Acts 15:1–5 (ESV)
The Jerusalem Council
15 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.” 2 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. 3 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. 4 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. 5 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.”
This section of readings will be broken out in to different parts. This is a big issue and needs to be set up.
The question is whether or not you must be circumcised before you can become a Christian. The group requiring circumcision are know as the “Judaizers.” They taught that faith in Christ is insufficient, that you must keep the Law of
Moses and be circumcised. This ties back to God’s command for circumcision in Genesis in the covenant established with Abraham. The Jewish Christians were teaching you must first be circumcised, thus becoming a Jew, before you can become
a Christian. The Christians are arguing that you do not need to be circumcision, but it is based on faith alone. Well, there is going to be a big face-off. Paul and Barnabas are sent to Jerusalem to settle this issue. Jerusalem is the
“Mother Church” and they will meet with the council. This is known as the First Ecumenical Council of the Church. This is an issue of “doctrine”.
I pray: O Lord, we
see many churches and denominations throwing doctrine out the window, but we know that doctrine is very important because it is base on you Word. Help us to never neglect doctrine, love, and faith. Help us to love and serve one another, but to
do it in a scripturally correct way. We see scripture be thrown out by the world and many denominations. Help us to stay true to your word. Amen.