Week of July 8 Day 4

Day 4 Read: Acts 15:1-5

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.[a] 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.”

Reflect: According to verses 1-2, Paul disagreed sharply with the rule-imposing Jews. What was the main issue as Paul saw it?

Consider: “and when there arose a debate and questioning”-- ‘Staseos’ does not necessarily imply angry dissension, but only a division. The members of the Church took opposite sides in the matter. [1]

Respond: Why might the well-meaning Jews have wanted to impose a set of rules on new believers? If you were one of the Gentiles who heard the new rules you were supposed to follow, how would you feel about your new faith?

 

[1] J. Rawson Lumby, The Acts of the Apostles, Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1891), 270.