Saturday, June 02, 2007

Paul 2.10

Finally, James rendered a decision.

"Brothers, the elders and apostles have prayed and thoroughly discussed this important matter. As Peter has said, God has already shown us both in Scripture and with Cornelius that He has mercy not only on His people but also on the stranger in our gates. Clearly those Gentiles who are baptized in the name of Jesus can be saved.

"Yet we who are Jews must also follow the Law. As the prophet says, "I, God, do not change." God chose Israel to be His people out of all the nations of the earth. He gave Abraham the sign of circumcision. He gave the Law to Moses. Jesus' death does not nullify the Law or the Prophets for us Jews.

"Although it is not a problem for those of us who are here in Jerusalem, God's favor on the Gentiles has created problems for Jews in the Diaspora. For example, how can Jews share the Lord's Supper with unclean Gentiles?

"So after much prayer and fasting, the apostles and elders have come to a conclusion. We will send a letter to all Gentile believers. Barnabas and Saul will take it back with them to Antioch and from there it will be distributed to all converts from the nations.

"If the Gentiles will abstain from foods that make us unclean--meat that has been sacrificed to an idol, any meat that still has blood in it, especially meat that has been strangled, and of course if they will give up their perverse sexual immorality--if the Gentiles will do these things, then we will be able to eat at table with them."

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