Daily Scripture Reading: Acts 15:1-21
”Unity in Faith”
In Acts 15:1-21, we find a crucial moment in the early Christian church's history. A decision had to be made because, once again, disagreements threaten to overwhelm the church. The question at hand is whether Gentile believers should be circumcised and follow the Jewish customs to be considered part of the faith. This passage teaches us valuable lessons about unity, grace, and the foundation of our faith.
Disagreements are not uncommon in the church, but how we handle them matters. So, a great gathering of the apostles and elders gathered in Jerusalem to discuss this issue at the request of Paul and Barnabas. Peter reminds those gathered that God had already accepted Gentiles into the faith, emphasizing salvation through grace, not works of the law.
James, the leader of the Jerusalem church, gives a judgment that emphasizes not burdening Gentiles with Jewish customs, but encouraging them to abstain from certain practices. This decision promotes unity in the diverse early church.
Unity among believers is essential. James' decision reflects the principle of prioritizing what unites us over what divides us. In our Christian walk, we must focus on the core principles of faith, rather than getting caught up in secondary issues.
The Jerusalem Council's decision in Acts 15:1-21 teaches us about the importance of unity, the foundational role of God's grace, and the need to handle disagreements in a spirit of humility and prayer. As we navigate our own faith journeys, may we always seek unity in Christ, recognizing that our salvation is based on God's grace and not our works. Let us be a church that welcomes all into the family of God, just as God has welcomed us through Jesus Christ.
What road blocks may be in the way of people being able to be a Christian?
Have you ever felt excluded from the church because of clothing or something more trivial?
What issues have you and another Christian disagreed on? How could you find a path to unity?
Dear God, unify us. Help us in our disagreements to learn that we all care. Guide us to your higher calling. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
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