DISCERNING WHAT IS RIGHT
ACTS 15:13-15 NKJ
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
There was a major division within the early church. The magnitude of this dispute had the ability to shut down the spread of the gospel worldwide.
Some Jewish believers in Jesus would not accept salvation for the Gentiles (non-Jews) unless they were circumcised and kept the law of Moses. This belief was erroneous and threatened the spread of the gospel.
There was a big conference called in Jerusalem to hammer out this doctrinal dispute. Peter shared his story of going to Cornelius' house and how God moved on this group of Gentiles. Paul and Barnabus shared how God was performing miracles and reaching multitudes of Gentiles. Then James spoke words of Godly wisdom. He recalled Peter's experience and then said that the words of the prophets agree with this just as it is written. Then he quotes the scriptures. And that helped seal the deal. Of course, the Holy Spirit had to be working in hearts because the whole council agreed. The end result was freedom for Gentile believers, and the gospel continued to spread.
Do the scriptures agree? This is the key question we must ask as we hear teaching and preaching and as we determine what is the right course for our lives. One of our values as a church is God's word first. Does what is being said and done or experienced line up with and agree with God's word? I am not qualified to judge hearts, but I can judge actions and words by the simple phrase, do the scriptures agree? What is written?
This is the safest way to stay on track with God and stay away from errors or excuses. There is a lot of stuff in the world today, and it's not all accurate and truthful. Thank God we have the scriptures and the Holy Spirit to help us discern what is right.
Dear Father, thank You for Your word and The Teacher the Holy Spirit. By Your word first and the Holy Spirit's witness to my heart, I can discern what is right and know the way I must go.