CAROLINA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE DISAGREE
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
9 JULY, 2012
Conflicts are part of life. We all have experienced situations where we found ourselves on one side of an argument. From playground fights, to board room debates or the emotional dispute of a couple, it is inevitable at some point we will disagree. The church is no different. When we join our selves to the body of Christ we bring along all of the attributes that make us who we are. What should separate us from the world is how we handle the differences that arise amongst us. Acts chapter 15 is filled with conflict, and ...view middle of the document...
For devout Jews, circumcision was more than just the shedding of skin, it was the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. By being circumcised, men bore witness to their faith in the God of Abraham and in His covenant with Him and His descendants². Peter, Paul and Barnabas believed the Gentiles had received purity by faith. Peter argued that true circumcision was performed in the heart and not in the flesh; and the Gentiles were
1,2 Deffinbaugh, Bob. “The Jerusalem Council: The Gospel Defined and Defended (Acts 15:1-35)” No Date, [Resource On-line]; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/jerusalem-council-gospel-defined-and-defended-acts-151-35 Internet; Accessed 8th July 2012.
given the same gift of righteousness with God that was previously understood to only come with circumcision and sacrificial obligationᶟ. Acts 15:8-10 states:
God, who knows people’s hearts, confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he gave him to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he also cleansed their hearts through faith. (New International Version)
James concludes the matter with a compromise. He states the Gentiles will not be burdened with circumcision, but they will need to abstain from the four principles of the law;
1. Eating food contaminated by idol worship
3. Eating food that had been strangled
4. Consuming blood
This decision would have a great impact on the church, Bob Deffinbaugh writes:
There is great wisdom evident in the way the Jerusalem church...