Bible: Acts 15:1-29

The Jerusalem Council

15:1 Now some men came down from Judea 1  and began to teach the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised 2  according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 15:2 When Paul and Barnabas had a major argument and debate 3  with them, the church 4  appointed Paul and Barnabas and some others from among them to go up to meet with 5  the apostles and elders in Jerusalem 6  about this point of disagreement. 7  15:3 So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia 8  and Samaria, they were relating at length 9  the conversion of the Gentiles and bringing great joy 10  to all the brothers. 15:4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received 11  by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported 12  all the things God had done with them. 13  15:5 But some from the religious party of the Pharisees 14  who had believed stood up and said, “It is necessary 15  to circumcise the Gentiles 16  and to order them to observe 17  the law of Moses.”

15:6 Both the apostles and the elders met together to deliberate 18  about this matter. 15:7 After there had been much debate, 19  Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that some time ago 20  God chose 21  me to preach to the Gentiles so they would hear the message 22  of the gospel 23  and believe. 24  15:8 And God, who knows the heart, 25  has testified 26  to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 27  15:9 and he made no distinction 28  between them and us, cleansing 29  their hearts by faith. 15:10 So now why are you putting God to the test 30  by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke 31  that neither our ancestors 32  nor we have been able to bear? 15:11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through 33  the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.” 34 

15:12 The whole group kept quiet 35  and listened to Barnabas and Paul while they explained all the miraculous signs 36  and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 15:13 After they stopped speaking, 37  James replied, 38 Brothers, listen to me. 15:14 Simeon 39  has explained 40  how God first concerned himself 41  to select 42  from among the Gentiles 43  a people for his name. 15:15 The 44  words of the prophets agree 45  with this, as it is written,

15:16After this 46  I 47  will return,

and I will rebuild the fallen tent 48  of David;

I will rebuild its ruins and restore 49  it,

15:17 so that the rest of humanity 50  may seek the Lord,

namely, 51  all the Gentiles 52  I have called to be my own,’ 53  says the Lord, 54  who makes these things 15:18 known 55  from long ago. 56 

15:19Therefore I conclude 57  that we should not cause extra difficulty 58  for those among the Gentiles 59  who are turning to God, 15:20 but that we should write them a letter 60  telling them to abstain 61  from things defiled 62  by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled 63  and from blood. 15:21 For Moses has had those who proclaim him in every town from ancient times, 64  because he is read aloud 65  in the synagogues 66  every Sabbath.”

15:22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided 67  to send men chosen from among them, Judas called Barsabbas and Silas, 68  leaders among the brothers, to Antioch 69  with Paul and Barnabas. 15:23 They sent this letter with them: 70 

From the apostles 71  and elders, your brothers, 72  to the Gentile brothers and sisters 73  in Antioch, 74  Syria, 75  and Cilicia, greetings! 15:24 Since we have heard that some have gone out from among us with no orders from us and have confused 76  you, upsetting 77  your minds 78  by what they said, 79  15:25 we have unanimously 80  decided 81  to choose men to send to you along with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, 15:26 who 82  have risked their lives 83  for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 84  15:27 Therefore we are sending 85  Judas and Silas 86  who will tell you these things themselves in person. 87  15:28 For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us 88  not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules: 89  15:29 that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols 90  and from blood and from what has been strangled 91  and from sexual immorality. 92  If you keep yourselves from doing these things, 93  you will do well. Farewell. 94 

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