The Law & Beyond

September 4th, 2012

Acts 15:12-21RG AUDIO 090412

There was nothing so deeply engrained in devout, first-century Jews as the importance of being faithful to the Law of Moses. Throughout Israel’s history, they got in trouble whenever they dismissed the law in their behavior or in their hearts. Jesus had a high view of the law too. He was the spotless lamb who met the requirements of the law, so we should follow his example and follow the law as well, right? Not exactly.

The simplest solution would have been to either keep the law in place or toss it out completely, but that wasn’t Jesus’ approach. Jesus said his teachings were to be understood as fulfillment of the law, not abolishment. Jesus was consistent with the law, but raised spiritual life to a new level beyond the law.

The Holy Spirit guided the apostles in the same conclusion. When they looked carefully at the Spirit’s work among the Gentiles and compared it to Scripture, the big picture came into focus. It was important to live moral lives and to take the Jewish Christians’ sensitivities into consideration while also welcoming the Gentiles with open arms.



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