Sumary: The question of ritual comes into play in the new church. Must someone become a jew to be a christian? Must they undergo circumcision and follow the Mosaic law to be saved through Christ. Paul, Barnabas and Peter say no.
3. The christians at Jerusalem were footed in the jewish tradition and the teachings in the temple. The believers in Antioch were not, or at least not to the same degree.
4. The Jews were jealous (Acts 17:5). The Jews were prejudiced (Gal 2). The jewish believers may have felt outnumbered and still carried a subservient view (They were under Roman rule and this now brought them out of bondage as it had the Jews of Moses time.)
b. They believed that the Jews were God’s chosen people and saw the path to salvation only through their tradition and ritual.
c. He was “all in” for Christ. If salvation came through the gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection alone, then any requirement of works or ritual distracted from that covenent and lessened the gift. Rom 10:12 – “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, the same Lord is the Lord of all…”
5. Peter refers to his vision of the sheet with all matter of animal, clean and unclean, and his subsequent understanding of the vision through the interaction of the Holy Spirit with Cornelius the centurion who received faith.
The bible is so simple in its requirements – believe, change and be saved. Yet we can add such complexity. You must go through these classes. You must attend these meetings. You have to be baptized on this day. You were baptized in what synod, we don’t count that.
There is nothing wrong with teaching, with prayer and with being a shepherd to new believers, but the avenue to a relationship with Jesus Chris does not come with barriers that new believers have to jump over. Christ seems to be happy that we are on the right path.