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Daily Bible Reading | November 4 | Acts 15 | Acts 16| Acts 17
Bible Teaches When to Compromise our Godly Beliefs
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Acts 15:

Some Jews who could not let go of their Judaic traditions began to teach that only through circumcision in the law of Moses could the salvation of God be given. This was seriously opposed by Paul and Barnabas, so the church at Antioch decided to send people to Jerusalem so that the issue could be resolved by the apostles and elders there.  The apostles, elders, and church rejoiced at what Paul and Barnabas have done for the Gentiles in Jesus' name.  Some of the Christians who held on to their Judaic ways in the Pharisee group demanded that the Gentiles must be circumcised and follow Moses' laws to be saved.  After the apostles and elders discussed the issue, Peter then summarized that God used him to give the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles simply by faith and through the grace of Jesus, and not by the traditions of following Moses' law or by circumcision.  Barnabas and Paul also gave testimony of how Gentiles believed based of miraculous signs and wonders from God among them.  James (actual brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church) gave the final judgment that the Gentiles should be allowed to follow God through Jesus because even the Jewish prophets predicted that the Gentiles shall bear God's name as well.  He also said letter will be written to Gentile churches encouraging them to stay away from sexual immorality, food that has been strangled, food served to idols, and food that has animal blood.  Barnabas and Paul disagreed over Mark because he deserted them in come cities.  Barnabas went with Mark, while Paul went with Silas. 
   

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Acts 16:

As Paul and Silas traveled, they took Timothy with them, who had a Greek father and a believing Jewish mother.  Paul circumcised him first in order to please the Jews in the area (contradicted his beliefs for peace).  So Christians can sometimes compromise their beliefs for the sake of peace and the greater good for God as long as it is not evil.   As they traveled, the church of Jesus strengthened in faith and number.  The Holy Spirit prevented them from going to Asia and Mysia.  Paul had a vision in the night of a man begging them to come to Macedonia, so they went because they felt it was God's message.  They got there and saw Lydia, a believing woman that sold purple clothes, who told them to come stay with her household after she believed in Jesus and was baptized.  They soon met a slave girl with an evil spirit of telling the future, which made money for her slave owners.  The evil spirit testified through her for days that Paul's group were servants of the Most High God that legitimately showed people how to be saved (even spirits acknowledge the presence of God in people).  So Paul commanded the spirit to leave her and it did.  The slave owners soon dragged them to the authorities to be beaten and arrested for taking away their ability to make money.  At night in prison, they began to worship and praise God, which lead to an earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison and opened all the prison doors.  The jailer wanted to kill himself because he thought they had escaped, but Paul prevented him.  The Jailer then wanted his household to be saved and Paul baptized them all.  The Magistrate then released them the next day, but Paul wanted them to apologies for beating Roman citizens publicly.  This they did.

Act 17:

Paul and his team went into the synagogue in Thessalonica and started reasoning with the Jews about Jesus as the Christ or Messiah.  Many Jews and Greek believed, but not the prominent Greek women (they put their social class before God).  The Jews became jealous and wanted to arrest Paul's team, so they started a riot in the city to accuse them of calling Jesus king instead of Caesar.  When they could not find them, they arrested Jason and some others because they were Paul's host.  Paul's team went to the synagogue in Berea and many Jews and Gentiles believed, including some prominent Greek women.  The Jews from Thessalonica came again to make trouble for Paul's team there.  Paul went to Athens in Greece and found many idols there.  He started reasoned with the Jews and believing Greeks in the synagogues, but they opposed him and took him to the meeting of the Areopagus (were people spend time discussing the latest ideas of thinking).  Paul told them that God does not live in human temples built my human hands because God gave the humans and everything life.  He said from one man from God all men came to inhabit the earth, God wants us to seek him, and the Greek poets have said that we are all God's offspring.  He conclude that God once overlooked our ignorance, but now God will judge all of humanity based on the Jesus he raised from the dead.  Some felt that Paul was a joke, others wanted the hear more from him, while some believed and followed Paul.
 

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