Here is a nice quote from David Peterson’s just released commentary on Acts:
“However, Acts 15 is to imply commending a particular process of decision-making and the ideal of a community united in discovering and applying the will of God. Subtly and surely, Luke uses the apostles’ statements to shape a new definition of ‘the people of God’ as one based on messianic faith rather than on ethnic origin or ritual observance. Here we find an important manifestation of the church as entity involving local congregations in partnership, working together to maintain the truth of God’s word and promote the work of the gospel. The Jerusalem Council makes the gospel of salvation by faith alone the key to defining the true nature of this church, which involves Jewish and Gentile believers together. At the same time, there is further reflection on the role of the law in the new community created through faith in Christ.”
David G. Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles, Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 2009), pp. 442–3.