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Acts 15:1-35

“But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.” (Acts 15:5-6)



A “fork in the road” is a metaphor for a deciding moment in life or history when a major choice of options is required. In researching the origin of that phrase, I discovered that folk wisdom suggests the metaphor comes from an ancient Russian tale. In it, a knight on horseback approached a point where the road split. He saw an inscription: “If you ride to the left, you will lose your horse; if you ride to the right, you will lose your head.” Perhaps that was not a difficult decision to make, but it certainly was a potentially life-altering one!

The American poet Robert Frost mused upon this idea in his well-known poem “The Road Not Taken.” It begins, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood . . .” and concludes with the author stating that his choice “has made all the difference.” That is a life principle, isn’t it? Decisions have consequences. At times, one small turning point determines the outcome.

We find an example of a major fork in the road of Christian history in today’s text. The leaders of the Early Church faced the question of whether Gentile believers had to be obedient to the requirements of the Mosaic Law — specifically the rite of circumcision — in order to be saved. Paul and his followers insisted that a person was justified by faith alone, while most of the converted Pharisees asserted God would not set aside the Law in receiving a Gentile believer. While the Pharisees could not deny that Gentiles had been genuinely converted through the preaching of Peter, they found it difficult to relinquish their long-held tradition of gaining favor with God through the keeping of the Law.

How different the course of Christian history might have been if the council at Jerusalem had yielded to pressure and chosen the path of insistence upon conformity to the Law’s requirements! Christianity could have been limited to a sect within Judaism, the emerging Church could have been back under bondage to the Law, and the expansion of the Gospel could have been impeded or carried out through another avenue. Instead, the Spirit-led decision — and one foretold in the prophecies of the Old Testament — allowed the Church to grow unhindered by the cultural differences between the Jews and Gentiles, and to fulfill its God-ordained mission of expansion into the whole world.

There is a lesson here for us. When we come to a “fork in the road” in our personal lives, we too may be influenced initially by personal convictions. But like the elders at Jerusalem, we must seek divine guidance. We should look to Scripture for directing principles and the confirmation of God’s Word, while whole-heartedly submitting to God’s will. In addition, we may need to seek the counsel of godly Christian friends and leaders. We want to be certain that God is directing us! While our personal decisions may not impact the course of Christian history, they may well determine our eternal destiny.                          CONCLUSION

When we face a major fork in the road, looking to God for guidance is the only sure way to make the right decision.

Pst Bill Francis Bill Spokesperson to Governor Prince Otu and Ceo Billionaire Bill media Team and Blog

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