God's Gathering in David's Tent
Beatuifully catchy song - SPirit of the Wst, may the circle be unbroken - picture of imagingn end time, picture of revelation - under the tree of life by water of life - gathering> Celebrating Communion we are to be looking forward anticipating that day! Can also look back at the fulfillment of Passover on the Cross - discern it. But also meant to look out now - to this world, to those borthers and sisters God has gathered for you to walk with here - to the world invited to come into this tent and to seek the LORD anbe be found of him - as Kriten verse said in Jeremiah - you will seek me and you will find me when you seek with all of your heart! Look out and see what God is doing right now! What Petere, James - as Jewish as you can get, and Paul and Barnabas - Jewish but sent ot he Gentiles - what is God up to now - no question on both sides what God had done in Christ on the Cross - but what is he doing now as a result of that.
A. Got to notice that the focus isn’t what Paul or Baranabas ddi, But what God had done with them cf. 14:27 Not just Gentile Missionary trip.
CEntral question who can be saved, two answers both from blievers, but one is right and one is so dangerously wong, - worht a debate,
Yoke of law, circumcsion and all 618 vs. yoke of Jesus - how decide? Faith in blood cleanse heart, , whole person = Gnetiles without becoming Jews, proselte…
What God had done - recount - joy …
B. Learn about the church = stands on gospel = therefore not just indiepenct decide…
C. Decide by Word =
epsitle not new decalogue or compromise with Judaizers
fraternal advice about pollutions, meat to idols, feasts (Jewish Xns no desire, but Gentile turning to LORD, friends, family feast) - wisdom with borthers with weak conscience; fornication - Pagan culture continually sees as innocent, natural even for married… EVEN IN OUR CULTURE Missionaries still have trouble with their converts on this score. Even in Christian lands moral laxity is justified in peculiar ways as not being immoral at all but only unmoral, merely something natural, “living one’s life,” etc. The early Gentile converts were in constant danger of being drawn into fornication in one form or the other by their relatives and their friends. Hence Paul’s, “Flee fornication!” .
This word of James’ is not metaphorical or figurative, nor should it be restricted to incest, forbidden degrees of consanguinity, marriage with a pagan spouse, etc. No restriction is needed because the form of the sin made no difference.
but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
“Things strangled and from blood” - not Levitical law, or Judaizer compromise…
Weaker conscience of Jewish brethren = James mentions these two points because the Jewish Christians were especially sensitive regarding them. They, too, knew that these points of the law were abrogated but they still felt a horror of eating blood or any meat that had retained the blood. The Gentile Christians were asked to respect this feeling and thus from motives of brotherly love, and from these alone, to refrain from eating blood and meat that still had its blood.
= change diet to give no offense…
PRINCIPLE = principle that underlies these two items is the one Paul so constantly stressed: to use the adiaphora in love, always so as not to offend the brethren, especially the weak. Against presumptuous demands he stood firm as a rock, but otherwise his prime consideration was love
Context: On the one hand they were surrounded by their pagan connections, and on the other they found themselves in the same Christian congregations with Jewish members. Here were idol feasts, where they might both contaminate themselves and greatly hurt others; here was fornication which was nothing to pagans and liable still to seem to be nothing to pagan converts; here was the matter of blood in meat or otherwise which was nothing to them, nothing in fact, and yet still horrible to their Jewish brethren. The one safe course to follow was to avoid these
Why “for Moses preached Sabbath by Sabbath = The hatred of idolatry, the wickedness of fornication, and the prejudice against any food that has blood in it had been most deeply ingrained in Jewish minds and to some extent in the minds of proselytes. Now, indeed, as far as Levitical regulations are concerned, these are abrogated, and James is certainly not trying to revive at least a few of them. They have disappeared forever. But love demands of the Gentile Christians that, apart from any danger to themselves in idol feasts and in fornication, they ought to be considerate of their fellow Christians who had been reared as Jews and who, although they were now freed from the old Jewish legalismy
LETTER The letter is, however, sent not only to Antioch but also to all the Gentile brethren “throughout Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.” It is a circular letter that is intended to reach all the churches that have been disturbed by the Judaizers
KEY Deliberately not use yoke for burden of not offending, causing weaker to stumble, accomodate for cultural challenges to the gospel…
= Apostolic Admonition = not legalism. It will always rest upon us: the necessity to keep away (ἀπέχεσθαι, hold oneself away from) from everything that might pollute, from anything idolatrous, fornicatious, or otherwise contaminating; the necessity of considering our brethren, their natural feelings and also their weakness so as never to harm them. This is sound apostolic advice that is good for us Gentile Christians to this day. The order of the four items is changed from that found in v. 20, but this seems immaterial.
Encouraged as prophets = On “prophets” compare 11:27; here the word signifies men who are thoroughly versed in the Word and able authoritatively to set forth the Lord’s will from that Word. So they must have done what James began to do when he cited (v. 16–18) and showed “by means of many a word” just what was intended concerning Gentile converts to Christendom; note διὰ λόγου in v. 27. The second verb adds the thought that they thereby confirmed, fixed and settled them in their faith and their conviction regarding what God really willed.