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The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers September 9, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,

Here are my thoughts on Acts 15:22-35.

Summary: In this passage, the apostles and elders in Jerusalem composed a letter to all Gentile believers where they stated their decision concerning the relationship between salvation and the Mosaic law (as described in the preceding passage). They assigned Judas and Silas to join Paul and Barnabas in delivering that letter to Antioch in Syria. The Gentile believers in Antioch – with much encouragement from Judas and Silas – responded positively to the apostles’ decision. Paul and Barnabas continued to teach and encourage these Gentile believers.

Thoughts: Here, we see that the apostles and elders sent Judas and Silas to Antioch to reinforce the decision in their letter. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verse 32:

These two brothers were sent to confirm what the letter said and to add to it; otherwise, the apostles would not have sent such a short letter about such an important matter. Luke shows they had the gift of prophecy and edified the church generally…Luke means that they were endowed with an exceptional understanding of the mysteries of God, so that they were excellent interpreters of God.

I anticipate meeting Judas and Silas in the next life and learning more about them. How did they hear the Gospel message in the first place? Did they respond to the Gospel message with alacrity, or did they harbor doubts regarding its veracity? How did they assume leadership roles in the church in Jerusalem? What were their thoughts and emotions as they traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch with a letter of great import to the Gentile believers? Did the Holy Spirit enable them to anticipate the response of the Gentile believers to that letter?



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