The Great Debate

Dec 6, 2020    Pastor Doug Thuen
When In Rome | The Great Debate
December 6, 2020
Study Questions

Acts 15:1-31

1. What were the arguments some of the ‘teachers’ in the church were having with each other? What were the expectations layered on the Gentile believers from some of those teachers? Why? (v.1-5)

2. In verse 6, we learn that the Apostles saw it right to come together in Jerusalem and wrestle through this issue of salvation by grace alone. Describe the various positions held by Peter, Paul & Barnabas, and James. What was unique about each one’s defense of the gospel?

3. In verse 10, what do you think Peter meant when he said that they were ‘putting God to the test’?

4. How would you explain what Peter said in verse 11, “it is through grace” we are saved?

5. What judgment did James make about the controversial teaching (15:19-20)? Why was it necessary to ask the Gentile believers to follow the Law even though obedience to the Law cannot save a man?

6. Describe a time when you were confused or in disagreement with another believer over a major theological doctrine. How did you handle it? Was it worth debate? Did you feel uncomfortable? Why/why not? How did it end?

7. Read verses 30-31. Why do you believe the church responded to the Apostles’ letter the way they did?

8. Read Philippians 2:24. Why do you think it is important to evaluate your faith motives?

9. How do you think spiritual pride caused this whole debate in the early church in the first place? What safeguards can you build into your life to keep yourself from becoming spiritually proud?

10. The Apostles called the church (both Gentile and Jewish believers in Jesus) to live in peaceful unity. What does this look like in your life when you don’t always agree with another Christian’s view or perspective on something non-salvific?

11. How has this passage changed the way you will follow Jesus this week?