Bible Stories for Adults
The Jerusalem Council
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
The Targets (Acts 11:18)
What responsibility did Jesus leave for the church and how extensive is it?
What would be the most difficult part of this for the early Christians?
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?
How did this change after Peter explained how God had intervened?
Was this a significant change in God's plan?
If the Scriptures had announced this, why didn't the Jews understand it?
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?
What did the central church in Jerusalem feel about the activities in Antioch?
What did Barnabas do when he found that the opportunity was too great for him to handle?
How was the love for others expressed by this church?
How did the outreach focus of this church in Antioch continue to grow?
What did Saul and Barnabas do after completing their journey?
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?
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?
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?
Since all have sinned, as Paul later explains, what circumcision is necessary?
So why did God have the Old Testament Jews undergo circumcision?
What had Jesus said about confusing God's old covenant with His new covenant?
What happened the moment Jesus died to emphasize that no people are to be cut off from God?
The Reaction (Acts 15:2-3)
How did Paul and Barnabas react to the Judaizers pushing for all Christians to be circumcised?
How concerned were they that the mother church in Jerusalem may actually feel this way?
What kind of proof did they bring with them?
How upsetting and distracting was this issue for Paul and Barnabas?
Did Paul & Barnabas raise the circumcision issue as soon as they reached the Jerusalem church?
Did the church leaders have any corrections for Paul's message and/or approach?
The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:5-12)
Who got the discussion moving on the circumcision issue?
Who reminded the council that God had made it clear that Gentiles were accepted as they are?
Did Peter now understand that God had made this new covenant apart from the law?
What other proof was given to the council besides the Cornelius story?
Why did they tell about the miracles they did and not just the people who became Christians?
Pastor Speaks (Acts 15:12-18)
With Peter busy as a local missionary, who had become the leader of the Jerusalem church?
Had he been aware of Paul's calling and work?
What did Pastor James think about what Peter, Paul and Barnabas were saying?
Did he feel this had always been part of God's plan?
The Decision (Acts 15:19-21)
What was Pastor James' conclusion from all of this evidence?
Did this mean that Christians were free to ignore God's law and act any way they wanted?
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)
Why is the blood not to be eaten?
Should these regulations apply only in towns where Jews are found?
The Letter (Acts 15:22-29)
How would the church tell the remote Christians this was their decision and not just Paul's?
What important statement did they make at the beginning of the letter?
How did they make it clear that Paul & Barnabas were on the right side?
What instructions did they have for the Gentile Christians?
The Response (Acts 15:30-36)
How was this letter accepted?
Did Judas and Silas leave as soon as the message had been given?
What did Paul and Barnabas do then?
Peter Has a Relapse (Galatians 2:11-21)
What happened during this time Paul spent in Antioch?
What did Paul have to oppose Peter to his face about?
What did Paul say to straighten Peter out?
Note: Galatians was written by Paul to counter problems spread by Judaizers
Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen
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