Acts 15:11-15
Acts 15:11 (KJB)
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Peter now makes a declaration that salvation is by grace apart from the keeping of the law. Christ’s sacrifice was totally sufficient to save without any additions whatsoever. (Heb 7:25 KJV) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Grace will sufficiently save the Jewish believers as well as the Gentiles. The Pharisees had placed heavy burdens on the people and they were unable to bear it while exempting themselves from it. (Mat 23:4 KJV) For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Now Peter basically states that all that is behind them and the law has been fulfilled in Christ and one is saved through the sacrifice of Christ alone.
Acts 15:12 (KJB)
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.
This subject was one that was very serious and we can see this by the fact that the multitude who was in attendance were keeping their silence while the meeting was going on. Now it was the time for Paul and Barnabas to speak. They had told the audience that the Lord had performed miracles and wonders, thus confirming His word and the Gospel of Grace. I am sure that Paul told them about the time he was stoned in Lystra and then was able to get up. As Jews listening they would know that stoning was terminal and that no one lived after that unless it was a miracle of God to raise that person up. The emphasis is on what God had done through their ministry and not what they did and this is how they have to see salvation, that is by grace alone and this is God’s work alone, man can add nothing t it because it is completed.
Acts 15:13 (KJB)
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
There was probably some discussion after Barnabas and Paul spoke but then after they quieted down, James, the half brother of the Lord, speaks as one of the brethren and not one who is in authority. He was the Pastor of the church in Jerusalem but spoke to the crowd in the Jewish manner of “men and brethren.”
Acts 15:14 (KJB)
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
James then draws attention to what Peter had spoken. James uses the name “Simeon” which is another Hebrew name and is another spelling of “Simon.” He then summarized what Peter had stated concerning the fact that God had indeed visited the Gentiles before. (Isa 60:3 KJV) And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. God had prophesied through Isaiah that the Gentiles will come to the light and that light is the true Gospel. This had come to fruition as Peter was dispatched to the house of Cornelius and Paul and Barnabas was sent on the first missionary journey to the regions of the Gentiles. God was taking out of the Gentile nations, a people for His name, which would be all over the world and from every nation. (Mat 24:31 KJV) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. On the last day, God will gather all His Elect from every nation on earth.
Acts 15:15 (KJB)
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
Then James goes on to state that the calling of the Gentiles unto salvation has been prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures which means full agreement as to what was being preached and to what had happened in the arena of salvation of the Gentiles up to that time. It was the fulfilling of the Scriptures right before the eyes. Keep in mind that Abraham was a Gentile coming from Mesopotamia.