- Acts 15:31-35
- Acts 15:31 (KJB)
- Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
- Consolation - Encouragement or comfort
- It is not stated who read the letter but the fact was they received the
answer and when it was read, they had rejoiced because of the encouragement
they received from it. Now they know that salvation is by grace alone
without any additions to of the law as a requirement for salvation. Now that
they had the answers they were looking for, they would now be able to reject
the Judaizers and show them and the others that their teaching is false by
laying an extra burden on the believers, a burden which God never gave.
- Acts 15:32 (KJB)
- And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the
brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
- Not only did the church have the written letter but Judas and Silas were
prophets and began to confirm the brethren orally. This was still the time
when the Bible was not yet completed so they were able to receive
exhortation directly from the Holy Spirit. As they received instruction from
Him, they relayed it unto the church. Since there was probably an air of
confusion in the church because of the Judaizers bringing in the false
teaching, Judas and Silas had probably taught them and helped bring back a
semblance of order to their beliefs by removing the concept of keeping the
law of Moses for salvation. This was Godís method over hundreds of years as
He would raise up a prophet and send him to the nation of Israel when they
were being disobedient. Here, though, it was a different story, the church
was young and needed to know about this subject, so they were given a letter
and two men who prophesied for them the truth of the Gospel. By these two
methods, the church was once again able to get back to the ministry of the
word. Unfortunately, these incursion of false teachings can stultify a
church and bring its ministry to a halt until these issues are resolved.
- Acts 15:33 (KJB)
- And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go
in peace from the brethren unto the apostles.
- Space - Time or respite
- The group from Jerusalem had stayed there for a while, no doubt to rest
and to help teach because it sometimes takes time and effort to unseat false
teachings when they have become not only entrenched but only introduced.
After sufficient time had passed and the threat of these false teachings
were passed, the brethren were able to leave and head back to the Jerusalem
church and not just to the Apostles.
- Acts 15:34 (KJB)
- Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
- Judas had gone back to Jerusalem but for some reason Silas chose to
remain at Antioch. No doubt he wanted to stay to make sure if the Judaizers
return to Antioch at some future time, he will rebuff them and their false
teachings so the church would have a fighting chance. He also stayed to help
with the teaching and discipline.
- Acts 15:35 (KJB)
- Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the
word of the Lord, with many others also.
- Since the church in Antioch was growing, they needed all the teachers
they could find and that is why Paul and Barnabas had stayed behind to
continue teaching in the church and also to help train other believers for
teaching and leadership roles. In the church, Christ had given pastors,
evangelists, and prophets to bring about maturity among the believers. It
was for them to train the believers so they would go out from the church and
evangelize and disciple those who became saved. It is not stated how long
Paul and Barnabas stayed there but probably the next verse will give us the
reason why Paul wanted to stay in Antioch, beside teaching and training the