Dear RCF Sisters and Brothers,
You say that there is only one God Who is always the same and never changes. You say that He has spoken to humanity in the Scriptures and there given us His laws. And, you say that you are one of HIs followers. So, if that is so why don’t you keep His laws…ALL OF THEM?
Have you ever wondered why you don’t? They are in the Bible. Keeping God’s laws pleases Him, right? Disobeying them displeases Him…yes? Do only Jewish people have to obey the Old Testament Laws? Should non-Jews (i.e., Gentiles) who believe in Jesus the Jewish Messiah uphold and follow the laws God gave to the children of Abraham during the Old Testament era? If not, why not?
Once the New Community of mostly Jewish Jesus followers established and agreed that Gentiles could be saved through believing in Christ (Acts 8-11), the question quickly arose which asked, “Do non-Jewish Christians have to adopt the Jewish mode of life, including synagogue and Temple attendance, offering of sacrifices, observance of Mosaic rituals and dietary taboos, outward dress, and social aloofness from Gentiles?” The most significant act in question was circumcision – the external mark of God’s covenant.
This was a HUGE point of contention within the New Community – essentially, did Gentiles who believed in Jesus as their Saviour must become Jewish to be saved? How this question was resolved in the year following the Apostle Paul’s first missionary journey defines how you live your life today as one of Jesus’ disciples.
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 13 -14. This week we will examine and discuss Acts 13 and 14 with the titles “How the West Was Won…To Christ – Part 2”, and “How the Gospel Was Almost Lost…From Grace. If you want to earn extra credit with me, you can also read Paul’s “Letter to the Galatians”.
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 Questions for Sunday:
If you learned that to be “saved”, in addition to your faith in Jesus you had to adopt an orthodox Jewish mode of life (weekly synagogue attendance, daily readings and prayers, Mosaic rituals, dress and dietary laws, and social aloofness from non-Jews), would you? What aspects of Law-keeping would be the most difficult or distasteful to you?
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
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
The Acts of the Apostles, Part 19 – Outline (PDF)