Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire Pt. 32

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

 

Happy New Year Everyone! There is no better way to start off the year than with a bit of Bible study. So today we continue with our study in the Book of Acts chapter 15. If you have missed any of our previous studies they can be found here:

http://wp.me/P39vIx-Gh

Now on to today’s study:

While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently. Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them—much to everyone’s joy—that the Gentiles, too, were being converted.

4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. 5 But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”

6 So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. 7 At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. 8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”

12 Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

13 When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Peter  has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself. 15 And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written:

16 ‘Afterward I will return
    and restore the fallen house of David.
I will rebuild its ruins
    and restore it,
17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord,
    including the Gentiles—
    all those I have called to be mine.
The Lord has spoken—
18     he who made these things known so long ago.’

19 “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. 21 For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.”

The Letter for Gentile Believers

22 Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders —Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas. 23 This is the letter they took with them:

“This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem. It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings!

24 “We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching, but we did not send them! 25 So we decided, having come to complete agreement, to send you official representatives, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We are sending Judas and Silas to confirm what we have decided concerning your question.

28 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements:29 You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.” Acts 15: 1-29 NLT

 

In Acts 15 another conflict arises in the church. This time it is over the issue of circumcision. As you read these verses what do you understand as the decision of the council at Jerusalem?

What do you think it means that the Gentiles “don’t have to follow the law” ( Read Rom. 14:13-18 and Galatians 5:1-6 as you consider your answer)?

What does it not mean  (Read Colossians 2:20-3:11 as you consider your answer) ?

10 thoughts on “Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire Pt. 32

  1. Hi, Pastor J not sure if I quite understood the second question but no matter I know I will learn something today, none the less. I think the Gentiles “don’t have to follow the law” because they were never slaves to the law. But now that they believe in Jesus Christ, His blood washed away their sins making them followers of Jesus Christ. The law of Moses was not for the Gentiles right? It was just for the Jews? So being washed by the blood of Jesus Christ whether you are a Jew or a Gentile means to live as Christ did and show love to all.
    What does it not mean (Read Colossians 2:20-3:11 as you consider your answer) ? Once saved by Jesus means you must turn your eyes to heaven and off of this world. It means you cannot live by law alone for it is not the law that has saved you but Jesus Christ. It is by His blood that we are saved and given an eternal life in heaven.

    • I guess I was so worried about if I understood the last question I forgot to answer the first one. I believe the council at Jerusalem were telling them that they did not have to be circumcised because being circumcised does not make you a righteous man but living as Christ did and showing love and kindness to each other. Now that is what we all need to do.

    • “It means you cannot live by law alone for it is not the law that has saved you but Jesus Christ. It is by His blood that we are saved and given an eternal life in heaven.” This is it in a nutshell Deb. We live for Jesus not the Law. You are also right the Jews were given the law and Paul said that the law was given to them so that they could show the world that outside of Christ it was impossible to please God or perfectly follow his law. The Jews were a sermon illustration to the world as they sought to live out the law. They illustrated how it was impossible by law to come close to God. Paul taught that intimacy and relationship with God come through faith.

  2. Why burden the Gentiles with some parts of the law (food, sex, etc.), but not circumcision? Any law man obeys is usually for the benefit of other men. It is not what we do, but what Christ has done for us. He saves. We believe.

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