Putting God's Word into Practice…

Acts 15 ~ Disagreement and Debate

on July 10, 2012

Disagreements and debates in the church are not new.  In this chapter we see two examples of it in the early church.  It is important to note that these debates are about peripheral issues–not the gospel.  The central truth must never be debated or disagreed upon.

The first debate was regarding the Jewish law and whether it’s burdens should be laid on the Gentile believers.  Every big decision up to this point has been mentioned in conjunction with prayer and fasting.   There is no mention of that here, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t petition the Lord.  Prayer and fasting should always govern a big decision.  It is important to seek the Lord’s involvement in church issues and not just accept man’s opinion.  The Holy Spirit must be the guide (28).

The second debate was personal.  Paul and Barnabas disagreed on John Mark’s inclusion in the next missionary journey, so they separated.  There is nothing in this passage that sets this up as an example to follow, or that it was the right decision or the one most pleasing to the Lord.  But God uses even our human nature to accomplish His purposes.  The missionaries multiplied from 2 to 4 and covered two areas at one time.  AND the churches were strengthened.

Disagreements will happen because we are human.  But the work of the Lord must never be stopped for our personal agendas and opinions.  We must press on to proclaim the goodness of the Lord and build up His body.


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