Beliefnet
Jesus Creed

JerusTem.jpgActs 15 is in Jerusalem, the center of the church at that time. From Peter we move to Paul and Barnabas who also tell the same story that Peter had: God is saving Gentiles by faith, not by following the Torah. This leads James, the brother of Jesus and the leader of the church in Jerusalem, to declare his mind:

15:13 After they stopped speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 15:14 Simeon has explained how God first concerned himself to select from among the Gentiles a people for his name. 15:15 The words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written,


15:16 ‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David;
I will rebuild its ruins and restore it,
15:17 so that the rest of humanity may seek the Lord,
namely, all the Gentiles I have called to be my own,‘ says the Lord, who makes these things 15:18 known from long ago.

James’ point is that God has rebuilt the fallen tent of David — an image for Israel’s restoration under the Messiah. Part of this rebuilding is the inclusion of Gentiles, clearly an allusion to the expectation that God would lead Gentiles to Zion in the future. Also this goes back to the blessings to Abraham that he would be a blessing to the Gentiles.
The big idea is that experience and God’s Word teach that Gentiles are to be brought into the people of God, under David’s Tent. This is a most Jewish way of incorporating Gentiles into the Israel of God.
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