The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Acts 15 records the first major doctrinal dispute within Christianity. The question was that of circumcision and conversion. Was it necessary for a new convert to become a Jew before living as a Christian? Are Christians bound to the Mosaic Law?
Paul and Barnabas, having argued that it was not necessary to become a Jew in order to be a Christian, were sent by the local church to Jerusalem. There, a gathering of Christian leaders would be able to discuss the matter, search the Scriptures, pray, and reach consensus. In the meantime, Paul and Baranabas continued to preach Jesus all the way to Jerusalem.
Even though there were some questions about particular doctrines, those with the questions and those investigating the questions were not removed from Christian ministry. They still carried out the care of souls. They continued to evangelize. We may not always have our doctrinal issues resolved in the neatest manner. We might have some conflicts with others. Yet with Christ crucified for sinners, with salvation by grace through faith, with the Bible as God’s Word which will guide us into all truth and never pass away, we have no fear. We can continue with the work of ministry. Why is this? Because Jesus tells us he will walk with us through this life. As long as we are surrounded by those who need to hear about the riches they can have in Christ, we have a job to do. Even as we go to Jerusalem in search of answers, we bring Jesus as the answer to our deepest needs.
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