Summary of the Jerusalem Conference
The conference agreed on the points suggested by James so a letter was prepared and was sent out to the Gentile churches by Paul, Barnabas, Barnabas, and Silas. The letter is recorded in Acts 15:23-29. It was taken back to Antioch and read there:
Acts 15:31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation [encouragement].
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians which he wrote after the conference, he summarized the law the new churches should keep:
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The way to love your neighbor as yourself means that we avoid adultery, fornication (basically sexual sins of all types), witchcraft, strife, murder, drunkenness, etc. (Gal 5:19-21) As you can see, the church did not do away with the Old Testament, and it is important that we clearly understand the message of the Jerusalem conference. Some have used this passage to indicate that it is no longer necessary for the New Testament church to observe teachings of the Old Testament that address issues of holy conduct or modesty. However, only that which pertained to the ritual worship forms and ceremonies was done away with as it was nailed to the cross. How could a holy God do away with holiness and separation from the world?
One of the main speakers at the Jerusalem conference had this to say about holiness:
1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
That word “conversation” means behavior. Peter also said that the women in the church should use the women of the Old Testament as an example in dress:
1 Peter 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
Our conduct and modesty of dress, and even our hair according to 1 Corinthians 11, reflect our proper subjection to the authority of the Lord over our lives.