The story so far
We’ve seen what happens when people try and put God in a box. God breaks out and carries out his purposes regardless.
Reading: Acts 15
Up to now God’s plans had largely involved Jewish people, but central to the book of Acts, is that the good news is now for everyone regardless of their background.
This might sound like a simple change, but to the early church this was a major challenge, and meant they had to change their way of thinking. They had to figure out how to assimilate the new believers from totally different backgrounds into their community of faith, but without compromising on their beliefs.
The trouble was, there was disagreement on how to do this. Lots of Jews felt all their rules on circumcision should be adhered to, and understandably lots of people disagreed with that! Then there were questions regarding permitted food types! Had they got their way, sushi and bacon rolls would definitely be off the menu!
The Church had to discern what was a command for all people, and what is a situational command for some people, for a time and a season. In other words, what commands did they need to pass on to the new additions to their community.
They held the Council of Jerusalem to work this out, and after much discussion, they agreed that it would not be appropriate to shackle the Gentiles with their special rules.
To go to the next level, we need to be willing to reexamine certain beliefs that we hold:
- Beliefs that have put limits on God by thinking He only works in certain ways.
- Traditions we’ve adhered to out of convenience, but maybe aren’t as biblical as we thought.
- Beliefs that worked in a previous season, but aren’t helping us progress anymore.
- Beliefs we’ve held about ourselves that don’t match what God says about us.
Failure to do so will stop us going to the next level, and if we’re not careful, will hold back people around us.
Contributed by Ps Dan