Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Under the Knife

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

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." Acts 15: 5, 8-11

Today’s Reading: Job 34-35; Acts 15:1-21

A few thoughts here…

I’m lightweight feeling the ex Pharisees here. It’s pretty funny to me actually. They’re like, “wait a minute… I had to go under the knife and these jokers don’t have to?? oh no… that is NOT the business!”


Ok, I’m kinda mean to laugh but that’s what I see here. Sure I know they are riding for Moses, but I think that most of all they are salty that they had to get circumcised and the gentiles don’t. I mean really, who would volunteer for that?

But all joking aside, Peter’s response is a key point. You remember the laws of Moses. It is impossible to follow them perfectly. That was the whole point of Jesus coming right; to free us from the laws, to provide a way of connecting to God even though we cannot measure up on our own.

I had a conversation with a friend about this recently. We were talking about marriage and fidelity and he asked me if I thought it was possible in a lifetime of marriage. And I responded to him by saying that that was one of the interesting philosophical points of Christianity. Whether you believe it in it or not, it is quite interesting to understand what Peter is saying here. We are not capable of a perfect standard on our own. But with God’s help we can do all things that He has set out for us to do.

We are not alone in this difficult and perilous journey that life can be at times. We have help when we struggle. We will be lifted up when we stumble.

What is our responsibility? To believe and try our best so that everyday we get closer to being who we are capable of being.


  1. Hello Man of God, I agree. True followers of Christ are tested by the circumcision of the heart and not of the foreskin. Anybody can commit an act; and profess to be something because of that act; and have no real change in their heart.

    Jesus said "You will know mine by the fruit that they bare."

    This is the real test to reflect who you really are and what you really believe. Mere rituals don't mean anything when it comes down to living by faith.

    Bottom line is you either believe what God said or you don't. Your faith or the lack thereof, will locate you wherever you are.

  2. great information and nice blog

  3. @Nicole regarding ritual... I agree with you in the spirit of what you are saying. I used to have an even harder line than that. I used to believe that rituals were meaningless but lately I have become. More intrigued by them. More on that to come....
    @netbook thank you for reading!

  4. From CM's response, I concur ritual does mean a lot. Well, not actually the type of ritual, but more so a distinct presentation (?) to friends, family, society, and God declaring your commitment and understanding of an accepted principal, practice, or law. Makes sense?

    Hence, the Pharisees being angry because they performed "the ritual". They openly declared their commitment and belief through a public display. The Gentiles though having the same commitment and belief, did not make the same public declaration. As if saying we believe but not to the extent of sacrificing "some skin" for for those beliefs.

    Giving consideration to having help, the same help is there to help us through the acts of public declaration and commitment and to maintain those commitments.

    Regarding CM's friends question, if they are asking if the possibility exists for someone to be faithful an entire marriage, they may actually be questioning their own belief and commitment. Which could also mean they are questioning God's ability to help them through mmm, "questionable times".

    As Nicole said, at the end of the day it's simply, you believe or you don't. No half stepping is allowed.


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