Day 131 - Acts 15

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
More serious trouble — not stonings and persecutions by outsiders, but bad teaching by leaders, professing to be believers. How serious this danger is! Today error is preached openly, and many believers seem to have no concern, and keep on in these associations. These teachers were insisting that unless the people at Antioch were circumcised, they couldn’t be saved! What would you have done had you been there? Would you say “Oh well, they should know what they are talking about, after all, we are not supposed to judge?” That is about what you are saying if you continue in association with those who allow things which the Scripture condemns.
V.2 Paul and Barnabas immediately protest, and a controversy follows. But the Spirit of God tells us in detail what they did to avoid it. There is no such a thing in the Scriptures as a voluntary association. The Spirit of God gathers us, we do not gather. Read Matt. 18:2020For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20) carefully, noticing “are gathered together” particularly. He decides whether He is in the midst, or not. We cannot decide.
V.2-5 It is decided that some should be sent to Jerusalem to inquire there as to this teaching.
V.5 Notice the change in what these bad teachers were saying they hide their teaching by softer suggestions than what they had insisted on at Antioch.
V.6-22 Finally, the whole assembly, in the presence of the Lord Jesus, makes its decision.
V.23-25 The result was that all at Antioch received the decision with joy. There is always joy, peace and unity when we listen to the Lord.
V.36-41 Though a sad contention developed between Paul and Barnabas, it is worthwhile noticing that later Paul speaks of Barnabas (1 Cor. 9:6) and John Mark in Col. 4:1010Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) (Colossians 4:10) and 2 Tim. 4:11. But the assembly puts its commendation on Paul, and we hear nothing further of the work of Barnabas.