Friday, January 20, 2012
Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…
Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 15 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…
15:1 – This was an elitist viewpoint presented by the Pharisees (see v. 5) that placed Jews above Gentiles.
see Galatians 2:1.
15:2 – Perhaps the issue couldn’t be resolved because the people now lacked confidence in the preachers. Enough doubt existed to send Paul and Barnabas back to Jerusalem for clarification. Still, the people agreed to resolve the issue by sending Paul and Barnabas. Seeking the opinion of the Jerusalem church promoted church unity rather than this church simply doing things their own way.
15:7 – Peter got up after much discussion. Enough was enough. Apparently, the discussion wasn’t progressing.
Peter declares his mission from God to preach to the Gentiles.
15:8 – Peter reminds the assembly that God gave the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles and the Jews.
15:9 – Peter states that God makes no distinction between Gentiles and Jews.
15:10 – Peter asks why the Gentiles should be held accountable for a religious obligation when even the Jews couldn’t live up to the law.
15:11 – Peter reminds the assembly that we are all saved by faith through the grace of Jesus Christ. He mentions that the Jews (we) were saved the same as the Gentiles (they), elevating the Gentiles’ salvation and demonstrating the teaching that we should consider others better than ourselves.
15:13-18 – Jesus’ half brother, James, was a skeptic while Jesus was alive. So, when James speaks, people listen.
15:14 – Simeon = Peter.
15:15 – Seek solutions that are consistent with the Word of God.
15:36-41 – Paul’s 2nd missionary journey.
See Colossians 4:10.
Barnabas and Mark were cousins.
• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?