#8 The Jerusalem Council - Hope SS (with hot links)

1.      The challenge for the early Christian church

a)      Acts 13:42–49, why would the conversion of many Gentiles create a challenge for the early Christian church?
b)     Acts 15:1–5, the basic question: should Gentile Christians be required to follow all the Jewish laws, including circumcision?
c)      Acts 15:11, here is a clear confession that salvation comes by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why then is there such an insistence by some religious leaders regarding ceremonial laws?
d)     Why does Paul speak so sternly about these Judaizers? Galatians 1:7; Gal 2:4

2.      Circumcision

a)      Genesis 17:9–14, a sign of the covenant
b)     Exodus 12:43–49
c)      Why did Paul see an insistence on circumcision for Gentiles as a distortion of the Gospel Galatians 5:6, Romans 3:28–30
d)     How can we avoid the trap of thinking only people who are just like us can be saved?

3.      The lively discussion at the Jerusalem Council

a)      Acts 15:6–7, why is vigorous discussion and active involvement important in the Christian church? (see also Acts 6:2–6; Acts 13:1–3)
b)     Acts 15:7–11, what impresses you the most about the testimony of Peter?
c)      Acts 15:12, why is it important to listen and not just speak when you are seeking a solution to a potentially divisive problem?
d)     Acts 15:13–21, what solution did James propose?
e)     When disputes arise, how can we learn to listen to each other love and respect, and work through the issues with a spirit of humility?

4.      The Letter from Jerusalem and the Apostolic Decree

a)      Acts 15:22, what indication do you see that the group had arrived at a meaningful consensus?
b)     Acts 15:23–28, what impresses you about the way the letter is written?
c)      Acts 15:29, why do the apostles, elders, and brethren highlight the four prohibitions listed in this verse? (renunciation of paganism, outlined in Leviticus 17–18)
d)     Do these prohibitions imply issues like no idol worship (2nd commandment) or remembering the Sabbath day (4th commandment) no longer apply?
e)     Acts 15:30–33, how did the Christian believers respond to this letter from the Council in Jerusalem?

f)       What lessons can we learn from this process when dealing with challenges in the church today?

Dave Edgren ~ Story: Teller, Author, Trainer ~

BOOK DAVE NOW! Dave Edgren is passionate about creating a values-based storytelling culture. In his engaging and often hilarious way,...