We should expect that when there is a mighty movement of God, some who hold to tradition will question what is taking place. What resolves conflicts and disagreements like this? As we will see in this next section, there are two major witnesses that dissolve the conflict and bring unity in the body of Christ.
1. The testimony of what God is doing through the power of the Holy Spirit is a witness in itself. Peter, Barnabas, Paul and others had seen first-hand how God was working among the Gentiles and they could not return to tradition.
2. The witness in God’s word spoken hundreds of years before, confirming this transformation would take place, was authority enough to expand the church and include the Gentiles.
As you study these verses, ask whether tradition is holding back God’s work where you are. If not, praise the Lord – He must be at work. If there are hindrances to His work, seek earnestly the Spirit’s help to remove obstacles so there will be a spontaneous expansion of the gospel.
Acts 15:1-21 – Peter testified that God chose “the Gentiles should _____ the word of the gospel and believe” (15:7) without circumcision in order to be saved. Barnabas and Paul confirmed this and referred to Amos 9:11-12 as prophetic proof. (See also Romans 10:14).
Acts 15:22-35 - God provides unity in the gospel of ______ which is communicated through a letter from Jerusalem, hand delivered by “our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have _____ their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (15:25-26) as well as Judas and Silas.
If these key principles were used in every church conflict, the church today would look much different than it does and we would experience a powerful work of the Spirit that can spread the gospel to every unreached people group. “Then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
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