Family Bible

The Holy Bible - God's good news.

ACTS "talks."

Prompts and commentary as you read right through the Acts of the Apostles.

Bringing to you God's wonderful message as found in the Holy Bible.

"Good News Compage" 80.A.

based on

Acts chapter chapter 21, verses 17-31.

(PLEASE READ THESE VERSES IN THE BIBLE, and the following comments.)


Custom distorts Christianity!

Have you been in a hall of mirrors? The different mirrors give you distorted views of yourself. In some you appear very thin, in others very fat, or tall or short or twisted! You can laugh, knowing that is not what you really are, or really look like!

Many people have a distorted picture of Christianity? I wonder has custom distorted your view of true Christianity.

When the apostle Paul returned to Jerusalem from his third missionary journey around Asia, he went to see James; and all the Church elders were present. Paul gave a complete report of everything that God had done among the Gentiles through his work. After hearing him, they all praised God.

Then they said, “You see brother, how many thousands of Jews (here in Jerusalem) have believed, and all of them are zealous for the Law.” (verses 18-20.) James, and the elders, wanted Paul to let the Jewish believers see Christianity is not anti-Jewish. So, Paul agreed to take part in a Jewish ceremony in the Temple. (verses 23-24.)

Don’t confuse CUSTOMS with CHRISTIANITY! Custom distorts Christianity! The true Christian message proclaims God’s free gift of Salvation. Unworthy sinners, who will acknowledge the Son of God as their only means of Salvation, are pronounced forgiven by God, and become the adopted children of God. (John 1:12-13. Galatians 4:4-7.) NOTHING of Jewish culture, or any other religion’s rituals, can be added as conditions for Salvation by God, or for acceptance by God.

How very serious a mistake it would be if I made it appear that our relationship with God depends on some sacrament, or custom of religion! Acceptance with God is only to be had as the free gift of God through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:21-26.)

Christians cannot commend, or condone, anything that is contrary to, or condemned by God’s Word, the Holy Bible. (Romans 14:1-23.) Which means, there must not be any offerings for sin (Hebrews 10:8-18); and there must be no use of images or statues (Deuteronomy 4:15-16); and no priest but Jesus can make us acceptable to God today (Hebrews 7:23-28.); etc.

Paul was not ashamed of his Jewish heritage. (Romans 9:1-5.) Observance of this Jewish custom was NOT in order to gain acceptance or Salvation from God.

But, while Paul was in the Temple, showing himself friendly towards the Jews, some Jews showed that they were not friendly to the Christians! They stirred up opposition against him. (verses 28-29.) “The whole city was aroused … seizing Paul they dragged from the Temple, and immediately the gates were shut. They were trying to kill Paul...” (verses 27-31.)

Christians can tolerate those with different beliefs, just as Jesus went among the “sinners” (Luke 15:1-2.), but we must not let them influence our message, or rob us of our freedom to love and obey God and His Word.

Paul knew well that it is costly to follow Jesus! – Are you willing to take up your cross and follow Jesus? (Mark 8:34-37.)

Read Acts 21, verses 17-31.

John Nixon, Cork, Ireland. P31HD98.        Contact:  jnixonj@gmail.com

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