New Testament Lesson

Come, Follow Me Jul. 15—21: Acts 10—15
July 12, 2019
New Testament Lesson
Come, Follow Me Jul. 15—21: Acts 10—15
Author BYU Studies Staff

Acts 10-15: “The Word of God Grew and Multiplied”

When Peter understood his vision (Acts 10) to mean that non-Jews could convert to Christianity without having to obey all the laws of Moses, he taught this new doctrine to the Church. The process of having everyone accept it took time and persuasion and some confusion still resulted.

"The Jerusalem Conference: The First Council of the Christian Church," Frank F. Judd Jr., Religious Educator, 2011
“For the earliest Christians, the first opportunities for missionary work were with groups of Jews. They were not prepared to allow non-Jewish converts to refrain from the requirements of the law of Moses.” Peter’s vision (Acts 10) was unclear to him at first but then he recognized that the dream was about people, not animals.

Paul encountered the issue of whether converts had to obey the law of Moses in his mission in Asia Minor and Antioch. He went to Peter in Jerusalem, and a council was held (Acts 15). James charged Jewish Christians to not require adherence to the law of Moses except “abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood” (Acts 15:20). This decision was challenging for many people.

“Paul the Apostle: Champion of the Doctrine of the Resurrection,” J. Peter Hansen, in Go Ye into All the World: Messages of the New Testament Apostles
In Acts 13, Paul gives his first sermon in a synagogue, in Pisidian Antioch (in current Turkey), and the Jews react by accepting him but later run him out of town. His speech is “powerful doctrine: (1) Jesus is the Christ, a fact verified by His Resurrection; (2) there are living witnesses of the Resurrection; (3) messianic prophecies are fulfilled in Christ; (4) though David’s dead flesh will be corrupted, that of Christ will never be corrupted, because He is the Resurrection.”

"Paul and James on Faith and Works," Mark D. Ellison, Religious Educator, 2012
“In reading Paul and James it may seem like they contradict each other on faith versus works and what saves us. We come to understand that they actually profess the same thing.” This article reviews the history of the dispute between grace and works stemming from the events of Acts 10-15.

“The ‘Same’ Organization That Existed in the Primitive Church,” Grant Underwood, in Go Ye into All the World: Messages of the New Testament Apostles
“In reading Paul and James it may seem like they contradict each other on faith versus works and what saves us. We come to understand that they actually profess the same thing.” This article reviews the history of the dispute between grace and works stemming from the events of Acts 10-15.