Sunday, 14 October 2018
Question of the Day: The Jerusalem Council made a decision. What was it really?
Answer: In Acts 15:7 we read "after much debate, Peter stood up." You would think Peter's considered judgment would settle the matter, but the debate rages on 2,000 years later. The council of Messianic Jewish leaders (all of the early leaders of our faith were JBBs - Jewish Background Believers) had come together to answer one question; "How Jewish do these non-Jewish people, who have joined in our faith, have to be in order to become established in our Messianic Jewish communities?"
Here is the minimum standard as it is stated in these verses. There are 4 specifics in verse 20. Acts 15:19-20 "Therefore, I judge not to trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God - but to write to them to (1) abstain from the contamination of idols, and (2) from sexual immorality, and (3) from what is strangled, and (4) from blood."
As stated above, I believe these are minimum standards for becoming established in a Messianic community.
Rabbi Trail: If I said "Christian community" instead of "Messianic community", I would miss some of what I'm trying to express. The young body of Messiah was very Jewish (the term "Messianic" has Hebraic roots while the term "Christian" has Greek origins). It was mostly made up of Jewish people, many of whom actually knew Yeshua. It would be 300 years before the Jewishness of the body of Messiah would be completely diluted into gentile Christianity (all Catholic at that time) leaving no vestige of its Jewish origins. The protestant reformation brought back the concept of personal holiness, but missed the restoration of the value of much Biblical practice. End RT.
Notice the following verse; Acts 15:21 "For Moses from ancient generations has had in every city those who proclaim him, since he is read in all the synagogues every Shabbat." The purpose of this verse is to indicate the opportunity for growth from those 4 beginning standards into the fullness of God's righteous principles found in the Law of Moses. Not a requirement, but a delight.
This is still our our (and God's) standard. Righteousness has not changed, our approach to it has. The flesh is weak (all have sinned). By grace through the spirit we are overcomers.
1 John 5:2-5 "We know that we love God’s children by this - when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God - that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For everyone born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is this - our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world, if not the one who believes that Yeshua is Ben-Elohim?"
I've got more on this. It will have to keep until tomorrow ...
Rabbi Michael Weiner,