Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Little More on Faith and Works

From a reader:

Why do you espouse the Noahide Laws? Why not just proclaim Christ?

Good question... but one that shows you didn't read what I wrote. Maybe you skimmed it?

  1. Salvation is by God's grace through faith in Him. 
  2. The evidence of salvation is "fruits" or "good works" - these are defined by "Love God" and "Love your Neighbor." These good works are also defined by keeping God's commands - Decalogue and/or Noahide and/or Mosaic Law (for Jews only).

From this, it is easy to see that Jesus, Paul, Peter, and the Apostles actually preached the Noahide Laws. Salvation by God's grace and through Faith, as demonstrated by simple guidelines of a Godly way to live.

Enter Acts 15:19-20 -
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. ..."
The Apostles made it clear. The understood parts of these "commands" were to believe in and love God (Noahide Code 1); refrain from blasphemy (NC2), murder (NC3), and theft (NC4). It was also a given that each country they were in had established laws and courts for justice. Therefore, the apostles determined, under the guiding Hand of God, that the only other needed regulations were Noahide Code 5 & 6 - prohibition of inhumanity toward food animals and sexual immorality.

Enter Galatians 2:11-14 -
But when [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to [Peter] in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
 Here again, Paul made it clear that adherence to all of the Laws of Moses were not needed for Gentile Christians. Instead, just the fundamentals. 

Enter Jesus Himself in Matthew 19:17
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.
To be fair, Jesus was speaking of the Ten Commandments. However, we have talked before about the overlap between the Ten Commandments and the Noahide Code. They are virtually the same. 


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