Acts 15:23
and sent them with this letter: The apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings.
A Catholic PlatformActs 15:1-29
Christian LibertyM. C. Hazard.Acts 15:1-29
Church ControversyP. Schaff, D. D.Acts 15:1-29
ControversialistsJ. Thomas.Acts 15:1-29
Controversies, After Effects OfDean Stanley.Acts 15:1-29
Controversy Among ChristiansC. S. Robinson.Acts 15:1-29
Controversy, Frequently the Result of MisunderstandingJ. M. Buckley, D. D.Acts 15:1-29
Disturbers of the ChurchS. S. TimesActs 15:1-29
Essentials and Non-EssentialsActs 15:1-29
Law and GospelJ. Mason, M. A.Acts 15:1-29
The Assembly At JerusalemD. Fraser, D. D.Acts 15:1-29
The Assembly At Jerusalem: a ModelK. Gerok.Acts 15:1-29
The Assembly At Jerusalem: its ImportanceK. Gerok.Acts 15:1-29
The First Ecclesiastical CouncilD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 15:1-29
The First Ecclesiastical CouncilD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 15:1-29
The Gospel not a Matter for Controversy, But for UseC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 15:1-29
Times in Church HistoryK. Gerok.Acts 15:1-29
A Great DissensionP.C. Barker Acts 15:1-35
A Grave Crisis in the Kingdom of God: More LessonsW. Clarkson Acts 15:12-35
A Triumph of Spirituality and LibertyA. H. Bradford, D. D.Acts 15:13-29
The Decision of the CouncilJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 15:13-29
Decision of the Council At JerusalemE. Johnson Acts 15:22-29
A Life Hazarded for ChristActs 15:23-29
Christian Self-DevotionActs 15:23-29
Legal ChristiansH. W. Beecher.Acts 15:23-29
Life Hazarded in Christ's CauseJ. Sherman.Acts 15:23-29
Preference for the Spoken WordActs 15:23-29
The Apostolic LetterJ. Dowse.Acts 15:23-29
The Motto of Christian ServiceActs 15:23-29
The Spoken WordH. W. Beecher.Acts 15:23-29
The True MissionaryC. Stanford, D. D.Acts 15:23-29
The Yoke BrokenA. H. Currier.Acts 15:23-29
Two HeroesPreacher's AnalystActs 15:23-29

This, the first council of the Church, is generally considered an example for all times.


1. In the selection of emissaries. It had reference partly to the Churches, partly to Paul and Barnabas. The Churches were assured that the emissaries were not delivering their own private opinion, but the deliberate judgment of the Church. And the apostles had the legitimacy and purity of their office sealed by the highest Church authority.

II. AN EXAMPLE OF BROTHERLY LOVE AND WISDOM. Without the taking of some such step, the Judaizers in Antioch and elsewhere would remain unchecked, and left to pursue their disturbing and factious intrigues. And by this step a new bond of sympathy and affection was established between Jew and Gentile, between Jerusalem and the world.

III. AN EXAMPLE OF INSPIRED ACTION. "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us." The words may be abused or used with genuine devout feeling. The Holy Spirit is the Source of light and wisdom in the mind - the Judge and Decider in spiritual things. The conclusion of a matter, discussed by the faithful in the light of the Holy Spirit, may justly be looked upon as the decision of the Holy Spirit. The whole stamp of the message is spiritual, impressive, full of Christian piety and love. Its closing word, promising blessing on the conditions laid down, is far better than a threat of pains on disobedience would have been. The Christian "Farewell!" contains not only the wish for a brother's happiness, but that he may abide in Christ, and walk as he walked in the world. - J.

And they wrote letters.
1. A model of brotherly love and Divine wisdom.

2. A pattern for the modern Church.

3. A great standing deliverance from all ceremonial and ritualistic observances.Improvement —

(1)Be not narrow-minded.

(2)Trust in Christ and not ordinances.

(J. Dowse.)

I. THE RELATION OF CHRISTIANITY TO JUDAISM. The decision was an admission that the Jewish ordinances were not permanent or essential. That old system had only "a shadow of good things to come." It educated for the gospel, and having accomplished this its work really ended. The gospel succeeded. Christ was declared to be the end of the law to everyone that believeth; and the apostle to the Gentiles said, "He is not a Jew which is one outwardly," but "We are the circumcision which worship God," etc. To insist on the continued obligation of the Mosaic customs would be like drilling a reader in the alphabet. As well might the butterfly keep up its caterpillar existence — fly and crawl at the same time. For the Gentiles to practise the customs of the Old Law would be both irksome and also liable to lead to the error that salvation was dependent on these observances. Against this danger Paul most carefully guarded. The epistles to the Romans and to the Galatians are the strong ramparts which were erected to oppose it.

II. THE TOLERANT SPIRIT OF CHRISTIANITY. It seems strange to have such an example in the infant Church, since toleration is usually the fruit of long experience. Even more surprising is it, when we consider the antecedents of the men who displayed it. They were Jews, of a most bigoted race. One of the hardest lessons for men to learn is to unlearn, and act contrary to early convictions. Though they themselves, through force of habit, continued to observe the national customs, they would not bind the Gentiles to do the same. It is strange that this decision should have been ever forgotten. The intolerance which has resulted from losing sight of it has been the disgrace of Christianity. The greatest names have been in fault here. As an old divine says, "Whilst we wrangle here in the dark, we are dying and passing to that world which will decide all controversies: the safest passage thither is by peaceable righteousness."

III. CHRISTIANITY, WHILE TOLERANT IN SPIRIT, HAS ITS SELF-DENIALS (ver. 29). If, after their conversion from heathenism to Christianity, they still continued to eat meat offered to idols, and to frequent the idolatrous feasts where it was served, they were more likely to relapse into their old heathen life. "Evil communications corrupt good manners." The same thing in effect has to be perpetually guarded against. The Christian of today must, for his own spiritual good, beware of certain worldly habits and indulgences, lest he go back to the world.

(A. H. Currier.)

Saying, ye must be circumcised and keep the law
Thousands and tens of thousands of Christians yet live in the dreary shadow of legalism. God is only Lawgiver and Judge to them; and their experience is limited, first, to self-condemnation and suffering, then to violent endeavours of the spirit, or of the body, or of both to throw off this suffering, with results, sometimes of exhaustion, and sometimes of unnatural peace, and then to reaction into moral indifference, arising from a totally unsatisfied heart and soul. There are thousands of persons who think that they are Christians because they are endeavouring to live aright, but they are Christians because they are endeavouring to live aright no more than a person is at home because he is trying to go there, though he does not know the way. A child that has lost its father's house, and that is striving to find it, is not at home, but is a wanderer; and the person that is simply endeavouring to live aright, and nothing more, and that when he measures his life by the law of God, as interpreted to him through his own conscience, is conscious of daily breaking that law in every direction, is no more a Christian than a wanderer is a child at home. For a Christian is one that has found his way home, and to the fatherhood of God, and not one that is merely seeking to do his duty. A Christian is a child under the parental roof, saying, "Abba, Father."

(H. W. Beecher.)

Our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
Preacher's Analyst.

1. The highest admiration for their Lord and Master.

2. An entire consecration to His service. We must honour Christ —

(1)From gratitude.

(2)From duty.

II. THE WORK THEY UNDERTOOK. "To proclaim the name," etc. This was —

1. An arduous duty.

2. A disagreeable toil.

3. A continuous self-sacrifice.


1. A reward of their magnanimity.

2. The approbation of God.

3. An immortal crown.


1. That there is something more precious than life or pleasure — Christ.

2. That however humble our sphere we may hope to accomplish something for our Lord and Master.

3. That whatever efforts we may make for our Master's glory shall be acknowledged and rewarded by God.

(Preacher's Analyst.)

During the American war with England, a young midshipman named Joel Abbot was serving under the United States flag. Winning the good opinion of the commander, he was put in the way of promotion by being commended to Macdonough, then controlling the forces on Lake Champlain. Reports were received that the English were accumulating a large supply of spars at Sorel. Could not the spars be destroyed? Who would undertake the task? Joel Abbot was sent for. Grimly the commander asked him if he were willing to die for his country. "Certainly, sir: that is what I came into the service for," was the prompt reply. Entrusted with the dangerous commission, Joel Abbot fulfilled it in the spirit of his words. The perils and privations of his exploit were so great, that although he came back alive, he was completely prostrate for a considerable time, and his recovery was slow. Later, a sword of honour was voted him for his gallantry. How is it with soldiers of the Great King — workers for Christ? The test word of this service is "Self-surrender for Christ."

A touching story is told as characteristic of the missionary spirit by a friendly writer in the Contemporary. Rev. John Robinson was suddenly summoned one day to the Leper asylum to baptise a dying convert. My friend went in fear and trembling, baptised the dying man, consoled him, and then was seized with a throe of mental agony. It is the custom of many missionaries on receiving a neophyte, especially if sick, to give him the kiss of peace. Mr. Robinson thought this his bounden duty, but he was himself a half-breed, and he was absolutely persuaded of the Indian theory that leprosy, though non-contagious in the case of a white man, is frightfully contagious in the case of one with native blood in his veins. He hesitated, walked to the door, and returned to kiss the leper on the lips and then to lie for days in his own house, prostrated with an uncontrollable and not an unreasonable nervous terror. A superstitious fool, the doctor thought him. True soldier of Christ, say I, who, when his duty called him, faced something far worse than shot.

For some time after Mr. Hunt settled in Somasoma, one of the Fejee Islands, his life was in daily danger from the hostile and cannibal savages. But he went on with his Christian work, and when the captain of an American warship heard of their threats to kill and eat the missionary, and sent to offer him an asylum on board his vessel, Mr. Hunt declined with thanks, saying that he regarded the horrible depravity of the natives as only an additional reason for risking his life to convert them.

I. THE SPIRIT WHICH IS DESCRIBED IN THE TEXT. Several particulars are included here.

1. Their ardent love for Christ Jesus. It was not always thus with these men. Paul's object was to root out the name of the Saviour. What occasioned then this marvellous change? In his case they were very extraordinary means. In other cases, the means are ordinary. The Spirit of God convinces them of sin, shows them that they have no help in themselves; but must accept Christ and His cross. And then they love Christ. They love Him(1) For dignity of His person.(2) For the perfection of His atonement. They "love Him because He first loved them."(3) Because He has taken their nature and their cause to heaven. When they see this, it is impossible but their hearts should glow with love to such a Saviour. The life He so dearly bought becomes His, and they "hazard it" willingly in His service.

2. Their high estimation of the gospel. Man is a depraved creature. This depravity exhibits itself in different forms; in one country in idolatry, in another in blasphemy, etc. Philosophers have bent over the scene and wept, and politicians have devised innumerable schemes to recover fallen creatures. But they have failed. Now God sent the gospel to redeem and sanctify man. Now the men, that "hazarded their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus," believed that there was "no other name whereby men might be saved"; and therefore they published it. They had the conviction of an enlightened understanding, and an experimental enjoyment of the truth.

3. Their tender compassion for lost souls. Christ's value met their enlightened judgment. "What shall it profit a man," etc. They saw millions of immortal spirits, hurrying on to irremediable woe. Now when the men had this remedy, and saw souls in this condition, and had their hearts lighted with the heavenly fire, you do not wonder that they went forth and "hazarded their lives" to communicate it to lost souls.

4. The aggressive spirit in which they attempted to set up Christ's kingdom. They did not wait till a petition came from these miserable souls, requesting them to send the gospel; or till a door was opened by some special act of the government of the country, or a change of opinion took place among the people; but wherever they could open their lips for Jesus Christ, there they went, though edicts were issued against them, and they were imprisoned and reviled and threatened with death.

5. Their exalted character in the opinion of the Church. They selected them to go on an important embassy, as men who copied most of their Master's spirit. It appeared to them, that the chief excellency was in "hazarding their lives for Him." Doubtless many in their day considered them very visionary men, and thought they had better not plunge rashly into things; but "the apostles and elders," those who had love to Christ, thought their zeal their glory, and held it up to the imitation and approbation of the Church.


1. We see in the text a picture of fallen and of regenerated humanity; and among which class are you? Here is one class of men, opposing those who come to them with the gospel; here is another, ready to die for the name of the Lord Jesus. "He that is not with Me is against Me."

2. A suitable apology for all those who exhibit the same conduct. By many it has been upbraided as zeal without knowledge. But here is the answer; it is done "for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." A soldier "hazards his life," it may be, for fortune, for fame, for honour. But here are men who "hazard their lives," without honour, fame or fortune, "for the name of Jesus Christ."

3. One of the modes by which God augments the number of His servants and the efficiency of their service. "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." It is not the cold, calculating, cautious men, who carry measures either in Church or in state; but the men who "hazard their lives" for the cause which they undertake.

4. The honour which God puts upon us by permitting us to send out such men to evangelise the world.

5. A spirit worthy of imitation. Who is willing to "hazard his life for the name of our Lord Jesus?"

(J. Sherman.)

Once, in lifting from its shelf a certain folio, there fluttered out from between its leaves a paper dated 1763. It had evidently been mislaid as soon as it was written, and one hundred years after, just where the writer left it, I found it. It ran thus, "We beg to certify that the bearer, Mr. John Wyers, is well known to us, and we do hereby commend him to all Christian Churches where, in Providence, he may come as a godly minister who hath much devoted himself to the service of our Lord Jesus Christ." This was signed "David Fermie, Thomas Blackett." My text is a line out of an old letter of introduction written by the elders of the Church at Jerusalem. Now, this old certificate is not to be torn up for waste paper as a thing that is now dead and done with. It is a live thing, it is wanted now, to show what kind of missionaries are wanted, and how the armies of Christ in the field of foreign service are to win the day. Just take the words as they stand.

I. MEN. An ancient lawgiver said, that what Sparta wanted was not a wall of bricks but a wall of men. "Men," said a certain sarcastic journalist, "are cheap." No. If "men" be what is meant by certain advocates of "muscular Christianity," then men are cheap, but when I look at Paul I remember that it is not muscle that makes a man. If you mean by a "man," an undesigned result of molecular forces, then men are cheap, and they ought to be, but a man is not the consummation of a tadpole. If by "men" you mean an average human being, men ought to be cheap; but many a human being passes for a man who is not so much a person as a thing. What I mean by "man" is a son of Adam, who has been born again, and who is therefore a Son of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and of whom we may say, "Like father, like son." I want to blow into infinite space the mean, false notion that anything will do for a missionary; anything will not do. Before you are a missionary you must be a "man."

II. THAT HAVE HAZARDED THEIR LIVES. This, in itself, is not matter for plaudit. Most extreme must be the case, when the author of life sanctions the hazard of life. But, while grace makes us understand the sanctity of life, grace inspires us with a will to give ourselves to the service of something higher than life. That man is not worth calling a "man" who lives to save himself. The man who answers to the standard we are now looking at, is a man who, being called to the service of Christ, is prepared, if need be, to hazard his life for that service.

III. FOR THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. This means that the men hazarded their lives —

1. Out of love to Christ. The name of a person is the person to whom that name belongs. We all know the rousing, or soothing, or melting magic of a name. But no name has such power to stir the hearts of men as the name of Jesus Christ. When it was first uttered to the Jews, it stirred their hearts to hatred. Among the most inexorable and deep haters was Paul. He breathed out threatenings and slaughters till Jesus stopped him. After that, the love of Christ set his life on fire. What have we hazarded for Christ? Where is your love to Christ? Is that the thing you call love? Then love knows how to take care of itself; looks upon religion as a question of safe investment and social respectability; sometimes joins the Church like a traveller taking his ticket who books himself quite through, wraps his rug around him, and goes to sleep till the train stops; hates originality like the plague. What you call love I call prudence. But love, whether to God or man, tends to scorn of consequence, and to the forgetfulness of self.

2. Out of obedience to Christ. "If ye love Me keep My commandments." The commandment now waiting for our obedience is, "Go, make disciples of all nations." Now it is strange the first thing men in general do is to give their opinion about this. One man is of opinion that it is unnecessary; another, that it is impossible; another, that we should look at home; another, that we should civilise first; another, that every nation has already its own religion fitted to its own nationality. But Christ waits not for our opinion but our obedience. The question is how we can best obey. Some can best obey in this way, some in that. The principle is not that Christians should leave work at home for work abroad, but that all Christians are charged with the evangelisation of the world to do it between them. Though the difficulties may be massive, they are not your concern. "Charge," is the captain's cry. Say, as the man said, "Does Jesus Christ ask me to jump through that stone wall? Here I go at it."

3. In the service of their fellow men. It is a great service to save lives, and a noble thing when men do it at the hazard of their own. Lady Edgeworth, in the days of King Charles II, had suddenly to defend the family castle at Lissom, in the absence Of her husband. In doing so she had to go down and fetch powder from the castle vaults. On her return she said to the woman who had gone with her, "Where did you put the candle?" "I left it stuck in the barrel of black salt." Then did that glorious lady go down to the spot where the candle was burning into the powder, and put her hand round it like a cup, and lift it up and take it out, and so at the hazard of her own life saved the lives of others. Dear, glorious lady, that was well done. The lifeboat with its brave crew shoots out into the night over the swaying hills of water, to snatch twenty men off from a wreck. On their return, when the cry comes on the wind, "All saved," my heart gives a great bound, and I say, "There is a noble service nobly done." "The Son of Man came not t¢ destroy men's lives, but to save them"; and if it be a great thing to save the lives of bodies through the hazard of our own bodily life, it is a small thing to hazard it to save the lives of souls. Conclusion: We learn from these men —

1. How our faithful and mighty Master through all hazards keeps His servants alive until their work is done.

2. Only men like these hazard their lives, and the men who at Christ's call to service most totally give themselves up, most totally let themselves go, are the men whom the "King delighteth to honour."

(C. Stanford, D. D.)

Who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
The Dean of Rochester said: A woman said about a certain preacher, "He's a very nice gentleman, but he has no deliverance." He himself had been wont for years to preach written sermons. One night, to his horror, the church was so dark that it was impossible to read his sermon. He passed through a brief period of anxiety. Then, thinking, "Have I nothing to say to these people? Am I really a servant of God?" He threw himself on the Holy Spirit's help, and spoke as best he could. The churchwarden apologetically told him that the people said "It was the best sermon he had ever preached, and they hoped he would never read another." "Nor did I," said the Dean; "and then I awoke not to find myself famous, but at any rate more useful than I had been before."

A preacher is, in some degree, a reproduction of the truth in personal form. The truth must exist in him as a living experience, a glowing enthusiasm: an intense reality. The Word of God in the Book is a dead letter, it is paper, type, and ink. In the preacher that Word becomes again as it was when first spoken by prophet, priest, or apostle. It springs up in him as if it were first kindled in his heart, and he were moved by the Holy Ghost to give it forth. He is so moved.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Barnabas, Barsabas, David, James, John, Judas, Mark, Paul, Peter, Silas, Simeon, Simon
Cilicia, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Judea, Pamphylia, Phoenicia, Samaria, Syria, Syrian Antioch
Antioch, Apostles, Believers, Brethren, Brothers, Cilicia, Cili'cia, Elder, Elders, Gentile, Gentiles, Greeting, Greetings, Joy, Letter, Letters, Manner, Nations, Older, Saying, Syria, Throughout, Thus, Written, Wrote
1. Great dissensions arise regarding circumcision.
5. The apostles consult about it,
22. and send their determination by letters to the churches.
36. Paul and Barnabas, thinking to visit the brothers together,
39. disagree, and travel different ways.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Acts 15:23

     5328   greeting
     5661   brothers
     7105   believers

Acts 15:1-29

     7241   Jerusalem, significance

Acts 15:5-31

     7512   Gentiles, in NT

Acts 15:22-23

     7709   apostles, authority
     7953   mission, of church

Acts 15:22-29

     7026   church, leadership
     7924   fellowship, in service

Acts 15:22-41

     5108   Paul, life of

Acts 15:23-31

     5391   letters
     7610   Council of Jerusalem

The Breaking Out of Discord
'And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles:
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Charter of Gentile Liberty
'Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. 13. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14. Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. 15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16. After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

A Good Man's Faults
'And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.'--ACTS xv. 37, 38. Scripture narratives are remarkable for the frankness with which they tell the faults of the best men. It has nothing in common with the cynical spirit in historians, of which this age has seen eminent examples, which fastens upon the weak places in the noblest natures, like a wasp
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

A Message from the Crowned Christ
(Revelation, Chapters ii and iii) "The glory of love is brightest when the glory of self is dim, And they have the most compelled me who most have pointed to Him. They have held me, stirred me, swayed me,--I have hung on their every word, Till I fain would arise and follow, not them, not them,--but their Lord!"[64] Patmos Spells Patience. Patience is strength at its strongest, using all its strength in holding back from doing something. Patience is love at flood pleading with strength to hold steady
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

Upon Our Lord's SermonOn the Mount
Discourse 2 "Blessed are the meek: For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: For they shall obtain mercy." Matt. 5:5-7 I. 1. When "the winter is past," when "the time of singing is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land;" when He that comforts the mourners is now returned, "that he may abide with them for ever;" when, at the brightness of his presence, the clouds disperse,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

"Now the End of the Commandment," &C.
1 Tim. i. 5.--"Now the end of the commandment," &c. Fourthly, Faith purging the conscience purifies the heart (Acts xv. 9.), and hope also purifies the heart (1 John iii. 3.), which is nothing else but faith in the perfection and vigour of it. This includes, I. That the heart was unclean before faith. II. That faith cleanses it, and makes it pure. But "who can say, I have made my heart pure (Prov. xx. 9.), I am clean from my sin?" Is there any man's heart on this side of time, which lodges not many
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"Jesus of Nazareth, a Biography, by John Mark," recognizes the author of the second Gospel as that "John, whose surname was Mark" (Acts 15:37), whom Barnabas chose as companion when he sailed for Cyprus on his second missionary journey. In making use of the new title, the plan of the Editor is to present "The Gospel: According to Mark" as it would be printed were it written in the twentieth rather than the first century. Mark's Gospel has been chosen for this purpose to make available in more readable
John Mark—Jesus of Nazareth - A Biography

The Subtraction Process
The baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire, the entering into the heavenly inheritance of Canaan, and the possession of the land, and all the blessings that follow are unmistakably a process of addition to the already blessed experience of the justified soul. This addition is scripturally termed "sanctification." No mortal language can ever express how much of an addition it is; but there must necessarily precede this marvelous grace, a definite and absolute subtraction, a loss of all things for the
J. W. Byers—Sanctification

As there are conditions requiring to be complied with in order to the obtaining of salvation, before one can be justified, e. g., conviction of sin, repentance, faith; so there are conditions for full salvation, for being "filled with the Holy Ghost." Conviction of our need is one, conviction of the existence of the blessing is another; but these have been already dealt with. "Cleansing" is another; before one can be filled with the Holy Ghost, one's heart must be "cleansed." "Giving them the Holy
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

Second Missionary Journey
Scripture, Acts 15:36-18:22 +The Inception+--After the Jerusalem Council Paul returned to Antioch where he spent some time, "teaching and preaching the Word of the Lord with many others also." "And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren i+The Companions+ (Acts 15:37-40).--Barnabas proposed to take John Mark, his nephew, with them on this second journey. But Paul strenuously objected, basing his objection on the ground that this young man had deserted them
Henry T. Sell—Bible Studies in the Life of Paul

Authorship of the Pentateuch.
The term Pentateuch is composed of the two Greek words, pente, five, and teuchos, which in later Alexandrine usage signified book. It denotes, therefore, the collection of five books; or, the five books of the law considered as a whole. 1. In our inquiries respecting the authorship of the Pentateuch, we begin with the undisputed fact that it existed in its present form in the days of Christ and his apostles, and had so existed from the time of Ezra. When the translators of the Greek version,
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

The Figurative Language of Scripture.
1. When the psalmist says: "The Lord God is a sun and shield" (Psa. 84:11), he means that God is to all his creatures the source of life and blessedness, and their almighty protector; but this meaning he conveys under the figure of a sun and a shield. When, again, the apostle James says that Moses is read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day (Acts 15:21), he signifies the writings of Moses under the figure of his name. In these examples the figure lies in particular words. But it may be embodied
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

The Council at Jerusalem.
(Comp. § 34, pp. 835 sqq. and 346 sq.) The most complete outward representation of the apostolic church as a teaching and legislative body was the council convened at Jerusalem in the year 50, to decide as to the authority of the law of Moses, and adjust the difference between Jewish and Gentile Christianity. [743] We notice it here simply in its connection with the organization of the church. It consisted not of the apostles alone, but of apostles, elders, and brethren. We know that Peter,
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

The Synod of Jerusalem, and the Compromise Between Jewish and Gentile Christianity.
Literature. I. Acts 15, and Gal. 2, and the Commentaries thereon. II. Besides the general literature already noticed (in §§ 20 and 29), compare the following special discussions on the Conference of the Apostles, which tend to rectify the extreme view of Baur (Paulus, ch. V.) and Overbeck (in the fourth edition of De Wette's Com. on Acts) on the conflict between Acts 15 and Gal. 2, or between Petrinism and Paulinism, and to establish the true historic view of their essential unity in diversity.
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

The Catholic Epistles.
I. Storr: De Catholicarum Epp. Occasione et Consilio. Tüb. 1789. Staeudlin: De Fontibus Epp. Cath. Gott. 1790. J. D. Schulze: Der schriftstellerische Charakter und Werth des Petrus, Jacobus und Judas. Leipz. 1802. Der schriftsteller. Ch. des Johannes. 1803. II. Commentaries on all the Catholic Epistles by Goeppfert (1780), Schlegel (1783), Carpzov (1790), Augusti (1801), Grashof (1830), Jachmann (1838), Sumner (1840), De Wette (3d ed. by Brückner 1865), Meyer (the Cath. Epp. by Huther,
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

Whether the Justification of the Ungodly is the Remission of Sins
Whether the Justification of the Ungodly is the Remission of Sins We proceed to the first article thus: 1. It seems that the justification of the ungodly is not the remission of sins. It is clear from what was said in Q. 71, Arts. 1 and 2, that sin is opposed not only to justice, but to all virtues. Now justification means a movement towards justice. Hence not every remission of sin is justification, since every movement is from one contrary to its opposite. 2. Again, it is said in 2 De Anima, text
Aquinas—Nature and Grace

Whether Purification of the Heart is an Effect of Faith
Whether Purification of the Heart is an Effect of Faith We proceed to the second article thus: 1. It seems that purification of the heart is not an effect of faith. Purity of heart pertains mainly to the affections. But faith is in the intellect. Hence faith does not cause purification of the heart. 2. Again, that which causes purification of the heart cannot exist together with impurity. But faith exists together with the impurity of sin, as is obvious in those whose faith is unformed. Hence faith
Aquinas—Nature and Grace

Church Government.
By this time the Gospel had not only been firmly settled as the religion of the great Roman empire, but had made its way into most other countries of the world then known. Here, then, we may stop to take a view of some things connected with the Church; and it will be well, in doing so, to remember what is wisely said by our own Church, in her thirty-fourth article, which is about "the Traditions of the Church" (that is to say, the practices handed down in the Church) --"It is not necessary that traditions
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Whether Every virtue is a Moral virtue?
Objection 1: It would seem that every virtue is a moral virtue. Because moral virtue is so called from the Latin "mos," i.e. custom. Now, we can accustom ourselves to the acts of all the virtues. Therefore every virtue is a moral virtue. Objection 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that moral virtue is "a habit of choosing the rational mean." But every virtue is a habit of choosing: since the acts of any virtue can be done from choice. And, moreover, every virtue consists in following
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Old Law was Good?
Objection 1: It would seem that the Old Law was not good. For it is written (Ezech. 20:25): "I gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments in which they shall not live." But a law is not said to be good except on account of the goodness of the precepts that it contains. Therefore the Old Law was not good. Objection 2: Further, it belongs to the goodness of a law that it conduce to the common welfare, as Isidore says (Etym. v, 3). But the Old Law was not salutary; rather was it deadly and
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether There Should have Been Man Ceremonial Precepts?
Objection 1: It would seem that there should not have been many ceremonial precepts. For those things which conduce to an end should be proportionate to that end. But the ceremonial precepts, as stated above ([2105]AA[1],2), are ordained to the worship of God, and to the foreshadowing of Christ. Now "there is but one God, of Whom are all things . . . and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things" (1 Cor. 8:6). Therefore there should not have been many ceremonial precepts. Objection 2: Further,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Simple Fornication is a Mortal Sin?
Objection 1: It would seem that simple fornication is not a mortal sin. For things that come under the same head would seem to be on a par with one another. Now fornication comes under the same head as things that are not mortal sins: for it is written (Acts 15:29): "That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication." But there is not mortal sin in these observances, according to 1 Tim. 4:4, "Nothing is rejected that is received with
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is against the Natural Law to have a Concubine?
Objection 1: It would seem that to have a concubine is not against the natural law. For the ceremonies of the Law are not of the natural law. But fornication is forbidden (Acts 15:29) in conjunction with ceremonies of the law which for the time were being imposed on those who were brought to the faith from among the heathens. Therefore simple fornication which is intercourse with a concubine is not against the natural law. Objection 2: Further, positive law is an outcome of the natural law, as Tully
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Justification of the Ungodly is the Remission of Sins?
Objection 1: It would seem that the justification of the ungodly is not the remission of sins. For sin is opposed not only to justice, but to all the other virtues, as stated above ([2212]Q[71], A[1]). Now justification signifies a certain movement towards justice. Therefore not even remission of sin is justification, since movement is from one contrary to the other. Objection 2: Further, everything ought to be named from what is predominant in it, according to De Anima ii, text. 49. Now the remission
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

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