Beyond the Gospels: Acts

Today’s Scripture: Acts 15:22-41
[Click the link above to read online.]

Everyone agreed: apostles, leaders, all the people.
Acts 15:22 Msg

When was the last time you were at church and everyone agreed? about anything?

Agreement among Believers is a supernatural experience.
It’s one I long for.
It’s one I believe is possible.

There is one body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV
We all belong to the One. I truly believe if we all listen to Him, His Word, and His Spirit, we will be in agreement. He only has one way and I believe He wants His people to know it and follow it. Unity among Believers is the sign to the world that Jesus came, died, rose, and is who He says He is (John 17:20-21). Unity is the miraculous sign of His coming and being, because it is so rare in this world.
Here is one of those moments in the church where all agreed. But it didn’t last long. By the end of today’s passage a serious disagreement breaks out between brothers in Christ leading to division. For whatever reason, Paul and Barnabas were at odds when it came to John Mark being included back on the ministry team. They actually agreed to go their separate ways.
I see this kind of disagreement, disunity, and wonder… Who’s not listening to the Spirit? Who’s the one being hard-headed here? To me, scripturally speaking, Believers should be in agreement on all counts if they are in agreement with God. However, the state of the church is not perfect. We are all broken. Our hearing skewed. Our hearts hardened with varying degrees of unbelief and immaturity.
A teaching on this particular passage gave me a different perspective. I can’t remember where I read it or heard it, so I can’t cite it, but God used the divide between Paul and Barnabas for good. Just like the persecution of the Church led to spreading of the good news, so the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas led to covering twice as much territory when it came to church-planting.
It’s true, God works all things for good in the lives of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, even when we don’t or can’t find unity in the Holy Spirit. Still, Paul writing to the Ephesians said…
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit,
binding yourselves together with peace.
Ephesians 4:3 NLT
Unity. A sign pointing to the truth of Jesus.
A possibility only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Father God, grow me to hear and receive what the Spirit has to say.
Prepare my heart to come into agreement with Him and let go of my
own prejudices, reasoning, and understandings.
I long for Your Church to experience the unity of peace
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *