Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Do Not Hinder New Believers


Is it wrong to consume blood? What about Acts 15:20?


Yes, at the Jerusalem council the Apostles talked about the fresh formed active New Testament church and how Gentiles would merge with the Jewish believers in this new faith in Jesus Christ. Acts 15:20 is some of the advice for new believers that were not Jewish.

Acts 15:20
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"20 but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood."

But also read the preceding verse.

Verse 19 says "19 Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles,"

Earlier verse 10 also slows down the Jewish leaders on making new believers follow Hebrew dietary law. New Christians, not Latter-Day-Jews, were being made.

Acts 15:10
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"10 Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?"

Is it wrong to consume blood? To consume blood from an animal is not sanitary. Exposed raw meat is a health hazard. Drinking the blood of an animal is gross and exposes you to sickness.
Does this mean I cannot go to Outback Steakhouse and order a prime rib medium rare?

In the days of Moses, and as the children of Israel fled from the Egyptians in the desert, certain foods were forbidden. Shell fish and pork and fresh cut meat can all spoil quickly. The ancient Hebrews were too busy fleeing Egyptians and fighting those in barren lands to stop for barbecue and shrimp cocktails. Did abstaining from shellfish, pork and rare cuts of meat make them closer to God? No.
Abstaining from these easy to spoil foods in desert flight and battle did make them healthier.

What can we take from this?
When new folks come to Christ be patient with them.
Those "born again" as babes in Christ do not have to get a haircut, vote Republican or have tattoos removed to fit our culture. We declare to them the gospel of Jesus and his death for our sins. We declare to them that He, our sinless Lord, received the wrath of God intended for sinners like us on the cross. We declare we are forgiven from our sins by God by the atoning work of Christ on the cross. We declare to those who have repented of their sins and turned to Christ that they now are at peace with God and are now citizens of Heaven.
Discipleship to the newly saved should be patiently administered by people of the church.
Thanks for the reminder. A juicy rib-eye and a salad sprinkled with fresh chilled shrimp is just what I want. I will thank the Lord for this delight He made as I dig in on this feast this weekend.

In Christ Alone!


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