Vs. 1, “Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” Remember, whenever the church is growing, Satan is going to do everything he can to oppose it. Here we see Jewish believers ignorant of how God’s grace was to work in the present time. That is why is is so important that we KNOW God’s Word! We see Paul & Baranbas go down to Jerusalem, Peter makes his final appearance in Acts as he endorses Paul’s belief, and James (the brother of Jesus & author of James) appears to make his final comments. The admonitions in Vs. 29 are not rules to adhere by, but rather suggestions during that present time to keep good relations with the Jewish Christians. We also see the dispute of Paul & Baranabas concering John Mark & of the visit Peter (Gal. 2:11-21). Paul was untrusting of Mark after he had left them on the last journey & perhaps disappointed with Barnabas. But both parties were a little too harsh in how they dealt with this, but in the end…Paul & Mark reconciled (II Tim 4:11).
Regarding application…Disagreements. Notice how the church dealt with the beginnings of legalism…they met with prayer & discussion. When Christians disagree in the church, it is so important that they get together with prayer & sharing to discern & see how God wants to resolve the disagreements. Communication is such a huge asset!!! It’s human nature to not want to deal with the things that might cause division…but ironically, that is exactly is the downfall of division…lack of communication. Brothers & Sisters in Christ…the early church has so much to offer in wisdom to our churches today! We must learn to communicate & be wise in how we go about dealing with problems in the church! Disagreements are going to be unavoidable in the church….but it is how we deal with them that will determine the growth & spiritual maturity of each church! Let us humble ourselves & open our hearts in communication with each other in our church & youth group! How can we be a light to the world, when our churches are battling each other?