Having dispatched representatives along with Barnabas and Paul, the believers received the short letter we read in vv.23-29:
“From the apostles and elders, your brothers, to the Gentile brothers and sisters in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, greetings! Since we have heard that some have gone out from among us with no orders from us and have confused you, upsetting your minds by what they said, we have unanimously decided to choose men to send to you along with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas who will tell you these things themselves in person.For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules: that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what has been strangled and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from doing these things,you will do well. Farewell.”
(Acts 15.23-29, NET)
The letter, essentially, corrects the false teaching that was going around (v.24). The letter and those who deliver it will reaffirm the message that Jesus + nothing else = everything (15.11). Rather than leave the believers in other areas to get on with things by themselves, those who are more established and mature in the faith (v.23a) take action to help and to guide those who are newer (vv.25-26).
Their main concern was that the new believers take their new life seriously and, simply, take life seriously, period (vv.28-29). By staying away from pagan practices and cultures, by refusing sexual immorality, and by understanding that blood is the essence of life (Leviticus 17.11), the believers in Antioch, Syria, and Celicia would demonstrate that they understand that they have been valued, purchased, and redeemed solely by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The same is true for you and for me. Believing in Jesus doesn’t come with a strict set of rules and regulations, rather the exhortation and encouragement to live out Scriptural truths through the decisions we make. There is no burden to keep a myriad of rules perfectly to show that we are good enough. Jesus is good enough and He gave His life for yours. Our task now is to live out this truth.
3 thoughts on “Acts 15.23-29”
‘ Jesus is good enough and He gave His life for yours. Our task now is to live out this truth.’ Thank you, Pastor James.
Jesus + nothing else = everything… what to add to this??
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