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3.27 Acts -- Summary of the Racial Teachings of Acts

           a. Acts represents the transition from a limited salvation (Israel only) to a world-wide redemption.
           b. Before Jesus' Ascension, he left the disciples with a mandate to spread his message to Jerusalem and the ends of the earth.
           c. The sign of the Spirit's outpouring was the gift of speaking in foreign languages -- the tongues of Gentiles.
           d. God removed the distinction between Jew and Gentile, clean and unclean, in the vision he gave Peter.
           e. From Pentecost on, a bedrock principle of the Kingdom of God has been "no partiality."
           f. The Holy Spirit descended upon Cornelius and his household in the same manner as He did on the Jews at Pentecost.
          g. Paul was another in the long line of unlikely and unworthy people whom God transformed and used for His purpose.
          h. Paul reworked the message of Jesus into the words and thought patterns of Gentiles -- in a manner similar to the apostle John later on.
          i.  Paul discovered the necessity of contextualizing the Gospel -- instead of telling stories from Jewish history, he addressed the heart needs of the local culture.
          j.  All mankind is "of one"  -- common origin, common essence (Acts 17:26).  The line drawn in humankind by God in the Old Covenant between Jew and Gentile is erased in the New.
         k. Jews and Gentiles enter the Kingdom of God the same way -- through belief in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world.
         l. Homogeneous churches look inward and backward, and tend to compromise the Kingdom of God in favor of a race-based fellowship.
        m. God has empowed believers, yet that does not ensure that they live according to the Gospel.  The pull of culture and tradition remain strong.
        n. The Holy Spirit Himself prioritizes the call to take the message of salvation to people "on the other side of the wall."
        o.  Church history frequently repeats a pattern found first in Acts: the Spirit of God moves upon men in a great public revival, many people are "born from above" and join the church, but soon the movement is sidetracked in internal bickering, doctrinal disagreement, and division.

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