Acts 15:1-21New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Church Leaders Meet in Jerusalem
15 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch. Here is what they were teaching the believers. “Moses commanded you to be circumcised,” they said. “If you aren’t, you can’t be saved.” 2 But Paul and Barnabas didn’t agree with this. They argued strongly with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed to go up to Jerusalem. Some other believers were chosen to go with them. They were told to ask the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way. They traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria. There they told how the Gentiles had turned to God. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, the church welcomed them. The apostles and elders welcomed them too. Then Paul and Barnabas reported everything God had done through them.
5 Some of the believers were Pharisees. They stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised. They must obey the law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After they had talked it over, Peter got up and spoke to them. “Brothers,” he said, “you know that some time ago God chose me. He appointed me to take the good news to the Gentiles. He wanted them to hear the good news and believe. 8 God knows the human heart. By giving the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles, he showed that he accepted them. He did the same for them as he had done for us. 9 God showed that there is no difference between us and them. That’s because he made their hearts pure because of their faith. 10 Now then, why are you trying to test God? You test him when you put a heavy load on the shoulders of Gentiles. Our people of long ago couldn’t carry that load. We can’t either. 11 No! We believe we are saved through the grace of our Lord Jesus. The Gentiles are saved in the same way.”
12 Everyone became quiet as they listened to Barnabas and Paul. They were telling about the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon Peter has explained to us what God has now done. He has chosen some of the Gentiles to be among his very own people. 15 The prophets’ words agree with that. They say,
16 “ ‘After this I will return and set up again David’s fallen tent. I will rebuild what was destroyed. I will make it what it used to be. 17 Then everyone else can look to the Lord. This includes all the Gentiles who belong to me, says the Lord. The Lord is the one who does these things.’ (Amos 9:11,12) 18 The Lord does things that have been known from long ago.
19 “Now here is my decision. We should not make it hard for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Here is what we should write to them. They must not eat food that has been made impure by being offered to statues of gods. They must not commit sexual sins. They must not eat the meat of animals that have been choked to death. And they must not drink blood. 21 These laws of Moses have been preached in every city from the earliest times. They are read out loud in the synagogues every Sabbath day.”
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