A UNANIMOUS DECISION BASED ON GOD'S WORD (What was the result of this…
A UNANIMOUS DECISION BASED ON GOD'S WORD
What was the result of this kind of obedience?
We must all be ready to act promptly, just as we see in this image.
If we wish to have peace we must obey the theocratic provisions promptly.
How spiritually mature men faced the situation?
They trusted in Jehovah!
Jehovah God has not changed.
So we must continue to trust in his faithful and discreet slave.
Meetings, preaching, personal study, how to treat others ....
They turned to Jehovah through prayer!
Finally; they acted promptly when they understood Jehovah's answer.
They turned to Jehovah by reading and meditating on his word.
The letter provided clear direction for Gentile Christians not only regarding the circumcision issue but also regarding what they must do in order to receive Jehovah’s favor and blessing.
For the brothers in the congregations to act in unity that decision had to be communicated to them clearly and in a positive, encouraging way.
The governing body in Jerusalem had reached a unanimous decision on the issue of circumcision.
Let's look at the Biblical example of how our mature brothers of the first century acted when a controversy arose.
Why was the issue of circumcision taken to the governing body in Jerusalem?
In the interests of peace and unity, the congregation wisely arranged to take the question to “the apostles and older men in Jerusalem,” who made up the governing body.
For some, it takes time to adjust to a clarification in understanding.
Some found it hard to accept that circumcision was no longer a sign of a special relationship with God.
Jewish Christians needed sufficient time to adjust their viewpoint.
Under Christ’s direction, the governing body made it clear that non-Jewish Christians did not need to be circumcised.
What a privilege it is to be instructed and molded by our patient and kind heavenly Father!
So let us never proudly push ahead with our own ideas or react negatively to organizational changes or to adjusted explanations of certain scriptures.
The results are always good and always to our advantage.
The disciple Luke wrote: “Certain men came down [to Antioch] from Judea and began to teach the brothers: (...)
Why were Jewish believers still promoting circumcision some 13 years after the apostle Peter,
as directed by God
, had welcomed uncircumcised Gentiles into the Christian congregation?
It could also happen to us during our ministry!
Think of this comparison: What happens when an old, bridge needs to be replaced?
Often, a new bridge is constructed while the old bridge is still in use. Once the new bridge is ready, the old one can be torn down.
Only then will they be ready to abandon their former viewpoint. It may take time to help people make such changes.
Likewise, before we ask people to give up their cherished “old” beliefs, we may first need to help them build a strong appreciation for “new” truths—Bible teachings that at the outset are unfamiliar to them.
In such cases, we may need to allow a reasonable amount of time for God’s spirit to work on the heart of the student.
The need for patience may arise when we study the Bible with people who find it hard to abandon cherished false beliefs or unscriptural customs.
(...) ‘Unless you get circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’”
What wrong views were certain believers promoting, and what question does this raise?
Let's look at this picture!
In this room a congregation of the past is gathered!
All of them are participating in making the congregation strong.
This harmony starts from respect for the word of God.
The first to be involved are our brothers in the governing body.
Then, we are all involved.
Only through obedience, Jehovah God can act through his Holy Spirit for the benefit of the congregation.
How is it possible?
We can observe their discipline.
With the support of all the members of the congregation; there is true peace and harmony,
therefore spiritual progress
We can also appreciate the readiness to accept change.
Spiritually mature men, their families, and new disciples.