Pristine Grace

Acts 15:1-41, (LITV)
1  And going down from Judea, some taught the brothers, saying, If you are not circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.
2  Then dissension and not a little disputation with them having taken place by Paul and Barnabas, they appointed Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up into Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this question.
3  Then, indeed, having been sent forward by the assembly they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, fully narrating the conversion of the nations. And they were producing great joy among all the brothers.
4  And having arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the assembly and the apostles and the elders. And they reported what things God did with them.
5  But some of those rose up from the sect of the Pharisees who had believed, saying, It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.
6  And the apostles and the elders were assembled to see about this matter.
7  And much disputation having occurred, rising up Peter said to them: Men, brothers, you recognize that from ancient days, God chose among us that through my mouth the nations should hear the Word of the gospel, and to believe.
8  And the heart-knowing God testified to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as also to us.
9  And He made distinction in nothing between both us and them, having purified their hearts by faith.
10  Now, then, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we had strength to bear?
11  But through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe to be saved, according to which manner they also believed.
12  And all the multitude kept silent and were hearing Barnabas and Paul recounting what things God did through them among the nations, even the miraculous signs and wonders.
13  And after they were silent, James responded, saying, Men, brothers, hear me:
14  Simon recounted how even as at first God oversaw to take a people out from among the nations for His name.
15  And with this agree the Words of the prophets, as it has been written,
16  After these things "I" will return and "will build again the tabernacle of David which has fallen," "and I will build again the things which have been demolished," and I will set it up, Amos 9:11, 12
17  so as the rest of men may seek the Lord, "even all the nations on whom My name has been called, says the Lord, who is doing all these things." Amos 9:11, 12
18  All His works are known to God from eternity.
19  For this reason I judge not to trouble those from the nations turning to God,
20  but to write to them to hold back from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and that strangled, and blood.
21  For in every city from ancient generations Moses has those proclaiming him, having been read in the synagogues on every sabbath.
22  Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with all the assembly, to send chosen men from them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, Judas having been surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers,
23  writing by their hand these things: The apostles and the elders and the brothers, to those throughout Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia, brothers from the nations: Greeting.
24  Since we heard that some of us having gone out have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, Be circumcised and keep the Law, to whom we gave no command;
25  it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to send chosen men to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26  men who have given up their souls on behalf of the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
27  Therefore, we have sent Judas and Silas, they by word also announcing the same things.
28  For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to put not one greater burden on you than these necessary things:
29  To hold back from idol sacrifices, and blood, and that strangled, and from fornication; from which continually keeping yourselves, you will do well. Be prospered.
30  Then they indeed being let go, they went to Antioch. And gathering the multitude, they delivered the letter.
31  And reading it, they rejoiced at the comfort.
32  And Judas and Silas, themselves also being prophets, exhorted the brothers through much speech, and confirmed them.
33  And continuing for a time, they were let go with peace from the brothers to the apostles.
34  But it seemed good to Silas to remain.
35  And Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and announcing the gospel, the Word of the Lord, with many others also.
36  And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, Indeed, having turned back, let us look after our brothers throughout every city in which we announced the Word of the Lord, how they are holding it.
37  But Barnabas purposed to take John with them, the one having been called Mark.
38  But Paul thought it well not to take that one with them, he having withdrawn from them from Pamphylia, and not going with them to the work.
39  Then there was sharp feeling, so as to separate them from each other. And taking Mark, Barnabas sailed away to Cyprus.
40  But having chosen Silas, Paul went out, being commended to the grace of God by the brothers.
41  And he went through Syria and Cilicia, making the assemblies strong.

John Gill Commentary

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