22 MARCH 1998
THE MIND AND CHARACTER OF GOD
HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS SERVANTS: PAUL THE APOSTLE - Part 2
Shortly after their return to Antioch, Paul and Barnabas were going to face a crucial battle that would determine the eternal fate of all Gentiles.
BACKGROUND: The dispute and the meeting in Jerusalem took place around 17 years after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Judaism teaches that Gentiles do not have a soul and that they are unclean animals. The Jess had years earlier developed a special set of laws for the Gentiles called "THE NOAHIDE LAWS." There are seven laws:
Jesus had addressed this issue before his ascension to heaven. Matthew 28:18-20
This is what Jesus told Abraham some 4000 years ago. Genesis 12:1-3, 22:16-18
Peter had been instructed to include the Gentiles. Acts 10:34-48, 11:1-18
Any person reading the Bible will come to know that God created Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:7-25). Eve later gave birth to Seth, then Noah was born from the blood line of Seth. (Genesis 5:1-32) Noah was the father of Shem and Abraham was born from the blood line of Shem. (Genesis 11:10-27) Jews are the descendants from the tribe of Judah. Thus Jews are not created humans; they are an offspring from Judah, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham.
In the meeting in Jerusalem, the apostles did not think about a church that would be around for the next 2000 years. Instead, we can see the Noahide laws influencing the thinking of the apostles, as James issued a decree. Acts 15:6-30
Believers since that time have used it as a carte blanche to be LAWLESS!
God had given a structure to His people living under the first Covenant: THE TORAH AND THE PROPHETS! Jesus confirmed that this would continue under the second Covenant (Matthew 5:17-19) and this was confirmed later by Paul in Hebrews 8:7-13.
God was not satisfied with the Jerusalem meeting and its conclusion. Five years later the apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Romans. Twenty seven years after the resurrection of Jesus the apostle Peter wrote his epistles and a year later Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians. It was Paul who declared the mystery: Ephesians 3:1-11.
Before the original apostles had died, God used them to create a STRUCTURE FOR THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH! Salvation by faith alone. Romans 3:19-31
The standard of the first Covenant would be more strict under the second Covenant. Ephesians 5:1-8; Galatians 3:1-13; I Peter 1:13-20; II Peter 1:14-21.
ARE YOU A LAWLESS CHRISTIAN or AN OBEDIENT CHRISTIAN? John 14:15