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May | May 31, 2018
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Today I’d like to start a study of Acts chapter 15, using the Focus and Amplify approach to the study. Read the chapter over a number of times and decide what the focus is in this chapter. When I did this, the focus I came up with was “decision-making.”
The first church council dealing with a serious conflict in the early developing church is described in Acts 15. This conflict erupted in a sharp dispute and debate. Then, a process emerged illustrating how to make decisions as a group so that everyone feels: “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us.” Notice in verse 7, they allowed for much discussion, so they could share their point of view, their convictions and concerns. This discussion was then narrowed by asking a few leaders who had experience regarding the issue to describe their experience. In verse 13, after their description, James, who oversaw the church council, provided a word of discernment based on what he had heard and what he understood the Word of God said on the subject. This led to a decision. Let me review: you had a dispute and debate over an issue.
When the council meeting started, discussion was allowed, then descriptions by leaders who had experiences related to the issue. Finally, one with the gift of discernment suggested a decision which all agreed to, to be shared with all concerned. This whole experience is a great example of wise decision making.