Bible Story

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The Jerusalem Council

The church in Antioch praised God for His grace to Paul on his first missionary journey. Though Paul and Barnabas were strongly opposed in some places, many people heard the gospel and believed. Paul and Barnabas took the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles. But a problem arose when some Christians began saying that the new followers of Jesus—the Gentile believers—needed to obey the Law of Moses in order to be right with God.

Paul and Barnabas debated this issue with other church leaders in Jerusalem. They met together to answer a tough question: Can a person be saved by faith alone or was something more needed? When Paul addressed the council, he insisted that God saves Gentiles the same way He saves Jews: through the grace of the Lord Jesus.

Paul testified to the things God had done among the Gentiles. God had given Gentiles the Holy Spirit. James cited the prophets Amos and Isaiah in support. The group agreed that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, He alone is all we need to be saved. They also agreed that they should not make salvation more difficult for Gentiles by adding unnecessary rules.

The church chose two men—Judas and Silas—to go with Paul and Barnabas to the church at Antioch. They wrote a letter for the Gentile believers there, encouraging them and giving them instructions for how to live as followers of Christ.

The message for the Gentile believers was important: Whether Jew or Gentile, salvation comes only through faith in Christ. No one is saved by the law but by grace alone. Emphasize to the kids you teach that, while the Bible does give us plenty of instruction for how to live, sinners are made right with God only by the grace of Jesus. Salvation is a gift. To receive this gift, Jesus is all we need.

The church leaders met in Jerusalem to answer a tough question: Can a person be saved by faith alone or is something more needed? The early church agreed that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, He alone is all we need to be saved.

 


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The Jerusalem Council

(Acts 15)

The church leaders met in Jerusalem to answer a tough question: Can a person be saved by faith alone or is something more needed? The early church agreed that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, He alone is all we need to be saved.

 


STORY POINT:

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KEY VERSE:

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BIG PICTURE
QUESTION:

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Family Discussion Questions

  • Who obeyed the law perfectly?
  •  How are we saved?
  •  Why do we still obey God?
  • Can a person be saved from sin by following the rules? Why not?
  • Who is the only One that can save people from sin? 
  • Who is the good news about Jesus for?

Worship

Game Idea

Burden Bearers

 

--Form two groups of kids.

-Tell the first group to do 15 squats

-Tell the second group to do 15 squats each while holding something heavy, such as a large bag of rice, a thick textbook, or a medicine ball.

 

 

CONNECTION:

"Doing those squats with a heavy weight is much harder than doing them without the burden. Today we will learn about why Christians are no longer required to follow all of the Old Testament laws. The church understood that the Law caused an unnecessary burden since Jesus established the new covenant."