Further Study: “The success attending the preaching of the gospel aroused the anger of the Jews anew. From every quarter were coming accounts of the spread of the new doctrine by which Jews were released from the observance of the rites of the ceremonial law and Gentiles were admitted to equal privileges with the Jews as children of Abraham. . . .
Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com
His [Paul’s] emphatic statement, ‘There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision’ (Colossians 3:11), was regarded by his enemies as daring blasphemy, and they determined that his voice should be silenced.”—Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 390.
“And he could not count upon the sympathy and support of even his own brethren in the faith. The unconverted Jews who had followed so closely upon his track, had not been slow to circulate the most unfavorable reports at Jerusalem, both personally and by letter, concerning him and his work; and some, even of the apostles and elders, had received these reports as truth, making no attempt to contradict them, and manifesting no desire to harmonize with him.”—Page 398.
- The twelve disciples Paul met in Ephesus were former followers of John the Baptist who had already become disciples of Jesus (Acts 19:1-7). Why do you think that it is correct to use this passage to require rebaptism of Christians—already baptized by immersion—from other denominations who join the Adventist faith? Is there any significance in the fact that Apollos was not rebaptized?
- Think about Paul’s situation. He is rejected by his own countrymen who don’t believe in Jesus. Even of the Jews who do believe in Jesus, many view Paul with great suspicion, even distrust, because they think he is perverting the “landmarks.” Many of the pagans hate the gospel he is proclaiming. And yet—what? Why did Paul press on, despite all this opposition? Though we are not Paul, what can we take away for ourselves from his story?
- Think about some of the other arguments that people use to try to prove either that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday or that it is no longer binding. How do we answer those arguments and do it in a way to show that obedience to the Sabbath is no more legalism than is obedience to any of the other nine commandments; that is, if we obey by faith and with understanding of where our only hope of salvation lies?