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Thursday: The Letter from Jerusalem — 7 Comments

  1. The council decision had been made and the minutes written. The message now had to be delivered to the churches.

    Two important points:

    A) The letter was to be delivered in person. It was much better to deliver the message in person rather than just a letter.
    B) Two people were chosen to accompany Paul and Barnabas. People knew that Paul and Barnabas had a vested interest in the outcome of the council, so it was really a good idea to send others to support them.

    The Outcome

    One would have hoped that the decision was a great unifier in the church. But we know that the Judaizers continued to do their work in an underhand way, and even Peter, in spite of receiving the vision, found it convenient to slip back into old habits and treat the gentiles separately. Other sources tell us the that Judaizers were a force to be reckoned with up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. By then other heresies had matured and were even more challenging than the Judaizers.

    Amen!(13)
  2. Why did they send Judas and Silas with Paul and Barnabas?
    If Paul and Barnabas had returned only with the letter, the Judaizers could have asked for authentication of the letter.
    The two chosen delegates were leading men among the brethren.
    Also the bible states,every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
    When Peter explains his action of entering the house of Cornelius, he states, these six brothers also went with me, and we entered the house of Cornelius.

    Amen!(9)
  3. What does it say about so many when the word of God is not sufficient for guiding their beliefs and actions? That the church needed to legislate correct interpretations should be a sober realization, and today it is no different. The word of God and the Holy Spirit are accessible to all, yet divisions persist. This can only mean that unbelief still lingers in the hearts of "believers". There is no easy fix for this if the Remedy prescribed by Christ is not accepted fully. The only remedy for unbelief is faith, which is seen in specific actions of self-denial, repentance, and an earnest study of God's word in order to obey it, while praying for that clear discernment in order to be approved unto God, and our fellow man.

    So many divisions exist in the church today, and they seem to multiply while they divide. Only by taking Jesus' yoke upon us can we overcome this unbelief as individuals, and only as we harmonize with Christ, we will find harmony with each other.

    "Only by pride cometh contentions" ~Prov 13:10.

    Amen!(3)
  4. Since circumcision was a covenant between God and man, why only males had this privilege and how about woman? where they off the covenant? I just wonder how woman should be part of that covenant? (I never hear of circumcision of clitoris, even I know they do some countries but not the the same reason.) This was God's order I mean to circumcise males.
    Anybody can help, just curiosity how this can be explain, I know is not a matter of salvation.

    Amen!(3)
      • I think the basic answer as to circumcision of man (no mention of woman to be circumcized) has already been given in the all inclusive circumcision of heart as seen in the universal language of Deuteronomy 30:6 --you and your offspring. While men and women had circumcised hearts, and inasmuch as men were supposed to be priests of their family, leading out in spiritual things (Joshua 24:15), they had probably to bear the outward mark of the inner circumcision of heart, thereby including the female members of their family in a representative manner in Old Testament times. Ever since creation man and woman are one flesh. (Genesis 2:24; compare Matthew 19:4-6 although in a different context.) Circumcision of man would also effect his wife, since both are one.

        The Old Testament is preparatory to Christ in the New Testament. The apostle Paul says, if we are baptized in Christ, we have put on Christ. No longer is there in this case of circumucision any distinction between men and women to be made. There is neiter Jew nor Greek..., male nor female: all are one in Christ. (Galatians 3:28) In this sense of oneness in Christ as to male and female, baptism becomes now the outward sign of inward circumcision (not made with hands), called the circumcision of Christ. (Colossians 2:11-12)

        Circumcision without hands is breaking down religious barrieres beteen men and women, any national and social barriers, at least it is intended this way, which, I think, we have to be constantly reminded of.

        Winfried Stolpmann

        Amen!(2)

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