Ac 15:1
15:1 And {1} {a} certain men which came down from Judaea taught
     the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after
     the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

 (1) The Church is at length troubled with dissension within
     itself, and the trouble rises from the proud and stubborn
     intellects of certain evil men.  The first strife was
     concerning the office of Christ, whether we are saved only
     by his righteousness apprehended by faith, or if we also
     have need to observe the Law.
     (a) Epiphanius is of the opinion that this was Cerinthus.

Ac 15:2
15:2 {2} When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small
     dissension and disputation with them, they determined that
     Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up
     to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this

 (2) Meetings of congregations were instituted to suppress
     heresies, to which certain were sent by common consent on
     behalf of all.

Ac 15:3
15:3 And {b} being brought on their way by the church, they
     passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the
     conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto
     all the brethren.

     (b) Courteously and lovingly brought on their way by the
         Church, that is, by certain ones appointed by the

Ac 15:6
15:6 {3} And the apostles and elders came together for to
     consider of this matter.

 (3) The matter is first handled, both parts being heard, in the
     assembly of the apostles and elders, and after is
     communicated to the people.

Ac 15:7
15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and
     said unto them, {4} Men [and] brethren, ye know how that a
     {c} good while ago God made choice among us, that the
     Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel,
     and believe.

 (4) God himself, in the calling of the Gentiles who are
     uncircumcised, taught that our salvation consists in faith,
     without the worship appointed by the Law.
     (c) Literally, "of old time", that is, even from the first
         time that we were commanded to preach the Gospel, and
         immediately after that the Holy Spirit came down upon

Ac 15:9
15:9 And put no {d} difference between us and them, purifying
     their hearts {e} by faith.

     (d) He put no difference between us and them, with regard
         to the benefit of his free favour.
     (e) Christ proclaims those blessed who are pure of heart:
         and here we are plainly taught that men are made pure
         of heart by faith.

Ac 15:10
15:10 {5} Now therefore why {f} tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon
      the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor
      we were able to bear?

 (5) Peter, passing from the ceremonies to the Law itself in
     general, shows that no one could be saved, if salvation
     were to be sought for by the Law, and not by grace alone in
     Jesus Christ; and this is because no man could ever fulfil
     the Law, neither the patriarch nor the apostle.
     (f) Why do you tempt God, as though he could not save by

Ac 15:12
15:12 {6} Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience
      to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders
      God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

 (6) A true pattern of a lawful council, where God's truth alone

Ac 15:13
15:13 And after they had held their peace, {g} James answered,
      saying, Men [and] brethren, hearken unto me:

      (g) The son of Alphaeus, who is also called the Lord's

Ac 15:14
15:14 {7} Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit
      the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

 (7) James confirms the calling of the Gentiles out of the word
     of God, in this agreeing with Peter.

Ac 15:18
15:18 {h} Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of
      the world.

      (h) And therefore nothing comes to pass by chance, but
          only by God's appointment.

Ac 15:19
15:19 {8} Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them,
      which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

 (8) In indifferent matters, we may be patient with the weakness
     of our brethren with the end in view that they may have
     time to be instructed.

Ac 15:20
15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from {i}
      pollutions of idols, and [from] fornication, and [from]
      things strangled, and [from] blood.

      (i) From sacrifices, or from feasts which were kept in
          idol's temples.

Ac 15:22
15:22 {9} Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the
      whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to
      Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; [namely], Judas surnamed
      Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

 (9) In a lawful synod, neither those who are appointed and
     chosen judges, appoint and determine anything tyrannously
     or upon a lordly superiority, neither do the common
     multitude stir up disorder against those who sit as judges
     by the word of God: and the like manner of doing things is
     also used in proclaiming and ratifying those things which
     have been so determined and agreed upon.

Ac 15:24
15:24 {10} Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which {k}
      went out from us have troubled you with words, {l}
      subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised,
      and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:

 (10) The council of Jerusalem concludes that the ones who
      trouble men's consciences are they who teach us to seek
      salvation in any other means than in Christ alone,
      apprehended by faith, no matter where they come from, and
      whoever they pretend to be the author of their calling.
      (k) From our congregation.
      (l) A borrowed type of speech taken of those who pull down
          that which was built up: and it is a very common
          metaphor in the scriptures, to say "the Church is
          built", for "the Church is planted and established".

Ac 15:28
15:28 {11} For it seemed good to the {n} Holy Ghost, and {o} to
      us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these {p}
      necessary things;

 (11) That is a lawful council, which the Holy Spirit rules.
      (n) First they made mention of the Holy Spirit, so that it
          may not seem to be any man's work.
      (o) Not that men have any authority of themselves, but to
          show the faithfulness that they used in their ministry
          and labour.
      (p) This was no absolute necessity, but in respect of the
          state of that time, so that the Gentiles and the Jews
          might live together more peaceably, with less occasion
          to quarrel.

Ac 15:29
15:29 {12} That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from
      blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication:
      from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare
      ye well.

 (12) Charity is required even in indifferent matters.

Ac 15:30
15:30 {13} So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch:
      and when they had gathered the multitude together, they
      delivered the epistle:

 (13) It is required for all people to know certainly what to
      hold in matters of faith and religion, and not that the
      Church by ignorance and knowing nothing, should depend
      upon the pleasure of a few.

Ac 15:33
15:33 And after they had tarried [there] a space, they were let
      go in {q} peace from the brethren unto the apostles.

      (q) This is a Hebrew idiom, which is the same as saying,
          "as the brethren wished them all prosperous success,
          and the church dismissed them with good leave."

Ac 15:36
15:36 {14} And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us
      go again and visit our brethren in every city where we
      have preached the word of the Lord, [and see] how they do.

 (14) Congregations or churches easily degenerate unless they
      are diligently watched over, and therefore these apostles
      went to oversee the churches they had planted, and for this
      reason also synods were instituted and appointed.

Ac 15:37
15:37 {15} And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose
      surname was Mark.

 (15) A lamentable example of discord between excellent men and
      very great friends, yet not because of profane matters or
      their own private affairs, neither yet because of

Ac 15:39
15:39 {16} And {r} the contention was so sharp between them,
      that they departed asunder one from the other: and so
      Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

 (16) God uses the faults of his servants to the profit and
      building of the Church: yet we have to take heed, even in
      the best matters, that we do not let our anger overflow.
      (r) They were in great heat: but in this we have to
          consider the power of God's counsel, for by this means
          it came to pass that the doctrine of the Gospel was
          spread into many places.

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