International Sunday School Lesson November 5, 2023
- Jerusalem Council
- This happened at least 10 years after Peter preached to the Gentiles
Acts 15:1 (ESV) But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
• Galatians 2:4-5 (ESV) Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—  to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
Sent to Jerusalem
Acts 15:2 (ESV) And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.
• There is debate that this is the same instance documented in Galatians 2.
Trip and Arrival
Acts 15:3-4 (ESV) So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.  When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.
• Matthew 10:40 (ESV) “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.
• 3 John 1:5-6 (ESV) Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are,  who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.
Acts 15:5-6 (ESV) But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”  The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.
• Hebrews 13:17 (ESV) Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
• Proverbs 15:22 (ESV) Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
Peter Recites History of Gentile Conversations
Acts 15:7-9 (ESV) And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.  And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us,  and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.
• Acts 10:44-47 (ESV) While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.  And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.  For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,  “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
Saved by Grace
Acts 15:10-11 (ESV) Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?  But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”
• John 20:31 (ESV) but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
• We are saved by Faith
• Come together when questions arise