CCA Pastors’ & Leaders’ Conference 2021

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CCA International Pastors’ & Leaders’ Conference: Sandy Adams Teaches Session 5

Story by Jonathan Erdman
Photos by Tom Price and Josh Larson

Follow Calvary Chapel Magazine as we publish summaries of the teachings at the CCA 2021 Calvary Chapel International Pastors' & Leaders' Conference at CC Golden Springs, CA.

In this installment, Pastor Sandy Adams of Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain, GA, challenges leaders to be open to the new work God wants to do in their lives.

Watch this teaching in its entirety at Day 2 / Sandy Adams

Pastor Sandy Adams taught Session Five from Acts 10:1-16, challenging leaders to consider the new work God wants to do in and through their lives. In his message entitled "God’s New Menu," Sandy explained how God’s command to Peter to eat food that was previously considered unclean is perhaps one of the “single most significant moments in the advancement of Christianity.” He proclaimed, “The one true God is a God of newness—the words God and new go together.” Yet, for many people, new can be difficult.

Like most Christians today, Peter was reluctant to eat from this new menu, as Sandy put it. Peter had to overcome three inner obstacles in his heart; and we, too, must search our own hearts for the same “unidentified reservations that can stop us cold.” Peter’s reply, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean” (Acts 10:14), reveals a heart that is subject more to what Sandy listed as “prejudice, precedent, and preference” than to the Person of Jesus Christ.

God used this abolition of dietary restrictions to dispel any prejudice in Peter’s heart towards Gentiles. The restrictions were in place to set the people of God apart, but with the ministry of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the only division that exists now is between believers and unbelievers—that’s it. “Peter isn’t the only one with prejudice,” exhorted Sandy. “We all have some biblical misunderstandings that keep us away from new people and away from new ideas and experiences.” He challenged us to consider what “Jesus movements” have been derailed in our lives or ministries because of our prejudice.

God also used this vision to radically overcome the obstacle of precedence in Peter’s heart. Growing up with all the laws and tradition of Judaism and Levitical law, Peter had never been permitted to eat any of the meat God was now asking him to eat. “Some steps are hard to take because we’ve never taken them before,” Sandy admitted. In church ministry, we often find ourselves stuck in the patterns of doing things the same way over and over again, simply because that’s how we’ve always done things.

Through this experience, God helped Peter overcome the obstacle of preference in his heart. “All growth requires change, but all change requires loss, and all loss requires pain,” Sandy reflected. When we get used to circumstances or experiences, we tend to prefer them over new experiences. We do this to the point where we believe our preferences are actually biblical, when in some cases they may not be. “The Holy Spirit is always biblical,” Sandy reiterated, “but He is not always traditional.” We need to surrender ourselves to the point where we are willing to step out of our comfort zones and into some new work the Lord is doing—in spite of how we may feel.

In his concluding remarks, Pastor Sandy challenged us with the idea that “God expanded Peter’s menu and wants to do the same with us.” God overcame all obstacles in Peter’s heart with this new menu. We must recognize that we ourselves may be the only ones hindering a new work of the Lord. God calls us to follow Jesus, “to break free from the bland diet and challenge us with new dishes.”


Watch this teaching in its entirety at Day 2 / Sandy Adams

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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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