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!