Acts Chapter Fifteen part 2, A study of Acts 15:7 - 11, Acts 15:12, and Acts 15:13 - 18 with our Common Man's Commentary

Acts 15:7 - 11

"After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: 'Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.'" NIV translation

During the debate over which laws the Gentiles must follow to be saved, Peter stood up and spoke. He reminded those present of how God had used him to share the gospel with the Gentiles (Acts 10). He also reminded them that God granted the Gentiles the Holy Spirit just as he had the Jews and that was proof that they were accepted by God. Then, he reminded them that the Jews could not keep the law of Moses and that is was only through grace that they were saved.

Acts 15:12

"The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them." NIV translation

After Peter, Paul and Barnabas talked to the group of leaders. They recounted the things that God had done through them with the Gentiles. This is yet again an example of people sharing their testimony of what God has done and is doing in their lives. You can almost feel how the assembly must have been on the edge of their seats waiting to hear more about how God was at work. 

That same excitement is what we, as Christians, can have every day in anticipation of what God is going to do on any given day.

Acts 15:13 - 18

"When they finished, James spoke up: 'Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: "After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages."'" NIV translation

Now, James, who was the leader of the "church" in Jerusalem, addressed the group. He pointed out that what Peter (also called Simon) said agreed with what had been said by the Old Testament prophets. He then quoted the prophet Amos (9:11 & 12). Through Amos, God had promised to restore the relationship between the Jews and himself and also between Gentiles who call on Jesus.