TOPIC: That They May Be One
TEXT: Acts 15:22-35(NKJV)
22. Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, [namely,] Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
23. They wrote this [letter] by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings.
24. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “[You must] be circumcised and keep the law” — to whom we gave no [such] commandment —
25. it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26. men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.
28. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
29. that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
30. So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter.
31. When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.
32. Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.
33. And after they had stayed [there] for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles.
34. However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there.
35. Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
STUDY: The proposal of James (vs. 19-21) led the Council to proclaim that Gentiles could become Christians without fulfilling the requirement of circumcision. The Council wrote to the Gentile believers not to take heed to these false teachings, as those who taught such had no authority. The Council rebuked those men who sought to sow discord among the believers and charged the Gentile believers to be of one accord.
To assure these believers of their unity in Christ, the Holy Spirit led them to send Paul and Barnabas to deliver this letter personally. See what great joy and encouragement this brought to all and how this decision won over the Christians in Antioch! A new sense of Christian unity between Jews and Gentiles emerged!
Friend, the Christian life is a life of loving unity with all those who confess faith in Jesus Christ! Jesus prayed for this unity (John 17:20-21). Isn’t it good then that you meet a fellow Christian who attends a different church, one from a different tribe other than yours and share fellowship with them today? There is one God (and Father), one Lord, one Spirit, one baptism, one hope of our calling, one faith, etc. Even if we have nothing else in common at all, we can be best friends because we share Christ.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, make us one even as you and the Father are one. Amen
DAILY QUOTE: “Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering…. The love of God did not protect His own Son…. He will not necessarily protect us – not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.” – Elisabeth Elliot
Daily Fountain Devotional 14 July 2020 – The Church of Nigeria is the Anglican church in Nigeria. It is the second-largest province in the Anglican Communion, as measured by baptized membership, after the Church of England. It gives its current membership as “over 18 million”, out of a total Nigerian population of over 200 million.