The Early Church had gone through a difficult time prior to the Jerusalem Council. The tensions between some who wanted Gentile believers to be circumcised and follow the Law for salvation, versus those who saw God work in the Gentiles through the gospel of grace, were very real. Peter, Paul and others witnessed the Holy Spirit come on new believers without any requirement. How thankful we are that God moved among them at this council and the proclamation was made; “We believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will” (Acts 15:11).
There was an immediate need for healing among new believers who felt the sudden demand of ‘law keepers.’ The Jerusalem Council sent out a letter, not just to set the record straight on salvation by grace through faith, but to “encourage” the believers. To make this really effective, the letter was hand delivered by “Judas and Silas who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words” (15:32). That’s not all, they spent some time with those the letter went to so their presence would also encourage and strengthen them (15:33).
This should be our heart toward persons and churches who have gone through times of difficulty. It is part of realizing that we are bound together in the Body of Christ and what happens in one part of the body affects the whole. As we saw yesterday, part of the goal in strengthening believers is so they can become strong and stand on their own in times of adversity.
I am guilty of being too busy and not giving proper attention to those who need encouragement and strengthening. Let’s do better than we have so the Body of Christ grows and becomes mature.
Link To Our Old Blog: