Friday: Further Study – Arrest in Jerusalem

Further Study: “On this occasion, Paul and his companions formally presented to the leaders of the work at Jerusalem the contributions forwarded by the Gentile churches for the support of the poor among their Jewish brethren. …

“These freewill offerings betokened the loyalty of the Gentile converts to the organized work of God throughout the world and should have been received by all with grateful acknowledgment, yet it was apparent to Paul and his companions that even among those before whom they now stood were some who were unable to appreciate the spirit of brotherly love that had prompted the gifts.”—Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 399, 400.

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“Had the leaders in the church fully surrendered their feeling of bitterness toward the apostle, and accepted him as one specially called of God to bear the gospel to the Gentiles, the Lord would have spared him to them. God had not ordained that Paul’s labors should so soon end, but He did not work a miracle to counteract the train of circumstances to which the course of the leaders in the church at Jerusalem had given rise.

“The same spirit is still leading to the same results. A neglect to appreciate and improve the provisions of divine grace has deprived the church of many a blessing. How often would the Lord have prolonged the work of some faithful minister, had his labors been appreciated! But if the church permits the enemy of souls to pervert the understanding, so that they misrepresent and misinterpret the words and acts of the servant of Christ; if they allow themselves to stand in his way and hinder his usefulness, the Lord sometimes removes from them the blessing which He gave. … ”

“After the hands are folded upon the pulseless breast, when the voice of warning and encouragement is silent, then the obdurate may be aroused to see and prize the blessings they have cast from them. Their death may accomplish that which their life has failed to do.”—Pages 417, 418.

Discussion Questions:

  1. By going to Jerusalem despite knowing he would not be welcome, Paul put the interests of the church above his own personal interests. To what extent should we follow his example?
  2. What can we learn from Paul’s compromise in Jerusalem? How can we be politically correct without surrendering the principles we live by? Or can we?
  3. Church unity is always so important. How can we learn to work together, unified, even when we have different views of things?

 

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons