The Unknown Argument
The more I learned about rightly dividing the Bible the more I ran across things that I was unaware of in scripture. Not obscure and relatively unimportant things, but obvious and very important events or instructions in scripture. Many people learn some of these things and become upset with their preacher and the fact that they were never taught these things. The more you learn about your Bible apart from any preconceived agenda the more you learn that your preacher was not hiding things from you but rather he is unaware of these things just as much as you were. One example of a very important event and quite literally a turning point in scripture that I don’t recall ever being taught about is the argument of Acts chapter 15. This event like so many others is not studied, taught, or even considered in week after week of lessons and sermons. I implore you to stop and read this chapter now. In this chapter you notice what I will call “The Unknown Argument”. Members from the church at Jerusalem have went behind the Apostle Paul and are telling Paul’s converts they must be circumcised and follow the law of Moses to be saved. Already this doesn’t fit your denominational agenda because you probably trace yourself back to the “New Testament” church. Well, that new testament church is requiring LAW KEEPING to be saved. Paul has quite the argument with these law keepers to the extent that it is decided that Paul must come to Jerusalem to discuss the subject with the apostles and elders. Once in Jerusalem the heated argument continues and from the passage it seems no end is in sight. Paul is explaining HIS gospel to the little flock back at Jerusalem and of course Paul’s gospel is DIFFERENT from the gospel Jesus, Peter, and the disciples were preaching. This is painfully obvious from the context but once again this does not fit into most churches man made theology. When there seems no end to the strife Peter (Who is no longer in charge at Jerusalem) finally speaks up of a strange event in his past, the Holy Ghost falling on Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. Peter finally figures out the obvious, and says the following words in Vs 11, “But we believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved even as they” Peter understands that the Kingdom program to Israel has been set aside and Paul is preaching what God is doing now. Paul is preaching his gospel of the GRACE OF GOD. Did you notice the “we” and “they” in verse 11? Peter knows what almost no church in your town knows that there were TWO gospels and the one he and the church at Jerusalem was preaching is over and Paul’s gospel of grace was the only gospel at this point. I challenge you to find Peter anywhere in scripture after this point. This argument in Acts 15, that you have probably never understood correctly is just one of the many proofs that during the Acts transitional period the little flock of Israel, the believing Jews, were still following the law and requiring works while Paul’s gospel of grace was coming to the forefront. You will NEVER understand your Bible until you separate what God separates! The gospel of the earthly kingdom and the gospel of the grace of God are DIFFERENT! Christians today fight stubbornly to keep the traditions they were taught and read right past the obvious the Holy Spirit left them in scripture. What about you? Believing the Bible over church tradition is a hard thing.
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Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul