Peter states what he saw God do very clearly: “And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:8–9). In the same way, Barnabas and Paul “related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles” (15:12). Notice that the agreement forged in Jerusalem about the new converts was not in developing a doctrine to fit their past perceptions of Judaism or traditions, but in what God was doing at the moment by the Holy Spirit.
As Paul lays out the pure gospel in Galatians, he clearly points out that he did not receive the gospel from man, nor did he “go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before” him. He “went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus” (Gal. 1:12, 17), the very place where he met Jesus, who turned Paul’s life around. I have no doubt from this record that the time he spent with the Lord in Arabia was where the gospel became abundantly clear to him.
- Are you spiritually in tune with the Holy Spirit to know what God is really doing or not doing?
- How much time do you spend alone with the Lord, letting Him clarify the gospel and truth through His Word?
- Do you see God using His present working to unite the church, or is tradition and history keeping the church divided?