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Acts: Chapter 15

Categories: ActsTags: 2.6 min read
This chapter highlights the problems that arose between the Jews and the Gentiles (non-Jews) who had become Christians.Acts 15:1-5 While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch they met some Jews who were teaching that the Gentile converts could not be saved unless they were circumcised. Some of the Jewish converts believed that they still needed to follow the Old Testament laws. Paul and Barnabas were so concerned about the tensions between Jewish and Gentile Christians that they decided to go to Jerusalem to discuss the problem with the apostles and elders who lived there. When they arrived they found that a small group of Pharisees were insisting that the Gentile converts should keep the Law of Moses in addition to the teachings of Jesus.

Acts 15:6-12 The apostles and elders in Jerusalem called a meeting to discuss the problem. Peter reminded them that God had called both Jews and Gentiles to be saved ‘through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.’ He explained that the Old Testament laws had been given by God for guidance in times past but they had been hard for the Jews to keep. Peter told them that the Law of Moses had been fulfilled by the life and death of Jesus and that everyone was now under the law of grace.

Acts 15:13-21 James got up and reminded the apostles and elders that the Old Testament prophets had written of the time when both Jews and Gentiles would turn to God through a descendant of King David and that descendant was Jesus Christ. James went on to explain that although believers were no longer under the Law of Moses, and did not have to follow all the previous rituals, nevertheless they should behave in a way that showed respect to God. James said that Christian believers should not be associated with pagan rituals such as eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols or indulging in sexual immorality.

Acts 15:22-29 It was decided, by all the members of the church in Jerusalem, that a letter should be sent to ‘the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia with clear instructions on how to behave as agreed by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. Paul, Barnabas, Judas (surnamed Barsabbas) and Silas were chosen to take the letter and to encourage the new Christian believers.

Acts 15:30-35 The people in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia were encouraged and strengthened in their belief by both the letter and the preaching given by Paul, Barnabas, Judas and Silas.

Acts 15:36-41 Although Paul and Barnabas agreed about the need to travel and preach to all those people who would listen, they could not agree on who should accompany them on their second journey. Paul was concerned that Mark, who was nephew to Barnabas, had returned home and had not completed the first preaching journey. Paul and Barnabas decided to go to different places. Paul went with Silas who, like Paul, was also a Roman citizen and they both preached in Syria and Cilicia. Barnabas went with Mark to preach in Cyprus.

ADDITIONAL READING

FURTHER THOUGHTS

Mark 7

Categories: Mark|Tags: |

Read Online: AV NIVThis is a really interesting way of studying the Bible. The group accepts the Bible as the word

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