Acts 15:31

ESV And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
NIV The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.
NASB When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
CSB When they read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
NLT And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message.
KJV Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

What does Acts 15:31 mean?

Jewish Christians from the sect of the Pharisees had arrived at the church in Syrian Antioch, 300 miles to the north. They insisted Gentiles needed to convert to Judaism before they could be saved through Jesus' sacrifice (Acts 15:1). They and their message seemed to have the authority of the church in Jerusalem and of James, the pastor (Acts 15:24; Galatians 2:12). This is only an illusion, however (Acts 15:24). Their message wasn't from the church of Jerusalem, and it had nothing to do with the requirements of salvation. Their intent was to be able to worship Jesus while avoiding any persecution for doing so (Galatians 6:12). As Pharisees, they were used to the attention and honor they received for their pious lifestyle (Matthew 23:5–7). They ignored the warning that to follow Jesus was to suffer the same hatred the world showed Him (John 15:18–21).

James and the church in Jerusalem have rectified the situation by sending a letter via two representatives, Judas Barsabbas and Silas. The apostles and elders disavow the message of the Pharisees and embrace the church in Antioch. In addition, Jerusalem provides clear, simple guidelines for the Gentiles in the church in Antioch to maintain fellowship with their Jewish friends (Acts 15:22–29). The Gentile believers in Antioch know that both they and their faith are enough.
What is the Gospel?
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