Acts 15:28

ESV For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements:
NIV It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
NASB For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials:
CSB For it was the Holy Spirit's decision--and ours--not to place further burdens on you beyond these requirements:
NLT 'For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements:
KJV For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

What does Acts 15:28 mean?

Cross-cultural churches have a unique challenge. They face different preferences in music, dress, emotional atmosphere, and language. As Gentiles joined the Jewish church, the mix of traditions between Jews who were still fully devoted to the Mosaic law and Romans who were coming out of paganism often led to conflict. Some of the Jewish Christians who were once Pharisees want the best of both worlds. They love the attention they receive from the Jewish populace for their pious lifestyle (Matthew 23:5–7) but social interaction with Gentiles will ruin their reputations (Galatians 6:12). The fix they come up with is to make Gentiles convert to Judaism before they can join the church (Acts 15:1), even though they, themselves, can't follow the Law (Galatians 6:13; Acts 15:10).

A council between Paul, Barnabas, the apostles, and the elders from the church in Jerusalem, has decided this expectation is inappropriate (Acts 15:6–18). The Pharisees' burden has always been heavy (Matthew 23:4) while Jesus' is light and easy (Matthew 11:30). Circumcision and the Mosaic law are not required for salvation, and the Pharisees shouldn't act like they are just to protect their own worldly reputation.

However, life in the church requires self-sacrifice for the good of others (Ephesians 5:21). The council gives the Gentiles "requirements," though these are not for salvation but for unity in their mixed-cultural churches. To maintain fellowship with the Jews, Gentiles are to refrain from sexual immorality, blood, and food sacrificed to idols (Acts 15:29). Since the broadest sense of "sexual immorality" would be obviously contrary to life in Christ, anyway, commentators suggest its use here means marriage between close relatives. This would have been a point of cultural disagreement between Jews and Gentiles.

These requirements are decided by extensive debate (Acts 15:7), personal testimonies (Acts 15:7–12), and wise counsel based on Scripture (Acts 15:12–21). Most importantly, the decision is come to by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit for this purpose—to reveal the will of God (1 Corinthians 2:10–11; John 16:13) and maintain unity in the church (1 Corinthians 12:13).
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