Breaking The Yoke

Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2010 in Acts, New Testament
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Acts 15:1-2, 7-11
Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them…Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 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.”

As you must probably be aware, the winter Olympics is currently taking place here in Vancouver, Canada and the world’s best athletes are here to win the Olympic medal for their country and for themselves. These athletes are the best in their fields and had to qualify by participating in several local, regional, national and international competitions to get a chance to compete here. They are called Olympians just because they qualified and not because they won a medal. In much the same way, we believe that in every area of our lives, people need to qualify. Whether it be a job, education, a loan and even in religion. This seems to be the issue reflected in the passage above where the Gentiles (Non-Jews) were expected to be circumcised to be saved.

When Jesus came into this world, he seemed to be anti-establishment in some ways and that specifically related to areas where rituals and expectations became a part of religion. With his death, the curtain that prevented the Jews from entering the holy sanctuary in the temple was torn because through Jesus, we are given access to God directly with nothing holding us back. We never qualified to be found acceptable in the eyes of God. It is God’s mercy for us that gives us access to Him. We are reminded today to put away the rituals and pre-qualification standards we have in our minds to reach the lost for Christ. Lets go out and show the world what a loving God we serve!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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