The Sharp Split and the Strengthened Church
Topic: The Church Passage: Acts 15:36– 16:5
What is a strong church as opposed to a weak church?
Our passage this morning helps us in thinking about what that is. Last time we talked about the book of Acts 15 and celebrated the decision of the church council—hat gentiles do not need to uphold the law in order to be saved. All are saved by through the grace of Jesus.
We are not saved by being religious. We’re not saved by trying really hard to obey the law. We are saved by believing in Jesus, the one who perfectly obeyed the law and went to the cross on our behalf and died for our sins. This is good news. That we have a Savior.
The ongoing story in Acts is that even in the midst of internal conflict, the church is strengthened by the truth of the gospel. There’s been conflict throughout the story. Many have opposed this gospel message and many have opposed those who proclaim the gospel message—Paul and Barnabas and others. as well.
What about when there is conflict within the team itself? What about when there is conflict among those who know and love the gospel? Those who together have proclaimed the gospel and are ministers of the gospel? What happens when there is conflict there?
The story of Acts is filled with conflict, yet the gospel continues to move forth. This is what Luke is trying to communicate. In some ways conflict increased the witness and increased the success of the gospel. That is what we will see this morning.