E100 Devotion – Day 78

July 22, 2012

Reading: Acts 15

It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so anxious to put others under bondage. Certain men came down from Judea teaching that if you don’t get circumcised you can’t be saved. It’s thousands of years later and certain men are still trying to bring believers under bondage. Believers need to be Biblically literate and led by the Spirit!

Can you imagine how the requirement of circumcision would have affected evangelism? The Jews were circumcised as infants for the most part and asking adults to get circumcised is no small matter. As missionaries Paul and Barnabas weren’t about to let legalism stop them from reaching the Gentiles.

The New Covenant is all about what God does on the inside of man’s heart, not about man’s outward attempt to “do” the law through the works of the flesh.

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not of men but from God.
Romans 2:28-29

Rules don’t influence the heart like God’s Word revealed by the Holy Spirit does. Legalistic people use legalism to conceal the sin in their hearts of their own self righteousness, not recognizing that righteousness comes only by faith, which happens on the inside, changing us from the inside out.

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:10

One thing that continues to repeat its self is that conflict is constant. What we learn here is how safety came from 3 things – the multitude of leadership council, leadership of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. They didn’t rely on their intellect or their feelings alone.

For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than necessary things.
Acts 15:28

The Holy Spirit leads us through the unknown!

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