Bible Stories for Adults

The Jerusalem Council

Acts 15

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

Opening Prayer

The Targets (Acts 11:18)
    What responsibility did Jesus leave for the church and how extensive is it?
      Matthew 28:19
    What would be the most difficult part of this for the early Christians?
      Acts 10:28a
    Why was this so hard?
      Ezra 9:1a, 3, 6, 10-14

    How was the church pushed when they had not gone to other nations 11 years after Pentecost?
      Acts 11:4-5, 9-10
    How did the church react to Peter taking the gospel to Cornelius, a Roman centurion?
      Acts 11:1-3
    How did this change after Peter explained how God had intervened?
      Acts 11:18

    Was this a significant change in God's plan?
      Galatians 3:8
    If the Scriptures had announced this, why didn't the Jews understand it?
      Ephesians 3:4-6
    What is one of Paul's many ways of summarizing this important truth?
      Romans 3:21-24, 29-30

First Steps (Acts 11:19-14:28)
    With this new understanding, did the church make a massive effort to evangelize the Gentiles?
      Acts 11:19-21
    What did the central church in Jerusalem feel about the activities in Antioch?
      Acts 11:22-24
    What did Barnabas do when he found that the opportunity was too great for him to handle?
      Acts 11:25-26

    How was the love for others expressed by this church?
      Acts 11:27-30
    How did the outreach focus of this church in Antioch continue to grow?
      Acts 13:2-3
    What did Saul and Barnabas do after completing their journey?
      Acts 14:26-28

I Heard it on the Grapevine (Acts 13:13)
    How might the Christians in Jerusalem have heard about Paul's successes with Gentiles?
      Acts 12:25; 13:4-5, 13
    Why did John Mark go to Jerusalem when he left?
      Acts 12:5, 7, 12

Entrance Exam (Acts 15:1)
    Did the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem accept all of these new Gentile Christians?
      Acts 15:1
    Why did the Jewish Christians feel circumcision was essential to be saved?
      Genesis 17:10, 14
    But wasn't circumcision just for Jews? Were Gentiles also to be circumcised?
      Exodus 12:48
    Circumcise means to cut off, to separate

Real Circumcision (Romans 2:25-29)
    Did Paul, raised as a law-studied Pharisee, agree with this need for circumcision?
      Romans 2:25-27
    Since all have sinned, as Paul later explains, what circumcision is necessary?
      Romans 2:28-29
    So why did God have the Old Testament Jews undergo circumcision?
      Romans 4:9-13

    What had Jesus said about confusing God's old covenant with His new covenant?
      Luke 5:36-39
    What happened the moment Jesus died to emphasize that no people are to be cut off from God?
      Luke 23:44-46

The Reaction (Acts 15:2-3)
    How did Paul and Barnabas react to the Judaizers pushing for all Christians to be circumcised?
      Galatians 2:4-5
    How concerned were they that the mother church in Jerusalem may actually feel this way?
      Acts 15:2
    What kind of proof did they bring with them?
      Galatians 2:1-3
    How upsetting and distracting was this issue for Paul and Barnabas?
      Acts 15:3

    Did Paul & Barnabas raise the circumcision issue as soon as they reached the Jerusalem church?
      Acts 15:4
    Did the church leaders have any corrections for Paul's message and/or approach?
      Galatians 2:6-10

The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:5-12)
    Who got the discussion moving on the circumcision issue?
      Acts 15:5-6
    Who reminded the council that God had made it clear that Gentiles were accepted as they are?
      Acts 15:7-9
    Did Peter now understand that God had made this new covenant apart from the law?
      Acts 15:10-11

    What other proof was given to the council besides the Cornelius story?
      Acts 15:12
    Why did they tell about the miracles they did and not just the people who became Christians?
      Mark 16:20

Pastor Speaks (Acts 15:12-18)
    With Peter busy as a local missionary, who had become the leader of the Jerusalem church?
      Acts 12:16-17
    Had he been aware of Paul's calling and work?
      Galatians 1:18-19
    What did Pastor James think about what Peter, Paul and Barnabas were saying?
      Acts 15:13-14
    Did he feel this had always been part of God's plan?
      Acts 15:15-18

The Decision (Acts 15:19-21)
    What was Pastor James' conclusion from all of this evidence?
      Acts 15:19
    Did this mean that Christians were free to ignore God's law and act any way they wanted?
      Acts 15:20
    What did Paul think about telling the Gentiles they had to avoid sin?
      Romans 6:15-16, 22-23

    Why was food that had been offered to idols prohibited?
      1 Corinthians 8:4, 7-13
    Why was sexual immorality singled out among all other sins?
      1 Corinthians 6:18-20
    Why the command against eating meat with blood in it? (Strangling does not drain the blood)
      Genesis 9:3-4
    Why is the blood not to be eaten?
      Leviticus 17:10-11

    Should these regulations apply only in towns where Jews are found?
      Acts 15:21

The Letter (Acts 15:22-29)
    How would the church tell the remote Christians this was their decision and not just Paul's?
      Acts 15:22
    What important statement did they make at the beginning of the letter?
      Acts 15:23-24
    How did they make it clear that Paul & Barnabas were on the right side?
      Acts 15:25-27
    What instructions did they have for the Gentile Christians?
      Acts 15:28-29

The Response (Acts 15:30-36)
    How was this letter accepted?
      Acts 15:30-31
    Did Judas and Silas leave as soon as the message had been given?
      Acts 15:32-34
    What did Paul and Barnabas do then?
      Acts 15:35-36

Peter Has a Relapse (Galatians 2:11-21)
    What happened during this time Paul spent in Antioch?
      Galatians 2:11
    What did Paul have to oppose Peter to his face about?
      Galatians 2:12-13
    What did Paul say to straighten Peter out?
      Galatians 2:14-21
    Note: Galatians was written by Paul to counter problems spread by Judaizers

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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