February 20, 2011

God’s Unchanging Word – Matt Allen

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

After they finished speaking, James replied, “Bothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the word of the prophets agree, just as it is written, ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen. I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from old.’ Therefore, my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. For from ancient generations Mosses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues”

The cultural differences in the first century were staggering. Devout Jews and Gentiles were radically different. Basically, they had nothing in common. Many Jews were under the impression that in order to be accepted by Christ, Gentiles had to conform to Jewish traditions and requirements of the Old Law. The disagreement became so sharp that the matter was brought before the church in Jerusalem where the apostles and elders could determine how to proceed. As one reads through Acts 15, Peter recounts his own personal testimony of how God received the Gentiles. Paul and Barnabas added their experiences. Then James speaks. He adds the authority of scripture—quoting from Amos 9:11-12 and part of Isaiah 43:7. The inclusion of the Gentiles into god’s plan of salvation had been revealed centuries before. In churches today, controversy will come. What will be our guide? While personal experience and testimony are powerful, we must always seek the message found in God’s word. The Bible has many relevant solutions for today’s problems. We need to renew our commitment to read and meditate on Scripture. When we do, we will begin to see how the principles in God’s word apply to what is happening in our world.

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