11 June 2023: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit” – who decides?

Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home

11 June 2023


“It is good and pleasing to the Lord when His people dwell in unity, so much so, that it is like precious oil poured out and it is there that the Lord commands His blessings. (cf. Psalm 133)”



Song: How Good And How Pleasant. Album: The Worship Collection ( Vol-07). Writer: Graham Kendrick. Publisher/Copyrights: 1995 Make Way Music. CCLI Song No: 1091536


It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us.

Acts 15:28

Does this seem a bit presumptuous of the apostles, to speak like this? Aren’t they putting themselves on the same level as the Holy Spirit? I mean wouldn’t it have been better for them to say something like this, “We were led by the Spirit to …”? We read of Jesus being led by the Spirit,

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit …

Matt. 4:1

Of Simeon:

Now there was a man … called Simeon … and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts …

Luke 2:25-27

And later on, of the apostle Paul and his companions,

Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

Acts 16:6

However, the situation we are looking at concerned the Council of Jerusalem brought about because of disagreement within the Church itself, e.g.,

Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.

Acts 15:1-2

The Council at Jerusalem, as it has come to be known, took place and even here there was disagreement at first:

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.

Acts 15:5

Some straight talking took place e.g., Peter addressing the meeting,

Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.

Acts 15:10-11

The emphasis in the speeches had been on what God had done e.g.,

When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

Acts 15:4

After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.  He did not discriminate between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith”.

Acts 15:7-9

Eventually, unity and unanimity was reached.

Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided

Acts 15:22

And it was vital to convey this in the message sent, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us …” Who decides at Church meetings? It is so vitally important that we come to that place that we can say, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us …” Amen.

Quote of the week

“There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.”

Arthur Tappan Pierson

Verse of the week

Jesus looked towards heaven and prayed … I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me

John 17:1, 20-21

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, may Your Church be so one with You, and so filled with Your Spirit, that we might be able to say “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us on all things in Jesus Christ, Amen!