A Word from the Bishop: Reflections on Acts 15

October 05, 2014

Bishop Paul Leeland is part of a reading group, initiated by Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Conference. The group, including many bishops and laity from across the world, are reading one chapter of Luke and Acts, which totals 52 weeks. This allows the group to read one chapter per week and share insight on the readings with one another. Bishop Leeland shares his thoughts below on Acts 15. 

Acts 15 provides great insight into our current Church where there has been "no little dissension and debate." One fascinating aspect of the early church is that specific individuals were selected to "go up to Jerusalem about this question."

The beginning of all debate was to report "what God had done." Then after "much debate had taken place" they reminded each other that "God who knows the heart" would not require that additional requirements be placed upon any that would seek to be embraced by the Church, with a clear decision "that we ought to stop troubling those outside the faith [Gentiles] who turn to God."

Interesting that there were some who were teaching in such a way that they had "upset others with their teaching and disturbed their peace of mind." The answer–to identify "leaders" who had "dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" who would visit and communicate the discerned teaching of the Church.

The result? "The people were delighted with the exhortation."

I can't help but wonder what God is doing among us!

Paul Leeland