The Jerusalem Council, part two, Acts 15:12-21


The Jerusalem Council, part two

Acts 15:12-21

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer

4     Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.

  1. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  2. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  3. Peter recounts the Holy Spirit being given to Cornelius,

a Gentile, who was saved in the same manner they were.

  1. Silence came upon the church at Jerusalem. Then Paul

and Barnabas speak of the conversion of Gentiles also.

  1. James, the half brother of Jesus, who has risen to a place

of authority in the Jerusalem Church, makes a statement.

  1. James, referencing Peter (Simeon), admits that God has

visited the Gentiles, a truly revolutionary understanding.

  1. James quotes Amos 9:11-12 which talks about “Gentiles

who are called by my name.” The prophet Amos points to

the inclusion of Gentiles into the family of God.

  1. James then makes a judgment, based apparently on what the

church is coming to acknowledge, that Gentiles will be

welcomed in, but with certain considerations to be met.

  1. Gentiles are not to be troubled but a letter should be written

that outlines four things they should abstain from: one, things

polluted by idols; two, sexual immorality; three, what has been

strangled; four, blood.

  1. His reasoning is that from ancient times Moses, the Law of

Moses, is read every Sabbath in synagogues.

  1. Commentators think the reason for this is that Jews and Gentiles

might then be able to have fellowship together and there not be a

separate “branch” of Christianity.

  1. The meanings of the four items mentioned by James are not

easily interpreted or understood.


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