Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, and they sent this letter by them,
“The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls, it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.” Acts 15:22-29
Some people want to add more to Christianity that just Jesus. But, when its all boiled down, its just Jesus and His salvific life, death and resurrection that saves us.
As God’s Spirit was moving in that first century, saving Gentiles by the hearing of the gospel, there arose a group of believers who were Pharisees that wanted the Gentiles to be circumcised as adults. This was a practice of proselyte Jews. But, Paul would not allow it. Why? Because God had already confirmed that He accepted the Gentiles by faith by the giving of the Holy Spirit. The big meeting about it all happened back in Jerusalem. And the council sent this letter to encourage the believers and settle the matter. Interestingly, they did not want the Gentiles to miss the necessity of holiness. So, they reminded them about the dangers of idols, the importance of dietary devotion, and finally, the pitfalls of sexual immorality.
Do I add extra rules to the simple faith of following Jesus? On the other hand, am I careful to protect my life from pollution of the world?
God, as this day begins, please walk with me. Give me the ability to learn and retain knowledge and wisdom. I marvel at Your plan for my life and others. I am praying for Your great work to unfold in each of my kids’ lives. Thank you for saving me all those years ago. You are gracious and good.