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July 8, 2018

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Reading along with us in Acts? Here’s today’s reading:

Acts 15 (ESV)

But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”.....Continue Reading

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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. 25it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth

  2. What a significant event in the life of the church! It is typical of legalists to add things to God’s requirements and make them essential and thereby create a reason for them to judge others. Effectively, by requiring Gentiles to be circumcised to be saved, they were saying they needed to be Jewish to be accepted by God. The Jews never really got the point that they were chosen to be a light to the gentiles, that the gentiles would be saved through them not by becoming one of them.

    And look how God prepared Peter for this moment by giving him the vision of the blanket and his interaction with Cornelius. And Peter gets it and shares that with the others and the truth of grace found in Christ wins the day. But it’s not that God in salvation doesn’t have standards He would have us to follow, and that comes out here as well.

    And the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas is both sad and understandable. It is sad they couldn’t come to a compromise like the whole council did, finding whatever balance is in Gods’s economy for this situation. But sometimes different perspectives are legitimate too. For Barnabas to want to give John Mark another chance because of Barnabas’s encouraging nature, is understandable and legitimate. For Paul to be more driven and not want the mission to suffer because John Mark leaves again is understandable and legitimate too. It is usually best to find a place of compromise though to express the love and humility that God calls us to.

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