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IBC Women’s Blog Post October 10, 2019

IBC Women’s Blog Post October 10, 2019

Move together through Acts: Chapters 15-16 by Jodie Montgomery

Acts 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

When my two eldest children were young, we were reading through the Old Testament and arrived at the passage about Abraham being directed to circumcise his children. I proceeded to instruct my two young children, Samuel and Sarah, about circumcision. Samuel was horrified. I then had to explain that we may have already performed this act in his situation.

I continued to explain the parallel to the New Covenant promises of God and the promise that His children would have a circumcised heart. Sarah was horrified. Apparently she thought she had escaped the knife as a female, but now her days were numbered. Samuel was still reeling from the other lesson and wasn’t as focused in as Sarah was at this point. Needless to say, time in the Word wasn’t a comforting experience that day and clarity on covenants is key.

I am grateful for Peter’s clarification on circumcision as the discussion, as with “maintaining” the Law perfectly, can be burdensome to our young minds (Acts 15:5-11):

But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.” The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”

The New Covenant in Christ is a great comfort. Our Savior has fully paid for our sins and adopted us into His inheritance. We have a changed heart, sealed and indwelt by the Spirit of God. The believer is set apart as a child of God. There is no distinction between male and female, Jew or Gentile. There is no room for self-righteous adhesion to the letter of the Law instead of the heart of God in revealing we need a Savior.