Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Last Saturday’s post mentioned that I would return to thoughts remaining in my mind from that particular Bible study. But we had company over the weekend and I missed my time apart for devotionals. Then Sunday’s sermon touched my heart and that’s what I wrote about Monday morning – still spending time with Pastor’s scripture selection for his sermon.
This morning, though, I’m returning to the thoughts from Acts 15. I see this often in people.
And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. [Acts 15:1 KJV]
Have you seen this yourself? Not the circumcised part most likely, but any other layer of action required prior to salvation? "Except you be …" and insert the requirement laid out by men. For these Jewish-Christians it was something God had required of Abram when he was 99 and the covenant was offered.
This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. [Genesis 17:10 KJV]
What was required for every Jew between Abraham and Jesus should be required forever, according to the men down from Judaea to Attalia. But their requirement was not well received by all and dissension ensued. As it often has since then among God’s people.
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. [Acts 15:2 KJV]
That alone didn’t solve the problem.
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. [Acts 15:5-6 KJV]
The discussions, the words of Peter, James, Barnabas and Paul are there for our edification. They are there for our study. They are part of God’s infallible word.
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? [Acts 15:10 KJV]
As the Bible says, the Holy Spirit provided their determination:
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. [Acts 15:28-29 KJV]