Week 42   Day 3


Change produces controversy 

            and it was no different

            in the early church



Houses of worship used to be filled

            with fellow Jews 

now there were more and more Gentiles  

            sitting side by side with them 

            listening to the same words 

            eating from the same plate


For a person of the Jewish faith

to accept a Gentile as an equal 

            that was revolutionary  

            only in the church would that happen



Could a Gentile walk in off the street

            and become a Christian

            just like that? 

law and tradition said "no" 

amazing grace said "yes"



The issue was debated

                  and disputed

throughout the New Testament.






 The Gentile question tested the unity of the early Church.

                                            Acts 13 & 15


    44On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came to hear

the word of God.  45When the Jews saw the multitudes, they

were filled with envy; and they opposed the things spoken by

Paul.  46Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was

necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first,

but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of

everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles."

    48When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified

God.  49The word was being spread throughout all the region. 

52And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

    1Certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren,

"Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses,

you cannot be saved."  2When Paul and Barnabas had no small

dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas should

go to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question. 

    3On their way, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria,

describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great

joy to all the brethren.  4At Jerusalem, they were received by the

church and the apostles and elders; and they reported all the

things God had done with them.  5But some of the sect of the

Pharisees who believed, rose up, saying, "It is necessary to

circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses."

    6The apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. 

7After much dispute, Peter rose up and said, "Men and brethren,

you know that God chose among us, that by my mouth Gentiles

should hear the word of the gospel.  8God, who knows the heart,

acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He

did to us, 9and made no distinction between us and them. 

10Therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck

of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to

bear?  11It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall

be saved in the same manner as they."

    12Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas

and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had

worked through them among the Gentiles.

   13After they had become silent, James answered, "With this

the words the prophets agree.  Therefore I judge that we should

not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to

God, 20but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted

by idols, and from sexual immorality."
               This Bible passage was condensed from the NKJV

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