In Acts 15 the church gathers to consider an issue at the heart of the gospel as it is spread throughout the world. Their decision, and the way that they reach it, offer important lessons for us today.
Jesus sent the church into the world to be his witnesses and the Spirit empowered and directed them across cultural, religious and geographical boundaries. In the latter half of Acts, we follow the Apostle Paul on his journeys across the Mediterranean world, giving witness to Jesus in synagogues, markets, and halls of power. He and his companions experience resistance from economic, political and religious opponents, as well as hardships like prison and shipwreck. He makes disciples, recruits companions and plants churches in a wide variety of cultural settings.
Like Paul, we are all called to be witnesses of Jesus where God has sent us. Living out of the same story and filled with the same Spirit, we are to proclaim the good news with joy and power. We will experience resistance and hardship along the way, but we can trust God with our lives and with the results of our witness.