The Example of James: Acts 15:13-18
“13) After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me. 14) Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name. 15) With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16) ‘After these things I will return, And I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, And I will rebuild its ruins, And I will restore it, 17) So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’ 18) Says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago.” Acts‬ ‭15‬:‭13‬-‭18‬ ‭
So who is the “James” in this context? It cannot be the Apostle James because he was martyred in Acts 12:2. So who is this mystery guy? According to Galatians 1:18-19, this was “James, the Lords brother.” He not only became a believer, he was also credited as becoming a leader in the early church and most likely wrote the book of James. (See Matthew 13:55, Galatians 2:9, 12)
James became a great example of diligence in discerning the will of God. He did two things. First, he listened carefully to the whole case. He gathered all the information and evidence available.
Second, he studied the word of God to gain perspective. He found ample testimony that God had a plan for the salvation of the Gentiles. Up to this point, nothing significant had happened among them. God was suddenly fulfilling His promise to reach the world with the gospel.
I see tremendous wisdom in this text. Learn to listen to what God is doing and measure it by Scripture. If the first does not line up with the second, it is a false movement. Be diligent to study the Bible and not merely accept experience or opinion polls. This is especially true as we approach the end times and the apostate church begins to emerge.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global