DURING THE TIME OF THE APOSTLES, SOME MEN CAME DOWN FROM JUDEA TO ANTIOCH AND WERE TEACHING THE GENTILE BELIEVERS: “UNLESS YOU ARE CIRCUMCISED, ACCORDING TO THE CUSTOM TAUGHT BY MOSES, YOU CANNOT BE SAVED”.
THIS BROUGHT PAUL AND BARNABAS INTO SHARP DISPUTE AND DEBATE WITH THEM. SO PAUL AND BARNABAS WERE APPOINTED, ALONG WITH SOME OTHER BELIEVERS, TO GO UP TO JERUSALEM TO SEE THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS ABOUT THIS QUESTION (Act 15:2-2).
IN A FORMAL DELIBERATION, SOME OF THE BELIEVERS WHO BELONG TO THE PARTY OF THE PHARISEES INSISTED THAT THE GENTILE BELIEVERS BE CIRCUMCISED AND BE REQUIRED TO OBEY THE LAW OF MOSES. (Act 15:5) “Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses.”
PETER STOOD UP AND ADDRESSED THE BODY AND SAID:
(Act 15:10-11) “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples A YOKE THAT NEITHER WE NOR OUR FATHERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BEAR? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Read Acts chap 15)
THE APOSTLE PAUL IN HIS LETTER TO THE GALATIANS SAID THAT CHRIST HAS SET US FREE FROM THE YOKE OF THE LAW; HOWEVER, IF YOU ALLOW YOURSELVES BE CIRCUMCISED; YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO OBEY THE WHOLE LAW.
(Gal 5:1) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a YOKE OF SLAVERY.
(Gal 5:2) Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
(Gal 5:3) Again I declare to EVERY MAN WHO LETS HIMSELF BE CIRCUMCISED THAT HE IS OBLIGATED TO OBEY THE WHOLE LAW.
(Gal 5:4) You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
CHRIST’S YOKE IS EASY AND HIS BURDEN IS LIGHT, AND YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOUL.
(Mat 11:28) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Mat 11:29) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
(Mat 11:30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“FOR THE LAW WAS GIVEN THROUGH MOSES, BUT GRACE AND TRUTH CAME THROUGH JESUS CHRIST” (JOHN 1:17).
IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS!