References to: Acts 9-16

Exploring the Book of Acts Chapter 16

The second missionary journey, continued (Acts 16)

Derbe and Lystra (16:1-2)

After his pastoral visit to the churches in Syria and Cilicia, Paul travels to the city of Derbe. His first trip to this and other cities in Galatia was discussed in 14:6-21. After his activities in Derbe are completed (Luke gives no details), Paul takes the northwest road to Lystra. Again, Luke says nothing about what Paul does in the city. Luke’s main interest here is to show how Timothy becomes Paul’s associate.

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Exploring the Book of Acts Chapter 15

The Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15)

“Certain people came down” (15:1)

While Paul and Barnabas are teaching at Antioch, some people come from Judea and demand that the Gentiles should become practicing Jews before being regarded as real believers. Luke summarizes their claim in a sentence: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved” (15:1).

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Exploring the Book of Acts Chapter 14

Chapter 14: Paul Takes the Gospel to Asia Minor, Continued

Missionaries at Iconium (14:1-3)

Iconium (modern Konya) is the next city in which Paul and Barnabas carry on missionary work. The city is on the Sebaste Road about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east-southeast of Pisidian Antioch. Following their usual procedure, the two missionaries enter the Jewish synagogue to preach (14:1). Luke tells us that Paul and Barnabas speak so effectively that large numbers of Jews and Gentiles believe the gospel.

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Exploring the Book of Acts Chapter 12

Peter Freed From Prison (Acts 12)

About this time (12:1)

Luke next turns his attention to an important episode of persecution against the Jerusalem church, which results in one item of sad news, and another of joy. He relates the death of the apostle James (the brother of John) (12:2), Peter’s arrest and miraculous escape from prison (12:3-19), and the death of Herod (12:19-23). As we shall see, the three events form one unit with a special message for readers.

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Exploring the Book of Acts Chapter 11

The Gospel Goes to Gentiles, Part 2 (Acts 11)

The Gentile challenge

The conversion of Cornelius is a milestone in the church’s history. However, it doesn’t settle the troubling issues of the proper relationship of Jews to Gentiles within the body of believers. In fact, the church throughout Judea is soon buzzing with the tale that Peter met with and baptized Cornelius. Luke writes of the controversy: “The apostles and believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.

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Exploring the Book of Acts Chapter 10

The Gospel Goes to Cornelius, a Gentile (Acts 10:1-11:18)
Part 1: Chapter 10

The Gentile challenge

Luke now begins to tell the story of a fundamental turning point in the history of the early church. For the first time Gentiles will be directly evangelized and admitted into fellowship with Jewish Christians. As a result, the church will not remain just an offshoot of an ethnic religion (Judaism). It will become a universal body embracing people from every nation and race.

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Exploring the Book of Acts Chapter 9

The conversion of Paul (Acts 9)

Persecution threatened in other cities (9:1-2)

Luke’s account now switches to describe the conversion of Paul, who will dominate the rest of Acts. While making Paul the focus of his interest, Luke never loses sight of the fact that the Holy Spirit, and hence God, is the true center of his story.

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Decree of the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) Part 2: The Decree's Purpose

The Four Requirements

The decree told gentile Christians to abstain from four things.15 Minor variations occur in order and number (15:20, 29; 21:25); these variations suggest that order and number are not significant. The four prohibitions:

1) Pollutions of idols (15:20) or things sacrificed to idols (15:29; 21:25). Wilson notes that "pollutions" could have either a religious sense or a reference to morality.16 All four prohibitions may be described as pollutions, as ritual uncleanness.17

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Christians and the Law of Moses: A Study of Acts 15

Acts 15 describes the most important meeting the early church had. The future of the church was at stake—was it to be a Jewish group, or would it allow Gentiles?

If Gentiles could enter the church without following Jewish laws, the church would attract more Gentiles, and eventually Gentiles would be the majority. The church would no longer be a sect of Judaism, but a distinct faith. Let’s see how the council of Jerusalem developed.

By: 

Michael Morrison
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