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Undeniable Truth

Acts 15: 12 Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Peter has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself. 15 And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written: 16 ‘Afterward I will return and restore the fallen house of David. I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, 17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord, including the Gentiles— all those I have called to be mine. The Lord has spoken— 18 he who made these things known so long ago.’ 19 “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. 21 For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.”

There was proof of the mighty work God was doing through Paul and Barnabas but those in the church at Jerusalem were still holding on to part of the Law in wanting the new Gentile converts to be circumcised along with having faith in Jesus. James, who was the pastor of the church in Jerusalem listened intently and shared that prophecy was being fulfilled before their eyes and Peter included his thoughts about salvation being offered to the Gentiles. James came down on the side of not making it difficult for the Gentiles who were turning to God and sent a message about eating food offered to idols, sexual immorality, and consuming blood would not be good. James shared that these laws had been preached for years in Jewish synagogues and James did not even mention circumcision after that. Smart!

Had James taken a strong stand for circumcision the result might have been to keep the second missionary journey from even happening and that would have been disastrous.

Our discernment in touchy situations has to be Spirit-led and God-centered or more damage can be done. Once again, it comes back to relying on the Spirit of God to make decisions about very important matters. This is a perfect example of living a Spirit-filled life. Paul wrote this to the Galatians in 5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Anger, hatred, sexual immorality, and many more sins will not be prevalent in your life and a deeper walk with God will result when we discover His deep way of doing things in His Word. Nothing else will suffice. It must be God's Word and nothing less. The pure, powerful Word is Undeniable Truth.

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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