"As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality."
Thoughts for Today:This is a really interesting list:
* Don't eat food sacrificed to idols;
* Don't drink blood;
* Don't eat the meat of strangled animals;
* Don't participate or otherwise get involved in sexual immorality.
The last one doesn't seem to go with the previous three, yet all four of these issues were a source of enormous conflict between Jewish and Gentile believers. To this day we see similar types of conflicts between new believers and those who were raised from children to be adults in the teachings of the church.
You might say, "Wait a minute. In today's church I don't see any conflicts when it comes to food sacrificed to idols, anyone drinking blood, or eating the meat of strangled animals. But I do see a lot of sexual immorality still being held onto despite new found faith." While I agree the first three seem strange, they are simply tangible instructions given by the leadership of the church in Jerusalem regarding specific social issues related to their historical time period. That being said, the real issue addressed by all four can be summed up in two words: SENSITIVITY and PURITY. Sensitivity when it comes to what might offend others (in this case the Jewish believers); and general Purity as we present ourselves before the Lord.
Questions to Ponder:If we re-wrote the first three Sensitivity and Purity instructions for modern man, what would be on the list? What would be on your list of instructions? For example, would dress style matter; what is watched on television, viewed at the theater, or sites visited on the internet? Make a personal list of Sensitivity and Purity instructions. Any that you need to observe right now?