What is Church? – What must I do to be saved?- Acts 15

What is Church? – What must I do to be saved?- Acts 15

Acts 15

Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and
were teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised,
according to the custom taught by Moses,
you cannot be saved.” 2This brought Paul and Barnabas
into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and
Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers,
to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders
about this question. 3The church sent them on
their way, and as they travelled through Phoenicia and
Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted.
This news made all the brothers very glad. 4When
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.
5Then some of the believers who belonged to the
party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles
must be circumcised and required to obey the law of
Moses.”
6The apostles and elders met to consider this question.
7After 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.
8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted
them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he
did to us. 9He made no distinction between us and
them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then,
why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of
the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have
been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the                                                                                                    grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they
are.”
12The whole assembly became silent as they listened
to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs
and wonders God had done among the Gentiles
through them. 13When they finished, James spoke up:
“Brothers, listen to me. 14Simon a has described to us
how God at first showed his concern by taking from the
Gentiles a people for himself. 15The 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 remnant of men may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things’
18 that have been known for ages.
19“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not
make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to
God. 20Instead 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. 21For Moses has been preached in every city
from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues
on every Sabbath.”
The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers
22Then the apostles and elders, with the whole
church decided to choose some of their own men and
send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They
chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who
were leaders among the brothers. 23With them they
sent the following letter:
The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
Greetings.
24We have heard that some went out from us
without our authorization and disturbed you,
troubling your minds by what they said. 25So we all
agreed to choose some men and send them to you
with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26men
who have risked their lives for the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ. 27Therefore we are sending Judas
and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we
are writing. 28It seemed good to the Holy Spirit
and to us not to burden you with anything beyond
the following requirements: 29You are to abstain
from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the
meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.
You will do well to avoid these things.
Farewell.
30The men were sent off and went down to Antioch,
where they gathered the church together and delivered
the letter. 31The people read it and were glad for its encouraging
message. 32Judas and Silas, who themselves
were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen
the brothers. 33After spending some time there, they
were sent off by the brothers with the blessing of peace
to return to those who had sent them. 35But Paul and
Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many
others taught and preached the word of the Lord.
Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas
36Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go
back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we
preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.”
37Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark,
with them, 38but Paul did not think it wise to take him,
because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had
not continued with them in the work. 39They had such a
sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas
took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40but Paul chose
Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace
of the Lord. 41He went through Syria and Cilicia,
strengthening the churches.

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