Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ac 15:19–20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The early Christian church, in bringing Gentiles in to the church, rejected the idea that they should be circumcised. Instead, they had to be baptized. But there was more.
We focus so often on “kill and eat,” the admonition to Peter that we ignore this. The apostles returned to the Noahic covenant’s prohibition on consuming blood. The early church, like early man, had such respect for life that immorality, idolatry, and eating things with blood were prohibited.
As time went on, some denominations abandoned the prohibition on eating blood. But the reformed faiths kept it. Either way, the early church insisted on a respect for life drawing on the promises and obligations of the Noahic covenant.
When we turn to God, there are many burdens and obligations some want us to apply to our lives. The Apostles had very few. Avoid idols, avoid sexual immorality, avoid blood, and be baptized. We place so many burdens in our own path and yet our path is so simple — believe in the Lord Jesus and repent.
All things are possible if we do just that. The day may be hard, as it was for the early church, but eternal life is not hard if we just believe in Jesus.
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