Key Verse: 15:11
"No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
1. Read verses 1-2. What problem did the men from Judea create in Antioch? Why did Paul and Barnabas strongly oppose their teaching? What did the church decide to do?
2. Read verses 3-5. Describe their trip to Jerusalem. How did they use this opportunity? What did they do upon reaching Jerusalem? What was the issue raised by some believers who were strict Jews? Why?
3. Read verses 6-7. When the apostles and elders met to discuss the issue, who gave the decisive speech? Why was he qualified to speak about this matter?
4. Read verses 8-11. What was Peter's clear stand? What was the basis of his conviction that Gentile believers do not need to be circumcised? What is necessary for salvation? Why is this such an important issue?
5. Read verses 12-21. What was Barnabas' and Paul's testimony? Who was James and what was the main point of his decision? On what did he base this? What several rules did he say that Gentile believers should follow? Why?
6. Read verses 22-35. Who was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch with news of the Council's decision? What was the content of the letter they wrote? What was the response in Antioch? How did this event strengthen the church?
7. What is the significance of this decision to the church through the ages and to us?