Talk 4, Gospel and Law

Posted in Bible Talk
4 comments on “Talk 4, Gospel and Law
  1. David R says:

    Hi Stew,

    Thanks for clarifying that Christians don’t need to be trying to obey the Old Testament laws today as they were fulfilled in Christ.

    Could you please explain why the council advised the below 4 things to Paul? Thanks

    Acts 15:19-20
    19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. (NIV)

  2. Trevor Voltz says:

    Hey David his a really great article explaining the question you are asking.

  3. Stew says:

    Thanks David

    It is a BiG question. A question that the early church had to contend with!

    Here is a helpful reflection I read:

    As Christians wrestled with the law’s ongoing relevance and application, reflecting on Christ’s own teaching and the events by which he inaugurated the new covenant. There was a need for sensitivity on all sides. Luke goes on to record that Paul was later willing to circumcise Timothy ‘because of the Jews that lived in that area’ (Acts 16:1-3). This narrative is linked to the report that Paul and Silas traveled from town to town, delivering the decision reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for people to obey (16:4)… (This is the line that I love) Both activities seem to reflect a common concern not to offend Jews unnecessarily, so that the gospel may have a free course in their midst (1 Cor 9:19-23)

    David I’ll send you some other resources that you may find helpful


    • David R says:

      Thanks Stew for the articles and your summary.

      It seems like the decision to tell them “to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood” was based around an awareness “that Gentiles might use their newfound freedom in ways that offended Jewish sensibilities… James’s request that the Gentile Christians refrain from eating blood should be understood as a matter of preserving fellowship between Christians of differing cultures. Because Moses “has had in every city those who proclaim him” (Acts 15:21), Jews around the ancient world would’ve struggled if Gentiles flaunted their liberty without regard for these particular Jewish sensitivities. Living in a diverse community was challenging enough already; there was no need to antagonize a brother or sister unnecessarily – source – (Thanks Trev for this link)

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