7 辯論已經多了，彼得就起來，說：「諸位弟兄，你們知道 神早已在你們中間揀選了我，叫外邦人從我口中得聽福音之道，而且相信。 8 知道人心的 神也為他們作了見證，賜聖靈給他們，正如給我們一樣； 9 又藉著信潔淨了他們的心，並不分他們我們。 10 現在為甚麼試探 神，要把我們祖宗和我們所不能負的軛放在門徒的頸項上呢？ 11 我們得救乃是因主耶穌的恩，和他們一樣，這是我們所信的。」
12 眾人都默默無聲，聽巴拿巴和保羅述說 神藉他們在外邦人中所行的神蹟奇事。13 他們住了聲，雅各就說：「諸位弟兄，請聽我的話。 14 方才西門述說 神當初怎樣眷顧外邦人，從他們中間選取百姓歸於自己的名下； 15 眾先知的話也與這意思相合。
7After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." 12The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. 14Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
- The Jerusalem council is a good model of handling conflicts within a church: to face the problem, listen to all sides, try to show no partiality, appoint spiritually mature leaders to lead the discussion, to make wise decision, and when the decision is made that the community will obey.
- In our church’s brief history, has there been any problem or conflict? How was it handled? Compare it with the Jerusalem Council, what can we learn from them?
- Is there any problem in my cell? What should I do or how to handle it?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
What is the meaning of GRACE? Give some examples in your daily life that would explain what grace is. Then, explain v11 “We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved”. Are you saved? Help anyone who is not sure of his/her salvation.
If anyone makes the decision today, write it in the Family Devotional Journal.