Great Encouragement. They Said Nothing

Sometimes, it's what you don't say that is the most encouraging.

As the news about Jesus spread beyond the epicenter of Jerusalem and was believed by people outside the original Jewish community, one question that quickly arose is, "Just how Jewish should these new people be required to become?" Some wanted high performance and high standards: all the Jewish laws must be kept!

Wiser leaders, such as Peter and James, argued no. The old way of the law was being replaced by the law of faith. God was cleaning hearts directly! (Acts 15)

In the letter these leaders wrote to this new kind of believer, they did give some practical advice (about the source of certain foods - advice that would help their Jewish brothers and sisters understand them) and one piece of moral judgement (keep sex in marriage), but that's it. No list of rules and requirments, no new performace standards. No defintions of what it takes to be a "good Christian." There is a time and place fo such advice about how to stay close to God and what it means to work with God in this world - and a spirit of grace that must always accomplany such advice! - but when the question is, "Who is really in?" the answer is, "We all are. All who seek Him" (Acts 15:17).

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