Thursday, May 10, 2012

Acts 15:22-27

Summary retelling of Acts 15:22-27

The apostles and the elders are pleased at the results from the meeting and the send Paul and Barnabas with Judas Barsabbas and Silas as witnesses.  With them is a letter that is sent in order to make sure that the correct message actually does get out.  The first point of the letter is that the council confesses there are people teaching things contrary to what should be taught and these people do not have the authority to teach them.  Next, the council attests to Paul’s and Barnabas’ missionary journey and how they have indeed done the work of God.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
In this passage we can see that the council arrived at a teaching that they could all support.  There was unity among the council – although probably not uniformity!  But, the council was able to come to the same understanding and live with it.  They understood that what is most important is the work of the Lord, not our own ability to “be right.”

Why is unity something that is important to be striven after?  When we don’t reach unity, what happens?

Second Thought:
One of the major reasons for the letter is to make sure that correct teaching does get out (as well as confession that there are people out there who do not have correct teaching).  It is important that when we do teach something assertively that we have the right teaching.  When we teach things that we are not confident about the truth within we only set up others to become confused and potentially focused on the wrong things.  But when we take time to focus on what we know to be true, we can teach confidently and cause others to focus on the right things.

What do you consider to be the fundamentals of that we should be able to teach confidently?

Third Thought:
The council takes time to speak well of Paul and Barnabas and their missionary journey.  This is important, because Paul and Barnabas were sent from Antioch, not Jerusalem.  This is a note to try and make sure that unity exists not just in Jerusalem, but between Jerusalem and Antioch as well.

How does it feel to have your work praised by people you know to be spiritual?  How is unity created when someone speaks well about what you are doing?  How can you help make unity in others?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 15:28-35
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