Act 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, [and said], Except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.

Act 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. COMMENT: Paul and Barnabas had just ordained elders in the churches and now their authority was challenged.

Act 15:3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. COMMENT: The Church brought the two apostles on their way. They paid for the expenses of their journey. We hear of this taking place without any report of fund raisers or collection plates.

Act 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and [of] the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. COMMENT:

Act 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command [them] to keep the law of Moses. COMMENT: The theological revolt spread to Jerusalem where it was demanded of the Gentiles to keep the law of Moses as well as suffer circumcision. This certainly must have seemed righteous to the theologians. They were believers who were not occupied in seeking the Lord continually in prayers and fastings like the Apostles, but desiring to rule over the holy Revolution, they had time for a theological dispute. The Apostles and holy men with them were more concerned with the perfect will of God and were mindful of how difficult it would be to manage the New Testament Church were they suddenly responsible for teaching the law of Moses besides the work they were already doing to bring God's people into spritual mindedness.

Fortunately for the Gentiles, this was an issue God wanted settled while the Apostles were alive and in authority over all the churches.

Act 15:6 And the Apostles and Elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, "Men, brethren, you know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the Word of the gospel, and believe.

Act 15:8 "And God, which knows the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as [he did] unto us;

Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Act 15:10 Now therefore why tempt God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? COMMENT: We hear a strange confession from the great Apostle Prophet, Saint Peter who admits he was unable to bear the law of Moses; yet he has become as great a supernatural man as any prophet in the history of Israel under the teachings and guidance of Jesus Christ. Peter goes on to say:

Act 15:11 "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. COMMENT: The Scriptures also emphasize living by grace as long as we do so by faith, for..."IT IS BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH THAT WE ARE SAVED, AND THAT NOT OF OURSELVES; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD."

Act 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

Act 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men [and] brethren, hearken unto me:

Act 15:14 Simeon has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

Act 15:15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

Act 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

Act 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, says the Lord, who does all these things.

Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Act 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: COMMENT: Were the law of Moses put on the Gentiles, we would have been troubled in keeping it.

Act 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and [from] fornication, and [from] things strangled, and [from] blood.

Act 15:21 For Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.

Act 15:22 Then pleased it the Apostles and Elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; [namely], Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

Act 15:23 And they wrote [letters] by them after this manner; The Apostles and Elders and brethren [send] greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

Act 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [You must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:

Act 15:25/26 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. COMMENT: The Apostles in Jerusalem were wise to reaffirm the authority of Paul and Barnabus with the churches they were returning to where the issue had been raised and where Paul and Barnabus had already taken a strong stand against it, though they said nothing in Jerusalem but let the others come to the same conclusion.

Act 15:27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell [you] the same things by mouth. COMMENT: It was more believable to send Judas and Silas and a strong recommendation in behalf of Paul and Barnabus to affirm the faith of the churches in the two Apostles.

Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; COMMENT: Here they confirm their message is not only of their own selves but of the Holy Ghost who confirmed it to them in the Spirit. Instead of putting the Gentile believers under the law of Moses, the Apostles chose to offer good counsel that would help us do well, saying...

Act 15:29 "That you abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if you keep yourselves, you shall do well. Fare you well."

Act 15:30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the Epistle:

Act 15:31 [Which] when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

Act 15:32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed [them].

Act 15:33 And after they had tarried [there] a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the Apostles. COMMENT: In the Didache we are told a prophet is not to tarry more than a few days before moving on.

Act 15:34 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.

Act 15:35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Act 15:36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, [and see] how they do. COMMENT: So begins THE SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY OF SAINT PAUL.

Act 15:37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Act 15:38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.

Act 15:39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

Act 15:40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. COMMENT: Now we find out why Silas, the Prophet remained behind a little longer. He would companion with Saint Paul on THE SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY.

Act 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.