The Gospel on Trial

Acts 15, the Jerusalem Council

Twenty years after Pentecost the truth of the gospel and the mission of the church were threatened by a dispute over whether people have to be good enough before they come to church so the early believers came together to make a decision at the Jerusalem Council.
Question: Should believing Gentiles be required to practice Jewish religious culture? (5b)
The Witnesses:
Barnabas and Paul:
The Decision: Pastor James
Christian Living Article 8 EFCA Statement of Faith
We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
Justification: Judicial act of God declaring the sinner righteous by the sacrifice of Christ.
Sanctification: Saints by grace through
in obedience becoming who they already are in Christ.

The result of the decision: The church __ into new areas becoming less Jewish but not less holy.