Acts 15

Christians from Judea come to Antioch and insist that Gentile Christians be circumcised.  Paul disagreed strongly.  The Antioch church sends him and Barnabas to Jerusalem for help.  The "apostles and elders" gather.  Peter says God sent him to Gentiles and gave them the Spirit, without circumcision.  Don't put them under the law that didn't save us - Jesus saves us both.  Paul shares stories of Gentiles saved.  James gives a decision, based on Amos 9:11-12, not to impose the law of Moses on Gentile converts.  The council sends delegates Judas and Silas with Paul back to Antioch, with a letter, affirming Paul and Barnabas, and passing on the decision to abstain from idol food, blood, and sexual immorality.

Later, Paul proposes a trip to the churches.  Barnabas wants to take John Mark, but Paul refuses.  "There arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated form each other" (15:39).  This winds up doubling the effort though: Barnabas and Mark go to Cyprus, Paul and Silas go through modern Turkey.

How this is about Jesus
Did Jesus want Gentile believers in Himself to be circumcised?  He gave the Spirit to Gentiles just as He did to Jews, so no.  Amos 9:11 and Isaiah 49:6 show God expanding His people to include Gentiles.  If Jesus wants baptism to mark His followers (Matt 28:18-20), Jew or Gentile, how can there be another mark?
It honors the Lord when we take time to meet and talk through disagreements as Christians.

Disagreements so sharp they separate, have been with the church since Paul and Barnabas.  It is discouraging, but should not overwhelm us, as God will accomplish good even when we are (sinfully?) stubborn.
When you make decisions, first gather all the facts, hear all sides of an issue, then communicate the decision to those involved.

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