Added Unnecessary Weight

  • Makes things more difficult to bear

Examples of ADDED Weight:

  • Relationship…
  • Past hurts
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Refusal to change


I share this because often the Church has Struggled with “ADDING UNNECESSARY WEIGHT”


Series Called:



Last week:

  • Church Hurt


Church = Ekklesia

A called-out assembly or congregation


Also Learned that…


The Church is not a NECESSARY EVIL but is God’s GIFT and PLAN for the expansion of His kingdom in this world


Today, I want to talk to you about





NT Church has a few struggles

  • The major one is how to live life with people who are very different than you

All of human history has grouped itself into pockets of CULTURE

  • Culture: The things that make a group of people distinctive (different) from another


Culture of the Early Church:

  • Mainly Jewish converts to Christianity
  • Most held onto the cultural tenets of Judaism

Then More GENTILES (Non-Jews) began converting to Christianity

  • Led by apostles Peter, Paul, & others


Very quickly led to issues of how JEWISH or GENTILE the church needed to be


Acts 15

Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 After Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, Paul and Barnabas and some others were appointed to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem about this issue.


Acts 15

6 The apostles and the elders gathered to consider this matter. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he also did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why are you testing God by putting a yoke on the disciples’ necks that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way they are.”


12 The whole assembly became silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describe all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they stopped speaking, James responded, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for his name.


19 Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those among the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood.


Should not cause difficulties…


Church leaders understood there is a big difference in…


CULTURAL THINGS (Unnecessary Weight)

  • When it comes to the church


They list a few things that the Gentile Christians should stay away from…

  • To stay away from things attached to idols
  • To keep a Godly standard for sex and marriage
  • And to keep their Jewish brothers/sisters in mind with things like animal blood in food


That was it…



This is easier to discover when EVERYONE IN A CHURCH IS THE SAME
But that is NOT how the Church of Jesus is supposed to be…


1 Corinthians 12

12 For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all given one Spirit to drink. 14 Indeed, the body is not one part but many.


The more diversity, the more potential for complexity


So how do we decide what is Necessary vs Cultural?



Doctrines are the core, essential beliefs that must be accepted by adherents of Christianity

  • Trinity
  • Resurrection of Jesus
  • Atoning Work of Jesus
  • Sin and Repentance
  • Scripture as God’s truth to mankind
  • Mankind as God’s  Image-bearers to creation (Value of Human Life)


Cultural: Unnecessary Weight

Doctrines are beliefs that are secondary to core, closed-handed doctrines

  • Preaching styles
  • Worship Style
  • Church Government
  • Baptism styles
  • Denominations
  • Bible Translations
  • Alcohol
  • Movies
  • Etc


For our Church, we want to be:

1: A church where anyone seeking Jesus feels welcomed and loved

  • You don’t have to “LOOK” a certain way
  • Or talk a certain way
  • Dress in a certain way
  • Diversity in ALL areas (Race, economic, background, etc)


2: A church where anyone can learn to follow, grow and Love Jesus more

  • Preaching style (Instruct and Inspire)
  • Family Ministry (Raising them up in Faith)
  • Not dumbing it down, but making it more accessible
  • Worship Style (Modern, but all about God and not us)


3: A church where anyone can be connected intro Christian Community

  • No one is off limits
  • Not an “IT” crowd
  • Everyone can find a place


That’s the church we need to be

  • For this generation
  • Next Generation
  • For our community


Your Challenge:

  • We can only be that place by…


1: Choosing to be the leaders God is calling you to be

  • Small groups
  • Teachers
  • Volunteers (Heroes)
  • Be involved in the process of the Christian community


2: Going into the community and bringing them in

  • Who needs to HEAR?
  • Who needs to be LOVED?
  • Who needs to be CHANGED?
  • Who needs HOPE?
  • Who needs COMPASSION?


  • Are called to be…

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