Tag Archives: Council of Jerusalem

Acts 15- Council of Jerusalem Part 2

Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Acts 15:12-18

 We continue to look at the event known as the “Council of Jerusalem” . This is an important event to the Church, why? Because the Apostles answered some major questions and doctrines that are still disputed today. We noticed that the Apostle Peter originally spoke , followed by the Apostle Paul and Barnabas. Now we are hearing the knowledge of the Apostle James. Anyone who disputes the verdict of the Council of Jerusalem, is disputing the Apostles and the New Testament

One of the main points of the Council of Jerusalem is the New Covenant. That salvation has been given to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. Many Jews had a hard time accepting this, even many Jews today still can’t comprehend this, that Gentiles are now Children of God through Christ

Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: Acts 15:19-22

The Apostle James went on to teach that we are not to trouble the Gentiles with holding The Law. Then James went on to list the expectations of the Gentiles who are grafted into the family of God. Abstain from Idolatry, sexual immorality, and from false gods. There is still much confusion today among Christians about what is expected from them , remember Jesus said Love God and Love your Neighbor, (Matthew 22:37) this is the fulfillment of the Law. 

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. Acts 15:28-31

The news of this Council was then sent out to a letter to all the Churches, notice the list, it was the same one I mentioned previously. Also notice who authorized this, the Holy Spirit. There are many today who argue about this Council of Jerusalem, but you would be arguing against the Holy Spirit. 

Instead of arguing, the Churches of the first century rejoiced! Because Jesus has set us free from the Law and delivered us under grace by his blood Amen!

Acts 15- The Council of Jerusalem Part 1

And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. Acts 15:1-4

Acts Chapter 15 has turned into one of the important chapters in the New Testament, why? Because of the Council of Jerusalem, as we see from the opening scripture “certain men were teaching unless you are circumcised , you can’t be saved” This is the beginning of heretical teachings within the Church and the removal of Gods grace through Jesus Christ

Unfortunately we still see this alot today, many teaching you must perform certain “works” in order to obtain salvation. As we know its not by our works we are saved, but by grace through our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9) This setup the meeting of the Council of Jerusalem, so the Apostles can correct these false teachings based on the true teaching of Jesus Christ

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. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; Acts 15:5-8

The religious leaders stated “the Gentiles must be circumcised to obtain salvation” This was quickly refuted by the Apostles, however sadly there are still some who believe this today. Ask yourself, are those who are circumcised and reject Christ still saved? Absolutely not, circumcision was a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant but it doesn’t obtain salvation for you. It’s only through Christ that you can be saved, period

And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Acts 15:9-11

Peter rebuked this teaching of the Pharisees and said “Why put the yoke of The Law on the neck of the Gentiles? The same yoke that the Jews were unable to carry”? Why do some Christians today still want to put themselves under The Law when we are under Grace?

As Peter stated “Its the Grace of The Lord Jesus that we are saved” its not our works, its not circumcision, its not keeping The Law, which nobody has been able to do. Its only through Christ alone we can be saved Amen!