Zoom Bible Study Classes – 6 December 2023, at 07:00 PM EDST
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Bible Study with Rev Charles Franklin instructing

Book of Acts Chapter 15 notes (Paul’s Ministry)

Trouble in Antioch.

Verses 1-2;  After the completion of their first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas were enjoying being home in Antioch.  But low and behold trouble arose from Judea by way of some Christ believers that were members of the Pharisee party. They insisted that any new gentile converts must walk as the Jews walk.  That is, they must be circumcised and keep all the Law of Moses.

Verses 3-5;  Paul and Barnabas strongly disagreed with this doctrine.  The Elders at Antioch agreed with Paul and appointed he and Barnabas (along with Judas and Silas) to go to Jerusalem to settle the matter.  The Jews followed and met up with them in Jerusalem with their argument.

The council at Jerusalem    

Verses 6-11;  It is Peter that stands in Jerusalem and makes the primary argument that God does not hold the Gentiles to the mandates of the Mosaic Covenant. Peter’s main point is that God then looked on compliance.  But now God looks on the heart.  And that the Gentiles were saved by Grace through Faith the same as they were.        

Verses 12-18;  Then Paul and Barnabus came before the council in Jerusalem with testimony of how God had moved among the Gentiles on their journey.  And emphasizing that at no time did the Holy Spirit move them to teach the mandates of the Torah.  In confirming Peter’s testimony, James quotes Amos 9: 11-12; as the Prophet states that God would cause the Gentiles to bear His Name.  

Verses 19-22;  Then James made a recommendation of critical items that the Gentiles should adhere to and the council unanimously adopts them and prepares a letter to all Gentile Churches for their instruction and guidance.  Verses 23-29 is a copy of the letter.

The Return to Antioch and the beginning of the Second Missionary Journey.

Verses 30-35;  Initially, they returned to Antioch with the letter from Jerusalem with the judgement of the issue create by the Jewish believers. It was a positive reception of the instructions by the Antioch Saints.  Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas stayed in Antioch for a while strengthening the Saints with words of encouragement.

Verses 36-41;  But some time later, Paul was moved to go back and check on the progress of the Churches they had started. But a disagreement arose over John Mark whereas Paul did bot want to bring him along, while Barnabas did. Their agreement was so sharp it took separation to resolve it. Paul took Silas, while Barnabas took Mark.  One group went to Cypress and the other went to Syria.  Both did God’s work and that was strengthening the churches as they traveled.