When Paul & Barnabas had finished speaking, James — the close relative of Jesus who had also become a leader of the church in Jerusalem – was prompted by the Holy Spirit to support Peter (271). “Listen, Peter has just explained how God first showed his care for the Gentiles by calling from among them certain people to belong to him.
“The words of the prophets agree completely with this. As the inspired scriptures say, ‘After this I will return, says God, and restore the kingdom of David; I will rebuild its ruins and make it strong again. And then all the rest of mankind will come to me — all the Gentiles whom I have called to be my own. So says God, who made this known long ago.’
“So it’s my opinion,” James continued, “that we shouldn’t trouble the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead, we should write a letter telling them only these few basic rules:
- Not to eat leftover food that has been offered to false gods,
- Not to indulge in any sexual immorality, and
- Not to eat any animal blood.
Everyone knows that these commands of Moses have long been part of our worship of God, being read in the synagogues of the Jews on every Sabbath.”
Then the witnesses, the elders & the whole church at Jerusalem all agreed with Peter & James. They decided to encourage the church in Syrian Antioch, and not to burden them with the Jewish custom of circumcision.
(271) Acts 15:13-22