QUESTIONS ON LESSON XVIII
1. Describe in detail the release of Peter from prison in the closing days of the reign of Herod Agrippa I.
2. Enumerate the visits of Paul to Jerusalem which have been studied so far.
3. What happened, on the first missionary journey, at Paphos? at Perga? at Pisidian Antioch? at Lystra?
4. Describe the Apostolic Council in detail. What was the meaning of the letter which was sent out from the council?
The Second Missionary Journey
The Apostolic Council, which was studied in the last lesson, was an important step in the progress of Christian liberty. By it the Judaizers were definitely repudiated, and salvation was based upon faith alone apart from the works of the law. But many practical difficulties still remained to be solved.
One such difficulty appeared at Antioch soon after the council. Gal. 2:11-21. The council had established the freedom of the Gentile Christians from the Mosaic Law, but it had not been determined that the Jewish Christians should give up the Law. No doubt the Jewish Christians were inwardly free from the Law; they depended for their salvation not at all upon their obedience to God's commands as set forth in the Law of Moses, but simply and solely upon the saving work of Christ accepted by faith. But so far as had yet been revealed, it might conceivably be the will of God that they should still maintain their connection with Israel by observing the whole of the Law including even its ceremonial requirements. In order, however, that the ceremonial requirements of the Law might be observed, the Jews had always been accustomed to avoid table companionship with Gentiles. What should be done, therefore, in churches like the church at Antioch, which were composed both of Jewish Christians and of Gentile Christians? How could the Jewish Christians in such churches continue to observe the ceremonial law, and still hold table companionship with their Gentile brethren?