First Missionary Journey

“In order to evangelize more effectively the world outside Judea and Samaria, the Holy Spirit now directs Barnabas and Saul (from this time on referred to as Paul) to set out on a tour of what is known today as Cyprus and central Turkey.

Luke records Paul’s sermon that is perhaps representative of Paul’s preaching throughout the entire tour.  Similar in some respects to Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, it is principally aimed at Jews who gather in the synagogues on the Sabbath.  It recites a history of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel, notes the many prophecies about the coming Messiah, and sets forth Jesus as that resurrected Lord.  But Paul is quick to add that even the Gentiles are now recipients of God’s grace.”

Read:  Acts 13, 14

The Jerusalem Conference

“Paul and Barnabas settle back into concentrated efforts at teaching in the local area, but their respite is not to last for long.  Certain Jewish Christians from Jerusalem are not only urging Gentiles to be circumcised, but demanding that they keep the entire law, just as the Jewish Christians are continuing to do.

The problem posed by these so-called ‘Judaizing teachers’ will continue to divide the church in the ensuing years, and it will be a subject for discussion in several of Paul’s later letters.  For now, however, the problem is temporarily solved after reviewing the work of the Holy Spirit in leading the way to Gentile evangelism, and after consulting Scripture for prophecy concerning the Gentiles, they all agree that circumcision (and by implication the law itself) is not binding on the Gentiles.”

Read:  Acts 15

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.