Following the controversy about circumcision, Paul and Barnabas, accompanied by Barsabas and Silas traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch carrying the letter written by the apostles and church leaders.
The decree featured comforting words for new Gentile believers, as it revealed God’s expectation for all Christians, that we model ourselves after Christ and refrain from giving in to sin. The letter also addressed circumcision, reassuring new believers the ritual was part of God’s old covenant with the Jewish nation, but not a required sacrifice imposed on new believers.
“30 So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.” (Acts 15:30-31)
The believers in Antioch were glad to hear of the good news from Jerusalem, and were reassured by the letter’s content regarding circumcision as this topic had caused controversy among the church. The decree written by the apostles and church leaders brought joy to Paul, Barnabas, Barsabas and Silas, as well as all those present at the reading of the epistle.
“32 Now Barsabas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. 33 And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles.” (Acts 15:32-33)
Because the new testament had not yet been written, it was beneficial for prophets, gifted speakers including Barsabas and Silas to preach to new believers, strengthening their faith and encouraging each one to continue their walk along the narrow path that leads to Heaven.
“34 However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there. 35 Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.” (Acts 15:34-35)
Silas was among the seventy disciples sent out in pairs by the Lord to minister the gospel to the lost. He eventually took on the Roman name of Silvanus, which was used by Paul in his forthcoming letters to Peter and Timothy.
Silas befriended Paul and became a missionary companion who involved in both preaching the gospel and contributing to it in writing along side Paul. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre