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Getting the Gospel Right (Acts 15)

Jul 18, 2021
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Getting the Gospel Right (Acts 15)
Acts 15 occurs roughly 17 years after the church is formed (Acts 2). The gospel is spreading to Jews and Gentiles, and the church is flourishing. Unfortunately, conflict occurs. There is a group of Judaizers that believe and are teaching that one must be circumcised in order to be saved. Thankfully, Paul and Barnabas were willing to confront them. If these problems are not addressed, then the gospel is hindered, the growth of the church is hindered, and the Jew/Gentile relationship is hindered.
1. We must confront false teaching (Ch 15:1-5)
The Judaizers were “stuck” in old traditions. They were taking the Truth from the apostles and twisting it to meet their paradigm. They were going against Paul and Barnabas’ outreach to the Gentiles. A group was sent 300 miles to Jerusalem to set up a council to decide on this issue. When they reached Jerusalem, there was a party of Pharisees, young Messianic Jews, that wanted Jesus plus traditions of the Jews.
It takes bold conviction to confront false teaching 
so that people don’t fall prey to a lie.
2. Defending the gospel (Ch. 15:6-35)
It takes more than just saying, “that’s wrong”. We must be able to point people to the Truth. Peter had been going astray during a season before this. He began believing the Judaizers until he was confronted. Barnabas had been deceived as well! They took 4 key approaches to deal with this issue:
A. Peter – He reminded the people of the vision God had given him.
B. Barnabas – Showed the people the signs and wonders God had done.
C. James – James was a Jew that quoted Scripture to the Jews. He reminded them of the new covenant God made with the Gentiles. He instructed the Gentiles to not be offensive to the Jews and to stand out among the fellow Gentiles.
D. Judas and Silas – Sent a Jew and a Gentile to spread the message to the churches so they would understand. They basically wrote commentaries.
3. Resolving Disputes (Ch. 15:36-41)
It was time for Paul and Barnabas to continue their ministry. Barnabas wanted to bring John Mark along, but Paul did not want him to come along. They decided to go their separate ways with Barnabas and John Mark going to Cyprus and Paul and Silas going to Syria and Cilicia. We learn later that there was reconciliation, but it was perfectly fine for them to go their separate ways during this time.
It takes mercy and a humble heart to resolve disputes so that people 

can be restored and walk in peace and forgiveness.

To Discuss Today:
1. Where are you vulnerable to believe false doctrine?
2. How do you defend the gospel?
3. How do you resolve disputes in your life?