Acts 15-16 B

Concerning the need for Gentile believers to be circumcised and follow the Law of Moses, Peter said this:

“Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (15:10-11‬)

So while the Law was no longer considered the vehicle of Salvation, there were still some beneficial guidelines to follow:

“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.” (15:28-29‬)

This decision, referred famously as the Jerusalem Council, was then sent back out with the apostles.

Becoming followers of Jesus wasn’t about becoming Jewish, it was about receiving the salvation of their Messiah. This didn’t make the whole law worthless ideas.

While it was at once a relief to Greeks to not need to be circumcised, it would have still been a major life change to give up fornication and certain meats. These cultural restrictions would have glaringly set them apart from their neighbors.

Through the years, believers have tweaked and re-tweaked these “restrictions”. We always reaffirm a freedom from the Law of Moses, depending alone on grace for salvation, but usually encourage values which will help us do well. As before, these are to be directed by the Holy Spirit.

Are there disciplines the Holy Spirit is leading you to practice? Ask Him about this today and thank Him for removing the yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear.


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