Good morning y’all. Today we are studying acts 15.
Be blessed 🙂
I was particularly interested in verse 8. God knows people’s hearts. Nothing is hidden from Him. We can pretend and lie to man and ourselves but we can’t pretend to God. Bible says in Hebrews 4:13 that nothing is hidden from God….
The psalmist hit the nail on the head in Psalm 139 when he said there is no where to hide from God.
God sees our motives and knows when we are genuine or not. He won’t accept any form of lip service or show from us and that’s why in the book of John, He (Jesus) tells us that the father seeks those who would worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The Pharisees in our chapter today where focusing on the outward righteousness. To them they believed the gentiles can’t be christians unless they have fulfilled all the religious rites. Not that the Pharisees in question where doing the rites anyway to please God. They were doing it more for a show off, for people to see them and think they are all that and very holy people. No wonder Jesus gave them a good telling off in Matthew 15:2-9
“Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.” Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ ” (Matthew 15:2-3, 7-9 NLT )
They tried to get the Gentile to also focus on the outward. They wanted to put the burden of the law upon them.
God is not all about you spending time on the outward. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying we shouldn’t observe whatever outward ritual but the key thing is the intent of our heart. What’s our motive when we get on the stage to sing? What’s our motive when we serve at church, when we are present at every activity? Are we doing it so we can get the praise of men, so they can see us and be like, ‘Wow! She’s on fire for God!’ If that’s why we do what we do, then we need to go back to God and repent.
Paul nicely and politely put them back in their place. He explained to them (in verses 8 – 11) that the gentiles had a genuine love for God and God approved them by filling them with the Holy Spirit. This qualifies them!!!
“God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for He cleansed their hearts through faith. So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts of the Apostles 15:8-11 NLT )
That’s the goal of the law to put a burden on the people. Thank God we are saved by grace and not by the law. The law in its own doesn’t have power to save us. If it could, then there would have been no reason for Jesus.
I pray God will remove every idol from our lives that’s standing in our way of giving him true worship, in Jesus’ Name. Amen
Thanks for joining today. Pls feel free to share your thoughts on the chapter.
Have a blessed weekend 🙂
***With God all things are possible***