Chrisitian Challenge Logo - How Beautiful Upon the Mountains

Christian Challenge International

Studies in ACTS

"Acts 15:1-29 The Apostolic Council of Jerusalem"

From: "Pastor Buddy Martin" <>
Date sent: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 04:34:00 CDT
Subject: [HF] Acts030 - Acts 15:30-41 Paul and Barnabas Part Company


We will pick up from the council of Acts 15, and review the happenings
from the council until Paul begins his second missionary journey.
Paul's second missions trip will cover four years; 50 a.d. to 54 a.d.
Assuming that the apostles were near the same age as Jesus, this
second mission trip will put Paul around 50 years of age at its

The council of Acts 15 played a major role in releasing the Jesus
Messianic movement from its Judaic matrix, and from any bindings of
the covenant of Moses. And now that Jewish Christians and Gentile
Christians were in the same boat, the Jewish harvest would begin to
slacken over time. The gospel had to be presented to the Jew first.
Then it was to go into the many cultures of the world. This was God's
plan. The whole world must be given the gospel of God's saving grace.

From this point the Acts of the Apostles will center almost exclusively
on the apostle Paul. We know very little about the twelve apostles
other than legends, but with Paul we are given a major portion of the
New Testament. His writings are the earliest we have of the Christian
canon, and it is Paul's writings that help give Christianity its spiritual
shape throughout the church age. His role in the spread of Christianity
is without comparison. (This will be one of our shorter studies.)

Let's continue.

This is Acts030 - Acts 15:30-41 Paul and Barnabas Part Company.

Vss30,31: "So when they were sent away, they went down to Antioch;
and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the
letter. When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its

.... The overwhelming joy was due to fact that it was now certain. All
the apostles and elders in Jerusalem were in full accord with the truth
of the gospel. Believers in the new covenant are to be given Christian
liberty. But it wasn't a matter of discarding the writings of the Hebrew
prophets. It was a matter of understanding covenants. The older
testament could be used as a tool of instruction, as long as it was used
'lawfully.' (That is, in light of the new covenant, and of our salvation by
grace through faith.)

Vss32-35: "Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves,
encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.
After they had spent time there, they were sent away from the brethren
in peace to those who had sent them out. But it seemed good to Silas
to remain there. But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching
and preaching with many others also, the word of the Lord."

.... A larger group of men accompanied Judas and Silas to Antioch.
When Judas returned to Jerusalem with the group, Silas and others of
the group chose to remain. There was much teaching to the be done.
And Silas is going to become a partner in missions with Paul.

Vss36-41: "After some days Paul said to Barnabas, 'Let us return and
visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the
Lord, and see how they are.' Barnabas wanted to take John, called
Mark, along with them also. But Paul kept insisting that they should not
take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone
with them to the work. And there occurred such a sharp disagreement
that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with
him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and left, being
committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. And he was
traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches."

.... These few Scriptures are full of history. But since Acts is a basic
chronology on the early Church development, we are left with a
number of spaces. What we see happening at this point is the
developing of two mission teams. Paul and Silas will be one team.
Barnabas and John Mark will make up the other. However, this is also
the last mention of Barnabas or John Mark in Acts.

Perhaps it should also be noted that not all disagreements between
believers are necessarily fleshly. Sometimes the Lord is working
behind the scenes and the outcome will be a blessing. So was Paul
simply lacking in grace in his refusal to take John Mark with him? Or
was there more to the story. And why did John Mark leave Paul and
Barnabas on their first mission's trip? Is it possible that Mark was not
yet ready for the message he heard Paul preaching? Perhaps the
Jerusalem council helped settle his heart. (Of course this is all

In any event, at some point Mark does become a blessing to Paul.
While in prison, Paul wrote Timothy, saying, "Only Luke is with me.
Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for
service." (2Tim4:11)

Let's leave off on this study for now. Feel free to comment.

The Lord bless you,

Lawrence E. (Buddy) Martin, HF Host

"See to it that no one comes short of the grace
of God; that no root of bitterness springing up
causes trouble, and by it many be defiled." (Heb12:15)

Hebraic-Foundations is an online email conference which provides studies as well as offers open discussion on the Biblical Christian. Its special emphasis is towards the pre-325 A.D. Church.

To subscribe send an email to  Once you've subscribed, messages should be sent to Or you can subscribe by filling out the form below.

Subscribe to Hebraic-Foundations
Powered by

(Special note - This forum is not for Yahwists or Sabbatarians, or for any who view the term 'Christian' in a derogatory way. Membership is considered upon completion of a questionnaire.)

Back to Hebraic-Foundations page.
Back to Christian Challenge's home page.