry the message Gospel to the world

Take Away:

Be available to God in His ongoing restoration project

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at