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Acts 14 & 15 Study Guides/ My closing thoughts come from Isaiah 65:3-8!!!

OPENING PRAYER
"Man Shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"- Matthew 4:4- "My mother and brothers are those who hear the Word of God and do it" - Mark 8:21

Having received this day as a gift, I (We) thank You Holy Trinity, for through Your goodness and patience You were not wrathful with me (Us), and idler (s) and sinner (s), neither have You cast me (Us) down in my (Our)sins...But You have shown Your love towards me (us) and have guided me (us) to keep my (our) daily watch to glorify Your power...Enlighten my (our) mind (minds) to study Your teachings in Scripture...Help me (us) to apply what I (we) learn and to praise You with all my (our) heart and glorify Your Holy Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever...Amen!!!


Shine within my (our) hearts, loving Master, the pure Light of Your Divine Knowledge, and open the eyes of my mind that I may understand Your teachings...Instill in me (us) also reverence for Your Blessed commandments, so having conquered sinful desires I (we) may pursue a spiritual way of life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You...For You, Christ my God, are my light, and to You I (we) give, glory, together with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, now and forever...Amen!!!

CHANT PSALM 23

INTO YOUR HANDS LORD YESHUA (JESUS CHRIST) WE COMMIT OUR SOULS AND BODIES, BLESS US AND HAVE MERCY ON US AND GRANT US ETERNAL LIFE!!!


ACTS 14 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN

THE CHURCH IN ICONIUM, GALATIA

ACTS 14:1-7

14:1: ICONIUM: The capitol of Lycaonia in Asia Minor between Antioch and Lystra: This second-century account tells of a man from Iconium who went to meet St. Paul had been described to him as being a small man in size with meeting eyebrows, a rather large nose, bald, bow-legged, but strongly built, full of grace, who at times seemed to have the face of an angel- (from The Acts of Thekla):

14:2: UNBELIEVING: could be translated as "disobedient"- it is from the common Greek verb "apeitheo, meaning to disobey!!!

14:3: SEE: my Acts 4:24-30-Notes:

14:4: SEE: my Matthew 10:34-36-Notes:

14:5: THE INNER RESISTANCE: to repentance is so strong that many would rather deny the wonders of God-(v. 3) and destroy His messengers than look inward and change!!!


IN LYSTRA AND DERBE, GALATIA

ACTS 14:8-20

14:11-13: THIS UNFITTING PRAISE: by THE PEOPLE was "a contrivance of the devil" - (JohnChr), an attempt tp lead the people to a new idolatry and to tempt Paul and Barnabas to pride!!!

14:15-17: WHILE PAUL PREACHED CHRIST: to the Jews using the OT- (Acts 13:17-41), here he presents the Lord to these Gentiles from the perspective of creation- (see also- Acts 17:22-26): In this way, he uses a starting point most accessible to his hearers!!!

14:20-21: LEAVING TOWN: in the face of persecution shows wisdom, not a lack of faith- (Matthew 10:23): The short reference to DERBE does not imply a short stay, FOR MANY DISCIPLES were made before these apostles departed again!!!


RETURN VISIT & REPORT BACK TO ANTIOCH

ACTS 14:21-28

14:22: PART OF THE APOSTOLIC CALLING: is making new disciples, while an equally important part is strengthening those who already believe: It would be an empty gesture for the Church to convert someone and then leave him to struggle on his own: Instead, the believers' SOULS must be guarded and continually nurtured!!!

14:23: ELDERS: are priests ordained by the apostles to nurture and lead the churches they established- (see- my notes for v. 22): The word APPOINTED- (Greek- cheirotoneo)- means to ordain by the laying on of the hands!!!


ACTS 15 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN

CIRCUMCISION IN ANTIOCH

ACTS 15:1-5

15:1: SEE- NOTES ACTS 11:2- AND READ GALATIANS 2:12

15:2: THIS BREWING DISPUTE: concerning the relationship between the OT Law and Christianity- (v. 1) came to a head and had to be settled before it divided the Church completely...The Church has never been free from disputes and dissensions, but nerveless has maintained a way to resolve them: in council, The meeting of bishops in this council, with the participation of the ELDERS-(Priests) and knowledgeable laymen, continues to guide the Church to this day!!!


THE COUNCIL IN JERUSALEM & THE DECREE: EARLY CANON LAW

ACTS 15:6-29

15:6-29: THIS IS THE APOSTOLIC COUNCIL IN JERUSALEM: about AD 49, a precedent of tremendous importance for the government of the Church: The Orthodox Church is sometimes known as the church of the Councils, for it continues the practice of solving disputes and coming to a consensus through councils: This council progresses through stages of assembly- (v. 6), testimony- (vv. 7-12), decision- (vv. 13-21), and adoption- (vv. 22-29):

15:7-12: PETER GIVES HIS TESTIMONY AFTER MUCH DISPUTE- (v. 7): he stresses how God has worked among the Gentiles, and then Paul and Barnabas do the same: The emphasis of all three apostles is that God has already shown them the answer and He must not be opposed!!!

15:13-21: NOTE THAT EVEN THOUGH PETER IS PRESENT, JAMES: being bishop of Jerusalem, presides at this council- (see my notes Acts 12:17): He interprets the testimony in light of the Scriptures and finds that Simon Peter's testimony is in agreement with the OT PROPHETS- (v. 15): So, James makes his decision by recognizing the consensus of the apostles in light of the Holy Scriptures: When James declares, I JUDGE- (v. 19), he does not mean- "I THINK" OR "IN MY OPINION"; rather, he is making the final decision: nerveless, this verdict is not merely his own opinion, but a summary of the testimony of the council!!! The four prohibited acts- (v. 20) reflect both qualities of Christian behavior and minimal requirements of the OT Law: Some interpreters understand BLOOD to mean eating blood- (Lv 17:14); others, such as St. John Chrysostom, understand this to mean murder, the shedding of blood!!!

15:22-29: WHILE JAMES: makes the definitive decision, it is not valid until it is adopted by not only the council, but THE WHOLEM CHURCH: This apostolic letter is an early form of church canon!!!

15:28: IT SEEMED GOOD TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND TO US: does not indicate an equality between God and man: Instead is showing the unity between God and the Church and the way in which the Holy Spirit works in and through holy councils: The Church strives to limit canons to only those that are truly essential, in order to lay upon the faithful NO GREATER BURDEN THAN...NECESSARY:


PAUL AND BARNABAS SEPARATE

ACTS 15:36-41

15:36: SEE- MY NOTES AT ACTS 14:22

15:37-40: THE ONE WHO HAD DEPARTED: SEE-MY NOTES ACTS 13:13: This dispute shows that Christians can be plagued with disagreements concerning details and can ever separate physically without falling from communion with one another: This particular dispute was eventually resolved, and John Mark later rejoined Paul- (see also 2 Timothy 4:11):


My closing thoughts come from Isaiah 65:3-8: Here in this passage the people are violating the laws deliberately and continually, and so therefore deserve God's anger-(v. 5); yet because of the intercession of even one, God declares that He will not destroy them all- (v. 8): "If, within, the cluster, a single mature seed is found, it is a cause for saving the entire cluster for the purpose of offering the first fruits of God"- (Theod):


ISAIAH 65:8:

Thus says the Lord:

“As the new wine is found in the cluster, And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, For a blessing is in it,’ So will I do for My servants’ sake, That I may not destroy them all.

BE NEW WINE IN THE CLUSTER AND PROVIDE GOOD FRUIT BE FRUITFUL SHARE THE WORD OF GOD!!!


END WITH THE LORD'S PRAYER: LETS DEPART IN PEACE!!!

JPCE SPIRITUAL TALK

NEVER HOLD BACK

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD

JEHOVAH SHALOM!!!





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