College Notes
The Acts
Chapter 15

Council at Jerusalem (15:1-35)

Problem (15:1-5)

Doctrine of circumcision essential to Jewish heritage.

vs. 1
"certain men" means certain members of Church -- possibly ministers.

vs. 2
Ministers gathered at Jerusalem to discuss matter.

vs. 3
"Brought on their way" -- trip was paid by Church.

vs. 4 - 5
Jerusalem Conference -- 1st in Church history, 49 A.D.  Cultures are changed very slowly.

Note:  The Church was in transition at this time.  Many were still offering sacrifices at the Temple and there were many Priests who believed. They were still keeping the Jewish laws, sacrifices, washings and all of the various rituals. It would be natural for many of them to expect new converts to be circumcised.

Peter's Decision (15:6-11)

vs. 7

Note:  Teaching change.  Originally thought James, Lord's brother, was leader of Church in making doctrine.  Why?  Because, here in chapter 15 is an example.

vs. 9 - 10
Point:  Israel's carnality brought on the sacrifices, etc. to remind them of their relationship with God.

Was a yoke to remind them of sin.

Was not until the golden calf that God introduced these various sacrifices.

vs. 11
Jew and Gentile alike through grace from God.

James' Statement (15:12-21)

vs. 13
James, Lord's brother speaks.

vs. 20
Example of problems that Gentiles had, but circumcision was still main subject.

Note:  Ordinances kept "forever" which means so long as factors exist.

Israel becomes spiritual nation and circumcision becomes a spiritual subject, i.e. of the heart. 

Marriage binding "forever..."

vs. 21
Sabbath day not done away.

Point:  Things do not come all at one time.  Circumcision took nearly 18 years to be resolved.

Letters (15:22-35)

vs. 23
Antioch:  strong center (HQ) for Gentile Churches. 

3rd largest city -- trading center.

vs. 24
Were part of Church (converted) and zealous for wrong cause.

vs. 28 - 29
It was mandatory for any Gentile to keep these basic tenants of the law in order to live among the Jewish community and not offend them.

vs. 32
Judas and Silas = prophets.

Two types of prophesying:

  1. Inspired teaching.
  2. Foretelling future. 

Subject:  Meat to idols.  

  1. Grew in knowledge
  2. As part of ceremony; not good; take away
  3. Rule:  Don't eat meat sacrificed to idols.

Acts of The Apostles (15:36-18:22)
Second Evangelistic Tour 

Disagreement (15:36 - 40)

vs. 38
Note: John Mark for some unknown reason did not continue in the first missionary journey. Thus Paul and Barnabas split up! This was not a split in the church just a disagreement in administration. Barnabas did not refuse what Paul wanted done. They did go back and visit the churches. They reached a mutual agreement so that the work could be done. It was a “win- win situation.”

Note:  Same one who wrote gospel of Mark.

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