Acts 15:1-21 | A Historical Church and Gospel Moment

by | Mar 13, 2021

READ Acts 15:1-21

After Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, Paul and Barnabas and some others were appointed to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem about this issue. (Acts 15:2)

While certain things can contribute to unity, it’s really the Gospel that initiates and solidifies real unity. The flip side to this fact is that those who are not living in the Gospel will, in many cases, further separate people rather than bring them together. This is what we see in our country today. No human movement or ingenuity can truly bring the unity that humanity deeply desires. Unity is only something orchestrated by God.

Men from Judea and those who belonged to the party of the Pharisees didn’t understand the grace of Jesus’ Gospel (15:1, 5). They believed it was “Jesus + circumcision” that saves. So they told the new Gentile believers that they had to keep the Law of Moses. This turned into a very heated and controversial debate that could’ve split the early Christian Church.

But because the Gospel is the true unifier of all people, and is empowering, the believers displayed one of the most spectacular moments of unity ever seen. This moment of contention in chapter fifteen actually led to a beautiful picture of the Church. With one heart and mind, together for the Gospel, Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and James, following one after the other stood up and pointed the Jerusalem Council to the uncompromisable truths of Jesus’ Gospel (you have to read 15:6-21 again!).

The Gospel is far more intricate and powerful than we give it credit. We see that disagreements on a particular issue can provide the opportunity to refine our understanding of the Gospel, and how it transforms our view on specific matters of life. And so, what have been some topics of contention for you lately, and how does the Gospel give solutions to those issues? Where does the Gospel want to correct your possible blindspot? We all have blindspots, but regardless of disagreements you may have, dig deeper into the Gospel. Follow in the footsteps of Paul and Barnabas in seeking wisdom beyond your “own group” as they did when they went to the Jerusalem Council for guidance (15:2). The Gospel has provided solutions and fellowship to help us grow in unity.

View the Daily Boost archive

Get Daily Boost posts in your inbox