biblestudy: Acts (Part Fifteen)

Acts 15 The Council of Jerusalem: Circumcision and Gentiles
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 27-Dec-88; Sermon #BS-AC15; 78 minutes

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Paul, who understands clearly that God alone calls, makes his initial contact with non-believers in public places (synagogue and forum), going later to private dwellings by invitation only. 'House to house' does not describe public evangelism. Chapter 15 focuses upon the Council of Jerusalem, discussing the controversial subject of circumcision and its relationship to salvation. Peter, speaking from his experience working among the Gentiles, realized that some aspects of the ceremonial laws (including circumcision) were not obligatory to Gentiles for salvation, but that the entire Law of God (given by Jesus Christ), far from done away, is to be kept in a more responsible spiritual sense (respecting the boundaries or constraints of conscience) by both Jews and Gentiles. It had become apparent to the apostles gathered at Jerusalem that God had made a parallel visitation and calling to the Gentiles as He had originally concluded with Israel. The new spiritual tabernacle (the Israel of God) would be composed of Gentiles as well as people of Israel.

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