Memory Text: “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
The early church was composed mostly of Jews who never for a moment thought that by accepting the Jewish Messiah, Jesus,
they were somehow turning away from the faith of their fathers or the covenant promises that God had made to His people. As it turns out, they were right. The issue for the early Jewish believers was whether or not Jews had to become Christians in order to accept Jesus. The other issue for many of them was whether Gentiles had to become Jews before they could accept Christ.
Only later, in the Jerusalem Council, was there a firm answer. They made the decision not to trouble the Gentiles with a host of regulations and laws. That is, Gentiles didn’t need to become Jews first in order to accept Jesus.
Despite the decision, however, some teachers continued to plague the churches by insisting that Gentile converts to the faith were required to keep these rules and laws, including circumcision (not exactly a procedure that would make joining Christianity particularly appealing for an adult). That is, they thought that these Gentiles, in order to be partakers of the covenant promises, had to abide by many of the rules and regulations that were deemed a requisite for partakers of the commonwealth of Israel.
What were the issues, and how were they to be resolved?
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 14.
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons