Acts 15:1-11 – October 1, 2006

November 23, 2006 at 7:20 pm Leave a comment

A CONTROVERSY OVER DOCTRINE BOILS OVER – PART 1  (verses 1-11)

This is right after the completion of the first missionary trip of Paul. So obviously there is not a map for this study.

Q1) In verse 1, we see that circumcision is trying to be added to the Gospel in order to be saved. What are some things that have been added to the Gospel throughout the years and why does this happen?

Q1 Answer) There are many answers on this so read the ensuing discussion.

We talked at length about this and how throughout the centuries things have been added to being saved in order to contact Jesus. Most of these things that were mentioned (such as going through a priest for confession of sins, water baptism, being part of a church, doing works, etc.) actually is a slap in the face of Jesus. When He hung on the cross, He said that it is finished. There is nothing that mortal man can add to salvation. It is a free gift from God. You never add anything to a gift that you are given.

Most of the items that are added to salvation is for exclusiveness, power, control, or jealousy. These things are very contradictory to what Jesus stands for.

Q2) According to verse 2, did Paul and Barnabas take this new teaching lightly? Why or why not?

Q2 Answer) No they did not take this new teaching lightly.

Paul and Barnabas wanted what Jesus taught and not what man added to the mixture. They had a righteous jealousy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and wanted to keep it in it’s purest form and not add lots of man made rules to it, like they had seen happen to the Jewish faith.

Q3) In verse 3, en route to Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas stop by Phoenicia and Samaria. Do they try to garner support for their side on this new teaching at these two stops?

Q3 Answer) No they do not try to garner support.

We talked about this in how they did not try to let it slip out what was being taught at Antioch of Syria and how it was wrong and not to be like these people. No, instead they taught the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ. They did not sway people into their thinking on this controversy but instead they held their tongues. This is a huge lesson that many Christians in America need to learn how to do.

Q4) Study verse 5 along with II Corinthians 5:17. What did the sect of Pharisees not understand about being a Christian?

Q4 Answer) That our old life and old way of thinking is no longer valid.

Remember that circumcision was an outward sign that God instituted in the Old Testament that the Jewish people were set apart from all other people. This was for the Jewish people to be wholly consecrated unto God. After Jesus died, was buried, then resurrected, He instituted a new sign that there would be a circumcision of the heart and that all of the old things of a person’s life before they became saved were done with. They would become a new creation in Jesus.

Q5) After reading verse 6, do you think that the apostles and elders were looking to do a quick resolution to this problem? Why or why not?

Q5 Answer) No they were not looking for a quick resolution.

They were looking for a resolution that all future generations could understand and one that would not lay a burden upon people. That was what they saw in the Pharisees and Jewish leaders and they knew that most of the Pharisees hearts were far from God. They did not want this to happen to any Christian.

Q6) What does verse 10 mean?

Q6 Answer) Not to put a yoke on anyone.

What was trying to be instituted was a burden that neither the disciples nor their fathers could bear, so why would it be wise to put this yoke upon new converts. Also, we need to be aware of some history. Many of the Gentiles of the region remembered the stories of how Jacob’s sons used circumcision to their advantage to have the members of a rival kingdom circumcised and then a couple of days later the defeated that kingdom in war. This might have been a fear that grew in the minds of the Gentiles as they heard that circumcision was to be a part of salvation.

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Entry filed under: Time in the Word.

Acts 14:14-28 – September 24, 2006 Acts 15:12-21 – October 8, 2006

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