Dear RCF Sisters and Brothers,
Do you know that both Jews and Muslims practice circumcision as a sign of their being in a covenant relationship with God? That’s right…even the Muslims who are now controlling Afghanistan. Both groups look back in history to their common ancestor, Father Abraham, and hold firmly to God’s covenant with him in Genesis 17:9-14. This covenant states that Abraham’s descendants must practice circumcision as an outward sign of being his children.
“Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner — those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:9-14
Both the Jews and Muslims believe that their ongoing, generational existence is dependent upon the practice of circumcision as the first and foremost act of obedience to God. Therefore, if you are a modern Muslim or were a devout Jew in the mid-first century AD you would take circumcision as a life and death issue. Following circumcision, a person must also scrupulously follow all of God’s laws to remain in His favor. No wonder many devout Jews who came to Christ in the first eighteen years after His resurrection believed that even Gentiles who believed in Jesus also must undergo circumcision and keep the Mosaic Law.
It is easy for us to criticize the Judaisers who argued that Gentiles who came to Christ must be circumcised and keep the Mosaic Law, but they were only holding fast and faithfully to what they had been taught and what the Scriptures declared. It is very possible that you or I would have promoted that position if we lived in Judea in 48 AD.
Join us this Sunday morning as we continue in the theme To The Remotest Part of the Earth, and our Discussion Bible Study in the History of the Early Church. Please prepare by reading the entirety of Acts 15. This week we will examine and discuss it with the title A Church “Council” Answers “The Gentile Question”.
Attached is an outline (in two sizes) of the text we will be focusing upon this Sunday morning. Please print it ahead of time, as it will help you take part in the discussion. We will also have copies when we gather on Sunday morning.
Here is the Table Discussion Question for Sunday:
What arguments might the Judaisers put forth to support their position that Gentiles who trust in Jesus also have to follow the Old Testament Law to be saved?
In this series we have already discussed the following texts and topics:
The New Era Begins: Acts 1:12-2:21
Who is to Blame for Good Friday?: Acts 2:22-23
The New Community Begins: Acts 2:24-47
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back: Acts 3
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back – Part 2: Acts 4
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals: Acts 5:1-11
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals – Part 2: Acts 5:12 – 6:7
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 1: Acts 6:8 – 7:43
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 2: Acts 7:44 – 8:3
The New Community’s Pearl Harbor: Acts 8:1-25
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 8:26-40
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 9:1-25
Not “E Pluribus Unum”, But “Nos, Et Nos Nos”: Acts 9:26-31
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens: Acts 9:32-10:33
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens – Part 2: Acts 10:34-11:30
Uncivil Rest – Part 1: Acts 12:1-17
Uncivil Rest – Part 2: Acts 12:18-25
How The West Was Won…To Christ: Acts 13
How The West Was Won…To Christ – Part 2: Acts 13
How The Gospel Was Almost Lost…From Grace – Part 1: Galatians
How The Gospel Was Almost Lost…From Grace – Part 2: Galatians
The Gentile Question” Must Be Answered: Acts 15 & Galatians
We hope that you will join us in person or online this Sunday morning at Bay Lodge at 9:00 am!
We love you all!
Jim and Jenny