24 JUN 2021

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The sharp dispute and debate

Acts 15:1-5

1有几个人从犹太下来,教导弟兄们说:“你们若不照摩西的规例受割礼,就不能得救。” 保罗和巴拿巴,与他们大大地争执辩论起来。大家就派保罗、巴拿巴和他们中间的几个人,为这个问题上耶路撒冷去见使徒和长老。 于是教会给他们送行,他们就经过腓尼基、撒玛利亚,述说外族人怎样归主的事,使弟兄们大大喜乐。 到了耶路撒冷,他们受到教会、使徒和长老的接待,就报告上帝同他们一起所行的一切。 然而有几个法利赛派的信徒站起来,说:“我们必须给外族人行割礼,吩咐他们遵守摩西的律法。”

1 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”



Lessons Learn

The principle at stake was quite simple and completely fundamental. Was the gift of God for the select few or for all the world? If we possess it ourselves, are we to look on it as a privilege or a responsibility? The problem may not meet us nowadays in precisely the same way; but there still exist divisions between class and class, between nation and nation, between colour and colour. We fully realize the true meaning of Christianity only when all middle walls of partition are broken down.