December 1, 2019

Communicating to Edify

Passage: Acts 15:22-35
Service Type:


  • Thinking about the way in which we communicate
    • Thinking about the way the apostles communicated
    • Thinking about communicating to edify
  • The way you communicate says something about your heart
    • Out of the heart the mouth speaks
      • Our mouths reveals what is inside of us
      • Is our speech seasoned with grace?
    • Prov
      • How is our heart with God?
  • Overview:
    • A letter of encouragement
    • A ministry of encouragement

A Letter of Encouragement (v22-31)

  • Recap from last week
    • A dissension arose v1-2
    • The matter was taken to the Jerusalem church/leadership
      • Three sets of people speak
      • A conclusion
      • 4 simple rules
    • Judas and Silas were sent alongside Paul and Barnabas
  • An official letter - but there is warmth, empathy, understanding
    • The matter may have been complicated
    • The letter was clear and precise/concise
  • More than common courtesy [they are brethren] - v23
    • From the brethren to the brethren
      • They are family
      • We are family
      • Christ our elder brother has reconciled us to God and to each other
      • We are all one in Christ
    • We are not to look disparagingly on our family
      • How do you treat members of your blood family?
      • We need to be careful how we communicate with the church
  • A clearing of the confusion - v24
    • They are humble
      • They came from us but had no authority
      • The false men 'taught' - 15:1
    • The church in Jerusalem is concerned about this
    • They are making clear that salvation is not by the law
    • Our God is a God of order
      • We can be unclear and confused
      • Jesus' teaching is emphatic and clear
    • God's word is pure - it is truth
  • Confirming and commending of all that is commendable – v25-27
    • The pharisees always knocked down ...
    • The brothers were commended
      • We were of one accord
      • We love Paul and Barnabas - we know they have risked their lives for the gospel
        • Paul commended others in his letters - example
      • Not to verbalise the failings of others but commend in love
    • We live in age of over-communication
      • How do we communicate?
      • We need to think
        • Faithful are the words of a friend
        • Sometimes we need to say hard words
    • This letter was written under the direction of the Holy Spirit
    • Hear this from two of our own men - who will corroborate - face to face interaction
      • Do we meet together in love to talk over issues?
  • A compassionate and clear directive – v25-29
    • No greater burden than this
      • 4 commands
  • Recap of above
    • Their response - rejoicing and encouragement v31
    • May grace be upon our lips

A Ministry of Encouragement

  • Men of God they haven't heard before - a ministry to strengthen the people of God
    • Explanation of strengthening
    • Acts 20:32
    • We build up in God's grace
    • God will build us up
  • Consider our hostile environment
    • We need a ministry of encouragement
    • We need to understand the devil is a defeated foe
    • We need to know our Saviour is praying for us
    • Example of Adam
  • Strengthening with many words - v32
    • To teach
    • To reprove
    • To train
    • To nuture
    • That we might be throughly complete
    • That we might be equipped for every good work

Closing Remarks

  • How do we respond? - with confession, repentance and prayer
  • We must go back to our own hearts
  • Quote from Andy Christophides