Let’s Learn From Early Church
August 24 - Devotion
The early church experienced conflict-of-doctrine problem; however, God helped them to resolve it without complications. Some brethren were confused about the subject of circumcision, and they wanted clarifications. Therefore, they sent Paul and Barnabas to inquire explanations from the elders stationed at Jerusalem. The church elders at Jerusalem prayerfully deliberated the matter and concluded with a definitive answer. The elders stated that Christians with non-Jewish background must not be obligated to follow Jewish traditions. It was affirmed that Christian practices must not be mistaken for local tradition (or mingle with it). Hence, the elders authorized local churches to operate in the spirit of liberty, but they must ensure not to compromise holiness standard of God. The scripture reported,
“The apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they” (Acts 15:6-11).
The present day church ought to adopt conflict resolution skill that early church applied. The early church resolved their conflicts with prayers and deliberations. They were open to receive godly instructions from their elders, and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. No wonder they were very successful! Moreover, the present day church also have tendency to have record success if they are spiritually inclined. Our churches must desist from politics, and our leaders must not conclude spiritual matters based on opinion polls and ballot papers. Democracy is different from Christianity, and their objective are different also. God is a spirit, and Christians ought to be spiritual! We must pray and listen to guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that we can make decisions that satisfy God always. If the church cultivate attitude of prayer and honest deliberations, Satan will lose his battle hurled against our churches; and we will have great success.
Dear God, please wake up the church from its deep sleep! The church has become cold, and brethren have lost their drive to spiritually seek your help for solution over their problems. Please revive our local churches and denominations again! Enable us to seek your face for guidance and instructions. Let brethren prioritize prayer and holiness to other influences. Let brethren cooperate with you, so that we can experience signs and wonders like the early days church. Uphold our leaders, and rescue them from carnality and selfish interests. Let the church leaders and members prosper on earth, and also fit for your rapture. For in the name of Jesus Christ I make my requests. Amen.