Reading in Acts 15:1-21, the issue that occasions this conference is the custom taught by Moses; that to be saved, all gentiles must be circumcised. There was disagreement in who God intended the church to be for and what came first; the law or grace.
In handling controversies among believers, we should follow what Paul and Barnabas did. They spent time communicating the facts. In this case, Paul explained how the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit and that God did not discriminated between the Gentiles and the Apostles but purified their hearts by faith (v. 9).
We should also appeal to the Word to resolve controversies and to be good leaders. In today’s passage, James was a good leader of the Jerusalem church. He was the brother of Jesus and an outstanding man. He quoted the Word from Amos 9:11-12 and said this agreed with the testimony given by Peter, Paul, and Barnabas.
Lord, today we pray to be emptied before being filled. Empty out pride and selfishness and fill in the Holy Spirit. Help us to not get trapped by meaningless rituals, legalisms, and ceremonies that only burden us. Help us to be wrapped up in the ONE essential; acceptance of Christ as Savior. Help us to overcome the enemy by simplifying and unifying. Amen.