SUMMARY: No obstacles
OVERVIEW: The Council at Jerusalem formally approved Paul and Barnabas’ teaching that Gentiles only had to believe in Jesus to come to faith. Then they came up with a plan to encourage believers from vastly different cultures to understand each other and make adjustments to get along.
BIG IDEA: Don’t make it unnecessarily difficult for people who are turning to God.
KEY VERSE: Acts 15:19 (James to the elders and disciples)
And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
Never compromise the essential components of your faith in me. Always be clear and unwavering about who I am as Father, Son, and Spirit. Never distort the message of salvation through faith in Christ. Live by the authority of the Bible, my trustworthy word. However, to preserve unity among believers, you should be understanding concerning non-essential customs or practices. Stay focused on the Gospel, stay focused on me, but be sensitive to the ways of other believers, so you don’t create division or cause others to stumble in their faith.
The Gospel reaches deep into all cultures, impacting people with varying customs, economies, and backgrounds. I am working in the lives of brand new believers, people maturing in faith, and those who have believed and served for many decades. The Gospel message never changes, but be willing to make changes in your attitude, perspective, and habits as you embrace and welcome all believers from all cultures and every stage of spiritual growth.
Take time this week to reflect on Bible verses about essentials of the Christian faith. John 10:30 (Divinity of Christ), Ephesians 2:8-9 (Salvation through faith), John 14:6 (Christ alone), 1 Corinthians 15:14 (Resurrection), 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (Gospel), Exodus 20:3 (One God), Matthew 28:19 (Trinity).
BONUS Lyric Video