Monday, October 7, 2013

What We Learned

Yesterday several gathered at 9:00 for our regular Sunday morning Bible study. We gathered to study Acts 15:1-21.  One of the questions in the study (click here to see it) was
  • How could your church follow [the example from Acts 15] in dealing with issues that trouble the church?
We asked the participants to say what they saw in Acts 15:1-21 that went on as the first Christians were working through a difficult issue.  Here is the list I made from what was said then with some of my notes...
+ Get Together - The leaders in Acts 15 traveled so they could be together face-to-face with those who were at the center of the disagreement.  This means there was no quick resolution to the problem.  They needed to be patient.
+ Debate - It would have been interesting to hear, but perhaps not very pleasant.  There was "disputing" and "dissension."  Differences of opinion came out into the open.
+ Leadership - Those who spoke and debated were well respected leaders among the believers.
+ Focus - the leaders focused the discussion on the good news of Jesus and the many souls that needed to be saved.  Peter did this in verses 7-11.
+ Testimony & Evidence - Paul and Barnabas spoke about the wonderful and miraculous things God had been doing.
+ Silence & Listening - everyone was not talking at once.  There was time for listening and for silence.  Prayer does not need to be mentioned because these Godly leaders were constantly in prayer.  They listened and waited.
+ Scripture - they found their agreement in the written Word of God.
+ Communication - the agreement was written and distributed.
Interestingly, the agreement they came to was not a "final" sort of thing.  You'll find evidence in the New Testament that some of the issues that they were debating and arguing about continued.  But they were willing to continue to be together as they sought further clarity in the Word of God.

How can these bullet points help us as we face the Crossroads we are at now?

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