Acts 15:22–35 (ESV)
The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers
22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers,
23 with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you with words,
unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 that you abstain from what has been
sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”
30 So when they were sent off, they
went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the
brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
Because of the longer reading today, I will keep it brief. In today’s reading, the Jerusalem Council sends back it’s response with a delegation of church leaders. The Jerusalem Council resolved
the critical issue of who God’s chosen people are and affirmed that Jews and Gentiles are saved by grace alone. Obedience to the Law is a burden or yoke no one can bear, neither Jew nor Gentile. In the letter, they Council points at living by the
law, but we are not saved by the law, but by grace. As a Gentile, I am comforted that we are saved by Grace Alone, a point that Luther rallied behind.
I pray: O Lord, your Gospel message is easy,
we are saved by Grace alone. Help me to not confuse this and switch it back to the law… which is impossible to keep. You are my Lord and Savior. Amen.