Our Savior told his disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees,” by which he meant their bad teaching. As Christ’s disciples in this present day, we are no less prone to error than those early disciples were. Help us to avoid it.
Help us to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Help all the teaching we give and that which we willingly receive to be free from legalism, loose practice, error in doctrine and wrong motivation. Let us speak and believe what is true, rather than that which is convenient. And let us simultaneously avoid excessive harshness by adding to your commands.
Let our beliefs be correct and our lives be honorable, full of grace and true to your word.
Reality The Colossian church, however, was beginning to move in the direction of religious rules and rituals. Paul warns them hoping to stop them in their tracks before it’s too late. Jesus Christ is the ultimate reality. Don’t get distracted by things that simply look or sound religious.
This ends our three-part sereis on Acts 15. In the first part we looked at legalism; in the second we dealt with idolatry. In this section we’ll talk about sexual immorality – something the early church felt a need to specifically address.
In this chapter a conflict arises in the church. Certain Jewish believers wanted to impose specifically Jewish rules and practices, including circumcision, on the newly converted Gentiles. The conflict leads to a big meeting in Jerusalem among the recognized leaders in the church. They conclude that clearly the Gentiles need not “become Jews” in order to be Christians. Rather they come up with a short list of things that the Gentiles need to be aware of. In conclusion, we’ll look at the whole issue of legalism in the church. Here are the notes and audio:
Next week in Part 2, we’ll finish the chapter examining both idolatry and sexual immorality. These are two points the early church leaders realized needed to be specifically addressed in the non-Jewish world of that time. They are areas we need to address just as much today.