Faith, Yokes and Christ

I will keep this short… trust me. OK, I will try 🙂

In Acts 13-15, Paul and Barnabas had spent time journeyng through Gentile nations (Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe), preaching the Good News and confirming the Gospel with miraculous deeds. Note that at this point, Peter had already experienced the first Gentile conversion through Cornelious. As I studied chapter 15 this morning, I was partcularly struck by the debate between believeing Jews and the Apostles, with the former arguing that the Gentiles who have found faith in Christ be made to undergo the rituals of the law (circumcision) as the Jews do.

In defence of the Gentiles, Peter stood and declared… “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”

James further affirmed Peter stance when he said “It is my judgementm therefore, that we should NOT MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR THE GENTILES WHO ARE TURNING TO GOD”

There is a great lesson for us to learn from this. We must be careful not to place self-inflicted burdens on believers (old and new). We are often compelled to hand out a list of “rituals” on what to wear, how to dress, how to talk, what praying posture commends us to God, etc (often before we accept them to the faith or service)… as if these commend us to God apart from faith in Christ. In the spirit of Peter, I echo “NO!”

Am I saying there is no need for piety, soberness and orderliness? Absolutely not! We must let new converts know what God likes and hates as did the Apostles in verse 20 of Acts 15 (abstain from sexual immorality, etc) in line with scriptures. But let’s separate petty personal prefereneces and personal conviction from biblical doctrines. Let’s focus on teaching biblical truth as the Apostles did… then those who believe and do not believe can emulate your Christ-like lifestyle. That’s Christianity! Amen.

About Joseph Iregbu

I'm a writer, purpose guy, speaker and business consultant. My passion is to help people live with purpose and not waste their lives. I live in the UK with my wife, Temi and our gorgeous Isabel Juda. Let's connect on Twitter and Facebook.