Acts 15 records the Council of Jerusalem, a meeting in about 50AD of early Church leaders regarding whether Gentiles could be Christians without first becoming Jews. "After much discussion" (15:7) they decide to write a letter to say that converts need not follow the practices of Judaism. What interests me is the terms in which they describe the decision in their letter; verse 28 says (NIV):
It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements.
On the face of it, this looks a little like the statement attributed to Bernard Montgomery, "God said, and I agree with him..."!
It could be that the text is simply giving emphasis to the determination of the apostles and elders to carry out what the Holy Spirit has indicated. But the way it's phrased, and the context of the meeting, seem to point to the church having authority in this moment; that there's something special about these people being gathered together, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which gives them the right to make the decision and send the letter. They are acting jointly with the Spirit in a way that goes beyond mere acquiescence.
I'm sure that Catholic and Orthodox readers would have no trouble at all here. However, I think that from a Reformed perspective it would be more difficult to admit special authority of this kind. When Calvin writes about later Church councils, for example, he seems to regard them as existing merely for practical "convenience" (Institutes 4.9.13), to elucidate the contents of Scripture, and always in a strictly subordinate role ("it is the right of Christ to preside over all councils, and not share the honour with any man", Institutes 4.9.1). How can that be squared with the "and to us" here in Acts?
In short, from a Reformed point of view, what is the point of mentioning "and to us", and what relationship do Reformed theologians envisage existing between the Spirit and the Church at this moment?