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Daily Manna 07th Jul 2020

Dear Subscriber,
Here is todays daily manna from Peter Pollock:

JULY 7             
A CODE OF CONDUCT

Bible in a year:  Job 34, 35   Acts 15: 1-21

Scripture:  Acts 15: 1:  And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “ Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved”

Paul and Barnabus were now confronted by some legalists who argued that salvation had to do with the circumcision as prescribed in the law. This represented the continual argument, prevalent and divisive to this day, between those who contend that knowing God has everything to do with rules and regulations and those who have experienced differently. It was pointless to argue with the legalists and so it was determined that Paul and Barnabus should go up to Jerusalem and consult with the apostles and the elders. There they overtly related their experiences but there were some of the sect of the Pharisees who took up the same argument. Again open debate was pointless so behind closed doors they met and Peter spoke from his heart. His experience with Cornelius was obviously the basis of his viewpoint and he spoke about the grace of God now being available to everyone. Paul and Barnabus related about the signs and wonders they had witnessed as God had worked through them amongst the Gentiles.

And finally James got up and aligned all that had happened with words from the prophet Amos in which God had promised that He would rebuild the tabernacle of David - that was in ruins- so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even the Gentiles! It was thus his conclusion that they should stop making a fuss about the circumcision issue but there was greater need to preach against certain very specific evil malpractices. They should concentrate on abstaining from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled and from blood. These represented the absolute basics in God’s eyes!  Idolatry in any guise needed to be avoided as the plague, as too any form of sexual deviance. God permits sex only in marriage so fornication was taboo!  The eating of blood was also abhorrent in God’s counsel and this category not only including the eating, but all the various forms of cruelty and murder. In simple terms the council, obviously under the chairmanship of James, had given blessing to the simple understanding that salvation was by the grace of God alone, was available now to everybody who sought the Lord Jesus, but that it was also right and proper to insist that believers should be “recognized” by a code of conduct – the fruit of regeneration and righteousness!