Home | Archives | Guest Book | Links | churches of Christ | Contact Us
Plan of Salvation
 | Correspondence Course | Daily Bible Reading | Store | World Evangelism
Gospel Gazette Online logo

Serving an international
readership with the
Old Jerusalem Gospel
via the Internet.

Vol.  9  No. 8 August 2007  Page 12
powered by FreeFind
Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

Separating Christianity and Judaism

D. Gene WestBy D. Gene West

    In the 21st chapter of the marvelous Book of Acts, we read of Paul’s final arrival in the City of Jerusalem. If he ever visited again after this time, there is no record of the event. He was welcomed by the brethren (21:17). The following day, he paid a visit to James (no doubt the Lord’s half brother). Upon coming to James, he spoke in some detail of the wonderful things God had accomplished among the Gentiles through his energetic ministry. When James and the elders heard Paul’s report, Luke recorded that they glorified the Lord for Paul’s success. Luke recorded that they (James and the elders) made the following statement to Paul, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs” (Acts 21:20b‑21). A thing that startles the modern Christian regarding this statement is that so many Jewish Christians were still zealous for the Law.

    These people had been obedient to Christ, recognized him as the Messiah, had been baptized into the death of Christ, but were still zealous for the Law. The New Testament is as clear as a lighthouse beam on a dark, clear night that the Law of Moses had been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross of our Lord on that fateful day at Calvary. From the time of the death of Christ until this present moment of time, the Law of Moses had been spiritually abolished and no longer had anything to do with the salvation of mankind. It had served its purpose as “schoolmaster” to bring the Jews to Christ and no longer had any spiritual value at all. Yet, these Christians who had been freed from the bondage of the Law were still zealous for the Law. Paul, on the other hand, had been teaching the Gentiles that they were not in any way responsible to the Law, that circumcision had no affect on whether or not one is saved, that the Law of Moses had been abolished because it had stood as a “middle wall of partition” separating the Jews and Gentiles so that they could not form into the one body, which Christ wanted them to be. Did Christ want the people to be zealous for the Law? We believe that can be answered with a firm negative, for Jesus himself said he had come for the purpose of fulfilling the Law (Matthew 5:17-18). When anything is fulfilled, it is neither necessary nor desired. If Jesus abolished the Law when he died, and he did, it had no further use because it had been fulfilled by his death. So, what these Jewish Christians were attempting to do was to follow the Law and the Gospel at the same time, a task that could not be legitimately pursued if the Law had been fulfilled. It is neither desirable nor possible to have two laws, covering the same matters in effect at the same time. That is no less true in spiritual matters than in physical ones.

    Since the Law of Moses had been abolished–nailed to the cross of Christ and no longer had anything to do with the salvation of either the Jews or the Gentiles, what could be done to make it impossible for the Jewish Christians to be zealous for the law any longer? God could render it impossible for it to be practiced in any way by destroying the Temple, the Genealogies, the functions of the Priesthood and all that physically pertained to the keeping of the Law. Once this had been done, there would be no value in those Jewish Christians being zealous for that which could no longer be practiced in any way.

    In the year A.D. 70, Titus and his Roman armies did just that–they destroyed all that pertained to the keeping of the Law along with the whole City of Jerusalem. From that time on, the Jewish Christians found no value in being zealous for a way of life that no longer existed. Consequently, when Christ came with his “clouds of angels” and destroyed the once holy City, he made it impossible for the Law in any way to be practiced again. He finally and forever separated Christianity from Judaism. With the Law gone spiritually and physically, all now depended on Christ.

Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20