The church sent Paul and Barnabas on their way; as they travelled they shared the news of the conversion of the Gentiles, which brought joy to the believers.
At Jerusalem, some Pharisee believers wanted the Gentiles to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses.
Peter however set them straight, by pointing out that God had already purified the hearts of the Gentiles by faith and has given them the Holy Spirit, hence they have been saved through grace just like everyone else.
Barnabas and Paul went on to tell of the signs and wonders God did amongst the Gentiles through them, this prompted James’ address to the assembly. James told of how God chose a people for Himself among the Gentiles so fellow believers should accept them rather than make things difficult for them. He however wrote a letter to guide them in their Christian journey..
We at times feel that those who do not act just as we do are doing wrong.
It is important to know that as long as we act based on the word of God, the message is crucial but many dwell on legalism.
Where some believe that there is no other way to speak to God than kneeling to pray, others believe one can stand or sit. The most important thing is that God listens either way.
Let not condemnation be found in our midst, but let the love of Christ whom we preach rule our hearts and judgement.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight dear Lord.
Reading – Acts 15:3-21
3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon[a] has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
16 “‘After this I will return
and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
and I will restore it,
17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things’[b]—
18 things known from long ago.[c]
19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
- Acts 15:14 Greek Simeon, a variant of Simon; that is, Peter
- Acts 15:17 Amos 9:11,12 (see Septuagint)
- Acts 15:18 Some manuscripts things’— / 18 the Lord’s work is known to him from long ago