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30 So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. 32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. 33 And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles. 34 However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there. 35 Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

 

This section, beginning with verse 30, shows the unity of the church that responds to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

15:30

So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter.

Arriving in Antioch, the four representatives from the Council gathered the church together.

15:31

When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.

The response to the Council’s letter by the church at Antioch was a joy from the encouragement of the letter.  

15:32

Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.

Two of the representatives from the Council were prophets. Judas and Silas spent significant time teaching the church at Antioch.

15:33

And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles.

The Antioch church sent Judas and others back to the apostles in Jerusalem.

15:34

However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there.

Silas decided to stay in Antioch rather than go back to Jerusalem. This verse is not in some manuscripts and may indicate that Silas returned to Jerusalem with Judas.

15:35

Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Paul and Barnabas spent significant time in Antioch teaching and preaching “the word of the Lord.” Many others also ministered to the church there.

Verse 35 concludes the narrative of the Jerusalem Conference.

PRINCIPLE:

The Jerusalem Council established a significant precedent for settling conflicts between churches.

APPLICATION:

The Jerusalem Council establish the validity of debate and discussion to determine God’s will in the body of Christ. The church is to resolve surfaced disagreements by discerning God’s will. There was a transparent decision-making process to resolve issues in the church.

Non-doctrinal issues should not be reasons for division among believers. Believers should not place emphasis on sharp differences on more minor issues. Tradition should be no cause for splitting a church or denomination. Advancement in missionary enterprise is fundament when working with different cultures and traditions.

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