Dear RCF Sisters and Brothers
Albert Einstein was once asked what he believed to be the best formula for success in life. He replied, “If ‘A’ equals success in life, I should say the formula is ‘A = X + Y + Z’. He went on to say, “X being work and Y being play.” The interviewer inquired, “And what is Z?” Einstein answered, “Z is keeping your mouth shut.”
Most of us have lived long enough to know of the wisdom in Einstein’s formula. We have learned the hard way that “Silence is golden” when we have brought problems upon ourselves by talking too much, about the wrong things, to the wrong people, or at the wrong time. If we have gained the virtue of self-control we try to live by the axiom “You can’t get in trouble for something you didn’t say!”
However, Jesus commands us to speak up about Him to others, not merely be witnesses by our lifestyle. We see this most marvelously in the life of the Apostle Paul who was gifted, prepared, and called by Jesus to be His spokesman to the Gentiles. We also see him getting into a great deal of trouble for the things that he said. Some people received his message about Jesus and others resisted it. There were those who roused opposition to Him which led to him suffering great personal harm.
When we speak up for Christ, we should expect the same reception or rejection that Paul received. When he got to Europe, his message began to be tailored to the audience to which he was speaking. In the synagogues, he spoke to Jews and God-fearers who knew the Old Testament. But in Europe, he would also be speaking to many who had a Classical Greco-Roman worldview. Therefore, his message had to be formatted to their presuppositions and way of thinking.
Einstein’s advice is not always applicable, as there are times when it is not virtuous or godly for us to “keep our mouths shut”. As we see Paul speak the Good News in different cities and settings, we can learn how we may communicate the love, grace, and salvation Jesus offers to those in our world.
Join us this Sunday morning as we continue in the theme To the Remotest Part of the Earth, and our Discussion Bible Study in the History of the Early Church. Please prepare by reading Acts 17. This week we will examine and discuss that text with the title “The Good News Gets Tailored To The Western World”.
Attached is an outline (in two sizes) of the text we will be focusing upon this Sunday morning. Please print it ahead of time, as it will help you take part in the discussion. We will also have copies when we gather on Sunday morning.
Here is the Table Discussion Question for Sunday:
When Paul, Silas, and Timothy left Philippi, Luke remained there. Do you believe that was planned? If you were Luke what would you have done there? Why?
In this series we have already discussed the following texts and topics:
The New Era Begins: Acts 1:12-2:21
Who is to Blame for Good Friday?: Acts 2:22-23
The New Community Begins: Acts 2:24-47
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back: Acts 3
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back – Part 2: Acts 4
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals: Acts 5:1-11
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals – Part 2: Acts 5:12 – 6:7
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 1: Acts 6:8 – 7:43
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 2: Acts 7:44 – 8:3
The New Community’s Pearl Harbor: Acts 8:1-25
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 8:26-40
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 9:1-25
Not “E Pluribus Unum”, But “Nos, Et Nos Nos”: Acts 9:26-31
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens: Acts 9:32-10:33
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens – Part 2: Acts 10:34-11:30
Uncivil Rest – Part 1: Acts 12:1-17
Uncivil Rest – Part 2: Acts 12:18-25
How The West Was Won…To Christ: Acts 13
How The West Was Won…To Christ – Part 2: Acts 13
How The Gospel Was Almost Lost…From Grace – Part 1: Galatians
How The Gospel Was Almost Lost…From Grace – Part 2: Galatians
The Gentile Question” Must Be Answered: Acts 15 & Galatians
A Church “Council” Answers “The Gentile Question”: Acts 15:1-35
The Western Expansion Continues – Part 2: Acts 16:13-40
We hope that you will join us in person or online this Sunday morning at Bay Lodge at 9:30 am!
We love you all!
Jim and Jenny
The Acts of the Apostles, Part 26 – Outline (PDF)