The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 6, 05-09-2014
In Romans chapter 4 we saw the substance of the faith of Abraham as it was explained by Paul of Tarsus himself, that the gifts of the promises of God are for those nations which sprung from the seed of Abraham, from Abraham's loins, as the promises of the Old Testament which Paul cited certainly attest. Those promises are not conditional upon the keeping of the law, since they were delivered long before the giving of the law and since they were made without condition. However on the other hand, with the passing of the Levitical priesthood and the end of the rituals, Paul had also explained that those nations descended from Abraham should by nature keep the laws which Yahweh God had written upon their hearts.
The scoffers and Judaizers sought to keep Christians bound to the rituals of the law, and under their own thumbs since they pretended to be the experts in the law. The apostles, however, responded negatively to this. Peter is recorded as having said, in Acts chapter 15: “9 And distinguishing nothing between both us and them, by faith He cleanses their hearts. 10 Therefore now why tempt Yahweh to place a yoke upon the necks of the students which neither our fathers nor us have been able to bear?” Likewise James is recorded in that same place, “14 Sumeon has declared just how at the first Yahweh considered to take from among the Nations a people in His Name [which according to the prophets are all those scattered Israelites who would turn to Christ]. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree just as it is written: 16 After these things 'I shall return' and 'I shall rebuild the tent of David which has fallen and I shall rebuild its ruins and I shall set it up again, [David ruled over all twelve tribes, which split apart and followed Baal after Solomon died, and this is the tent to be rebuilt in Christ] 17 that those remaining of men [the remnant of Israel] seek Yahweh, and all the Nations whom have My Name labeled upon them [the Nations of the promise to Abraham], says Yahweh doing these things 18 known from of old [the reconciliation of Israel was known from of old because it is written in the prophets].' 19 On which account I judge not to trouble those from among the Nations who turn to Yahweh, 20 but to enjoin them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from that which is strangled and from blood. 21 For Moses from generations of old has those who are proclaiming him in each city in the assembly halls, being read each and every Sabbath.” Of course, the summons to keep the ten commandments were already a part of the Gospel, and there are evident cultural reasons why the apostles added these few things which we see here. But we must note that Paul was in agreement with the apostles concerning the laws of Moses, and the epistles of James and Peter are also found to be in agreement.