Hopefully you will find the notes from Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge here but you can also go to their site and find the audio & notes.
Introduction: Sometimes, what we’re used to isn’t always right!
“The earth is flat.”
“The Bible must remain in Greek, Hebrew, or Latin.”
“Cigarettes make you cool.”
“Suntans make you healthy.”
Tradition – “an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or social custom)” – “the passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation; especially by oral communication.”
Thesis: Traditions are not wrong, but they are dangerous!
Traditions are the highway by which we pass on the values and principles that matter most; unfortunately, over time, the means (traditions) we practice to remember those values/truths can take precedence over the truths themselves.
||NULLIFIES GOD’S WORD
Satan’s Agenda: – (2 Timothy 3:5)
To separate the truth from the tradition so deceptively that sincere people would diabolically “hold to a form of godliness, but deny its power.”
A Case Study – Acts 7
• The Scene – Stephen seized and accused. – (Acts 6:8-15)
• The Accusations –
o Blasphemy against God and Moses
o Speaking against the Holy Place – The Temple
o Speaking against the Law of Moses
• The Historical Setting – The Jews in Jesus’ day had come to venerate and worship the_____________ (Palestine), the _________ (given by Moses), and the _________(unique location) more than the purpose of the land, law, and temple.
• Stephen’s Defense – He challenges the “status quo” tradition concerning the land, the law, and the temple with the_____________ that demands faith, radical change, and following God’s promised deliverer and Messiah ____________________.
• Stephen’s Defense Hinges on Three Timeless Truths:
God’s agenda has always been based on His ,_____________ which necessitates progression and ____________________.
God’s ___________ and purpose have never been restricted to Palestine, the Temple, or the Jewish people.
God’s people have historically and repeatedly ____________ God’s man (prophets) and God’s plan (deliverance).
Stephen’s Message: Truth vs Tradition
Acts 7:1-8 – (Abraham)
Location – Mesopotamia
Promise – Land and ___________
Focus – To bless all nations
Acts 7:9-16 – (Joseph)
Location – Egypt
Promise – A dream and a position
Focus – Joseph’s rejection and God’s___________
Acts 7:17-43 – (Moses)
Location – Midian
Promise – You will __________ My people
Focus – God’s Law given and rejected
Acts 7:44-50 – (Joshua)
Location – Wilderness
Promise – Victory over enemies
Focus – Tabernacle’s purpose, temple’s limitations (Isaiah 66:1-6)
Acts 7:51-59 – (Jesus)
Location – Our Hearts
Promise – Eternal life, from sin and death, fulfillment of the Law
Focus – Rejection and killing of Jesus Messiah
Summary = You received the law (tradition), but did not obey it (truth).
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Lessons from Stephen’s Life and Message:
Truth demands ________________ . – (James 1:22-25)
The basis of God’s blessings is relational, not ritual. – (Matthew 15:1-20)
Perverted traditions must be ______________ and abandoned. – (Acts 7)
Truth-bearer’s refuse to accept the _________________ in their life, their relationships, and their sphere of influence.
Application Questions for Personal and Small Group Use:
What positive traditions have helped you experience and walk intimately with Christ?
What “status quo” issues need to be evaluated in your life and relationships? How have they subtly thwarted your growth?
How specifically can you focus on God’s promise for your life and walk by faith? Who or what is holding you back?
What habits aren’t wrong, but are unprofitable for your spiritual growth and development?
Is there a situation that needs you to be a truth bearer? How can you do it with humility and gentleness?