ImmerseMessiah NLT - Flipbook - Page 99
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and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them—much to everyone’s
joy—that the Gentiles, too, were being converted.
When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by
the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. But then some of the believers who
belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile
converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”
So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. At the
meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some
time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News
and believe. God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts
Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made
no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through
faith. So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?
We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of
the Lord Jesus.”
Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me.
Peter has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take
from them a people for himself. And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly
what the prophets predicted. As it is written:
‘Afterward I will return
and restore the fallen house of David.
I will rebuild its ruins
and restore it,
so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord,
including the Gentiles—
all those I have called to be mine.
The Lord has spoken—
he who made these things known so long ago.’
“And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the
Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead, we should write and tell them
to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from
eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. For these
laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on
every Sabbath for many generations.”
Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul