Acts:15 Questions and Answers
Q. What is true about the Law of Moses?
A. Acts 15:10
- It could never save men
- All men are saved by faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross
- Even before faith, we are saved because Jesus did us a special favor!
👉 = God calls His own
- We hear His voice and by faith, respond to Him
- Not because we dazzled God by our good works, but because we were predestined to join Him in Heaven.
Q. What confirms good mission work?
A. Acts 15:12 = Miraculous signs and wonders that follow the preaching of the Good News and wherever they are needed.
👉These days, we have more boldness in asking God to move in the miraculous. But God always has done so! Missionaries and ministers are rescued from terrible enemies by God’s intervention. They called out when they got in trouble and He simply came. Consider this: God wants us to ask Him to do miracles, especially when the Good News message is afoot. Sometimes miracles break the ice in a particularly skeptical crowd. Don’t talk with people until you are exhausted. Ask them what they need, then pray with them for God to do that miracle for them. When the answer comes, all arguments halt and you have a captive audience. Isaiah 61 says it all: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. To set up liberty to those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
👉This is a song I played at church when I was 17 years old. Anytime you can learn the Scriptures in song, it is a great way to sing to God!
Q. What is the Old Testament for today?
A. Acts 15:15 = It is filed with prophecies about Messiah and referred to when deciding all kinds of questions like:
1) Who is God?
2) Who is Messiah?
3) What does God have in mind for all people?
4) It lists all the times God forgave men for their foolish sins
5) It acknowledges man’s self-destruct tendencies and promises God will restore him
6) It lists all the times God has intervened in man’s life to save him
7) It is the history of God and men, and confirms His love for all men
8) In the Old Testament, the Law of Moses is written out. It has been fulfilled by Jesus, who then put in motion the Law of Love, i.e., Love God, love your brother
9) It shows the kind of people who love God: All of them sinners just like us!
10) It shows who God loves: Sinners!
11) It tells us how to have good hygiene and gives us medical cures.
Q. What did Peter say about the Gentiles’ obligation to the Law of Moses?
A. Acts 15:19-20 =
1) All men are free from the rituals of the Law
2) But there is good common sense stuff they should not ignore within it, not kept out of rigidness, but because doing so frees us.
Q. Like what?
A. Acts 15:19-20 = 1) Don’t eat meat sacrificed to an idol (this is a slap in Jesus’ face, for only He was the perfect sacrifice)
2) Don’t be loose sexually (’nuff said)
3) Don’t consume blood (not at all nutritious an act)
4) Don’t eat the meat of strangled animals.
Q. Why abstain from these things?
A. Acts 15:21 = So as not to upset the Jews in every synagogue where they at least knew these laws.
👉Sometimes you need to adjust your freedoms in order to remove potential obstacles that may hinder the clear Good News message. Whatever you need to do to keep the Good News from turning into controversy is important. We care so much for people that we don’t flail our freedom in their doubtful faces (at least not on purpose)!
Q. Did the church at Jerusalem establish this rule of thumb officially?
A. Acts 15:22 = Yes. They even sent delegates with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch of Syria and to Cilicia to report on this rule of thumb that all would adopt.
Q. So who all were in on deciding this rule of thumb? A. Acts 15:6 =The apostles and church elders previously established in Jerusalem: Peter, Barnabas, Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Bartholomew, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), Judas (son of James), and Matthias. There were also two church leaders, Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas mentioned here.
Q. How did they report the new rule of thumb to the church at Antioch of Syria? A. Acts 15:23 = They took them an official letter from the apostles and elders.
Q. Did they speak as having authority over them?
A. Acts 15:23 = No. They saw themselves as brethren solving a problem for the church as a whole.
👉 It is very important that some principles of teaching be established here. The apostles were taught by Jesus, one on one, two by two, and were given power and authority by Jesus to perform miracles and wonders while they spread the Good News. They are basically like the rest of us, except for their personally trained by the Savior. They taught others who also learned and became equal in strength and power. To this day, we have apostles, teachers, all the gifts of the first church, which have never been exclusive to a particular person or persons. God anoints whomever He wishes. The church, in all its splendor of those first days is still our role model. Home churches, school-meeting Sunday churches, all new works of people who are called of God, go when obedience to God is at risk! God has not limited His people in any way. Those who honor His Word will do things His way, as He did on earth. The New Covenant of Love reigns! So let it reign!
Q. Why did they need to send this letter?
A. Acts 15:23 = Gentile believers in Antioch of Syria needed to know how not to be stumbling blocks to Jewish unbelievers. They were basically ignorant of Moses and the prophets’ teachings.
Q. What else was in that letter?
A. Acts 15:24 = The Jews from Jerusalem who traveled to Antioch, Syria and Cilicia were teaching the Gentiles Old Covenant Laws to follow, so that was addressed in the letter. They were assured that these Jews were not sent from the church of Jerusalem.
Q. How did the principles about food intake get decided upon?
A. Acts 15:25 = By unanimous vote.
Note: This is a good idea. Everyone gets a say and the answer is formed with much input by people who pray and fast regularly. We should all have friends in fellowship like that!
Q. When sending new delegates out with official news, what is also necessary?
A. Acts 15:25 = To send people folks are familiar with; those who have established camaraderie with them in the past so they know they can also trust their new delegates. In this case, the delegates were Paul and Barnabas.
Q. Who else was in on the decision-making?
A. Acts 15:28 = The Holy Spirit.
Q. So what part of the Old Testament would they be asked to follow?
A. Acts 15:28-29 =Only a few basic rules for the sake of unity: Abstaining from:
1) Eating food offered to idols
2) Consuming blood
3) Eating the meat of strangled animals
4) Sexual immorality.
Q. What is the promise to them if they kept these requirements asked of them?
A. Acts 15:29 = That they would do well.
👉Remember, this was done for the sake of unity. What do you need to abstain from for the sake of unbelievers in your town? Do whatever it takes to clear the path to God’s throne!
Q. What did the Gentiles think of this letter?
A. Acts 15:30-31 = They were filled with great joy throughout the church and were greatly encouraged by it.
👉 This letter officially recognized every Gentile as God’s own child –by every apostle– and for the first time in history– about 3000 years! I think it appropriate that the Aramaic calendar begin with year one with Jesus’ coming. Don’t you? What God planned to do from the beginning of time had been revealed, and all people were, indeed declared His children!
Q. What were Judas and Silas’ gifts?
A. Acts 15:32 = They were both prophets.
Q. What do prophets do? A. Acts 15:32 = 1) They speak extensively to the Christians
2) They encourage their faith
3) They strengthen their faith.
👉 Prophets also speak doom on those causing trouble, as Paul did in Paphos. They recognize evil behind satan’s puppets and rebuke it. But mainly, prophets encourage people and grow them up in the faith. Give the prophet ample time to minister to you when he comes to town. Let God’s Holy Spirit have His say in your life. He is so encouraging!
Q. Do prophets hang around to encourage and follow up with those they minister to? A. Acts 15:33 = Yes.
Q. When were Judas and Silas finished ministering in Antioch?
A. Acts 15:33 = When the Antioch church was ready to send them back and not a moment sooner!
👉 How wonderful to not be short-cutted for the sake of a schedule to keep! Don’t overbook your days. Let God determine your schedule according to His timetable. Your ministry will grow and flourish if you do!
Q. Did the Gentile believers appreciate their time?
A. Acts 15:33 = Yes! They sent their blessings on to the church at Jerusalem when they sent Judas and Silas back home!
👉Before this letter, the Gentile believers felt below and distanced from Jewish believers in the official church. Now they felt as equals in the same mission. Do you realize that we are all equals in the same mission? Always be ready to reestablish your brother as important in God’s purposes!
Q. Did Paul and Barnabas stay in Antioch while Judas and Silas returned to Jerusalem?
A. Acts 15:35 = Yes.
Q. What did they do?
A. Acts 15:35 = They assisted those who were preaching and teaching the Word of the Lord in Antioch.
👉New pastors and teachers need supervision! It’s kind of awkward for the one who must learn, but necessary, especially in correcting any biblical errors that might be revealed in the process. We teachers are more accountable to God than others in our accuracy in teaching others. If we are in error, those we teach will follow suit. One error multiplies beginning with a single teacher!
Q. How many were teaching and preaching the Word in Antioch?
A. Acts 15:35 = Many!
👉It is very important that we all have a true, biblical foundation before we teach or preach — or take God seriously and move forward! Know the attributes of God– know God’s character as spelled out entirely in His Word. Otherwise, we assume God is faulty and limited according to our earthly parents– we then filter our teaching through our earthly parents. Consider these truths:
God is Judge, but God also is Mercy.
God is Love, and yet God hates sin.
God sends fire and brimstone, and God sends rain.
God curses, and God blesses.
God rescues, and God lets consequences come.
God watches over us, and God turns away from us.
God wants us to be generous to the church financially, and God wants us to take care of those who cannot do so for themselves.
God blesses, and God withholds blessings.
God puts us in the highest places in praise, and God lets us flounder in the valleys of despondency.
God loves every person He’s ever created, witnessing each one’s birth as He created each one special and unique. And God will let each person choose to accept or reject Him.
God is Joy, and feels sadness at levels we cannot fathom; a Man of Sorrows (in Jesus) (Isaiah 53:3).
God is Mediator and will fight for us, or let us fight to exhaustion because we would rather do it ourselves.
God is Holy; Jesus’ blood made us holy.
God is righteous; Jesus’ blood made us righteous.
God desires our obedience to His Word, because He knows it brings us true happiness and peace (Acts 10:42).
God is Judge, and Advocate (1 John 2:1), defending us.
God defends Himself; we need not defend Him.
Only God can change people. We pray always with fasting.
One Lamb completed the Old Covenant. Man gets confused and thinks he is still under the Old Law.
God doesn’t need reminders of who He is and man does.
God in Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), and man may spend a lifetime trying to find a less worthy life
1 Peter 2:25 = God is the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul; He holds all the answers I seek for the hurts I feel.
Ephesians 5:23 = God is Head of the Church, and man is not, so be alert, pastors and teachers!
Matthew 8:19 = God is Master, so go to the Master and He will teach you.
Revelation 3:14 = God is faithful; man is faithless.
God is True Witness; man is faulty witness.
Hebrews 6:20 = God is High Priest; man is a priest under Him.
John 10:9 = God is The Door; not one door to Heaven.
John 4:10 = God is Living Water; man is dry.
John 6:35 = God is Bread of Life; man is hungry for it, no matter what he claims he believes.
Revelation 22:13 = God is Alpha and Omega; before and after man to eternity; man is only a breath in his life.
John 15:1 = God is the True Vine; man is merely grafted into Him.
Ephesians 1:6 = God is the Beloved; loved perfectly by Son Jesus and Holy Spirit.
Mark 6:3 = Jesus is a Carpenter, not afraid of hard work, as man can be
John 10:11 = Jesus is the Good Shepherd, always guiding and protecting us.
John 8:12 = Jesus is the Light of the world; men who eschew Him live in darkness.
Colossians 1:15 = Jesus is The Image of the Invisible God, which is why we know who God is.
John 1:1 = Jesus is The Word; we apply Jesus to everything we do and thus please God
Ephesians 2:20 = Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone; our lives make no sense without Him in the center of it.
John 4:42 = Jesus is Savior, and lives to continue saving man until He comes again as King.
Matthew 12:18 = Jesus is Servant, and so must we be.
Hebrews 12:2 = Jesus is The Author and Finisher of our Faith; there is no other faith.
Revelation 1:8 = Jesus is The Almighty.
Isaiah 9:6 = Jesus is Everylasting Father,
Genesis 49:10 = Shiloh
Revelation 5:15 = Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
John 8:58 = I AM
1 Timothy 6:59 = King of Kings
Isaiah 9:6 = Prince of [real]Peace
Matthew 9:15 = Bridegroom ot the Church
John 3:16 = The Only Begotten Son
Isaiah 9:6 = Wonderful Counselor
Matthew 1:23 = Immanuel
Matthew 20:18 = Son of Man
Luke 1:78 = Day Spring
Revelation 3:4 = The Amen
Mark 15:26 = King of the Jews (to this day)
Matthew 21:11 = Prophet
Job 19:25 = Redeemer
Hebrews 6:19 = Anchor
Revelation 22:16 = Bright Morning Star
John 14:6 = The Way, the Truth and the Life
John 11:25 = Resurrected to Life
John 1:29 = Lamb of God
1 Timothy 6:15 = Lord of Lords
Song of Solomon 2:1 = The Rose of Sharon
1 Corinthians 10:4 = Rock
👉When someone you know is seeking God, this list of His attributes would be a good place to begin. God speaks for Himself, as always, leaving nothing out about Himself in His Word. Nobody says it better! Hallelujah!
Q. Did Paul and Barnabas keep returning to the places they preached and make new believers?
A. Acts 15:36 = Yes.
A. Acts 15:26 = To see how the believers were growing in their faith and minister to those who were now ready to believe.
Q. What happened earlier in Pamphylia?
A. Acts 15:38 = John Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas and did not share in their work there.
Q. Did John Mark rejoin them at a later date?
A. Acts 15:38 = Yes.
Q. What happened when he returned?
A. Acts 15:38 = Paul didn’t want John Mark to come with them again on future missionary trips.
Q. What about Barnabas?
A. Acts 15:37 = Barnabas wanted him to come along anyway.
Q. What resulted?
A. Acts 15:39 = Paul and Barnabas separated and John Mark went with Barnabas.
Q. So they revisited the new believers on separate routes?
A. Acts 15:39 – 40 = Yes. Barnabas and John Mark sailed for Cyprus and Paul got a new assistant, Silas, and the believers sent them all off, entrusting them to the Lord’s grace.
Q. What is important to remember while in a dispute with a brother?
A. Acts 15:41 = Keep your eyes up; the Good News is waiting to be told!
Q. Were the lot of them effective despite their dispute?
A. Acts 15:41 =Yes.
👉 It’s not about being perfect. It’s about doing the work in the midst of whatever circumstances come.
✍️🍋Mrs. Kalaiselvi Balakrishnan in Jesus Christ 🍋✍️