While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the Christiansa: "Unless you keep the ancient Jewish custom of circumcision taught by Moses, you cannot be saved."
Paul and Barnabas, disagreeing with them, argued forcefully and at length. Finally, Paul and Barnabas were sent to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question.
The church sent the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. b They told them -- much to everyone's joy -- that the Gentiles, too, were being converted.
When they arrived in Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported on what God had been doing through their ministry.
But then some of the men who had been Pharisees before their conversion stood up and declared that all Gentile converts must be circumcised and be required to follow the law of Moses.
So the apostles and church elders got together to decide this question.
At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: "Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe.
God, who knows people's hearts, confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he gave him to us.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)