Conflict in the Church

Acts 15:1-29 recounts an important event in the early Christian church known as the Council of Jerusalem. The passage highlights a conflict between the Jewish Christians, who believed that Gentile converts should observe certain Jewish customs, and the Gentile believers, who argued for the freedom to follow Christ without the burden of these traditions.

The passage begins with some men from Judea coming to Antioch and teaching that Gentile believers must be circumcised according to the law of Moses to be saved. This created friction and controversy among the believers in Antioch. Paul and Barnabas disagreed with the Judiazers.

The Antioch church sent Paul, Barnabas, and a few others to Jerusalem to discuss this matter with the apostles and elders. Upon their arrival, they were warmly received by the church in Jerusalem.

During the council, there were discussions and debates about whether Gentile believers should be circumcised and follow the law of Moses. Peter stood up and reminded everyone that God had accepted the Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He had done with the Jewish believers. He argued against imposing the burden of the law on the Gentiles, stating that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

After Peter’s speech, Paul and Barnabas shared their experiences of God’s work among the Gentiles, emphasizing the signs and wonders that occurred through their ministry. James then gave his judgment, citing scriptural evidence and aligning with Peter’s position. He proposed that they not trouble the Gentiles with the requirements of the law except for a few guidelines.

The council agreed with James’ proposal, and a letter was drafted to be sent back to Antioch with Paul, Barnabas, and others. The letter affirmed the council’s decision, stating that Gentile believers were not required to be circumcised or follow the law of Moses. However, they were urged to abstain from certain practices associated with idolatry, sexual immorality, and consuming blood or strangled animals.

Upon receiving the letter, the church in Antioch rejoiced and encouraged the believers, bringing unity and clarity to the issue. Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of God.

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MSAC Bible Challenge

Sunday: Psalm 26-31, Monday: Psalm 32-35, Tuesday: Psalm 36-39, Wednesday: Psalm 40-45,
Thursday: Psalm 46-50, Friday: Psalm 51-57, Saturday: Psalm 58-65, Sunday: Psalm 66-69