God’s truth transforms lives and lifts burdens. Should we follow the world’s patterns (e.g. political correctness) or God’s?
The apostles wrote to the gentile converts to clarify the place of the law in their lives. The law, fulfilled by Christ, shows us how to live, but no longer confers righteousness (it never would). Living now under grace, they should not look to live in bondage to every letter of the law; rather they were to live lives that were clean before God, out of love and obedience to him.
Some Jews considered that the Mosaic law should be applied to the new Gentile converts. This meant, for example, subjecting the new believers to circumcision.
Peter makes the point that God has shown his approval of the Gentiles by giving them the gift of the Holy Spirit – without asking any additional legal requirements of them. Since God is not showing favouritism, the Jews should not subject the Gentiles to any form of bondage. Their confession of faith and the presence of the Holy Spirit was evidence enough that they were accepted.
Next, Paul and Barnabas give testimony to the signs and wonders they were able to do among the Gentiles. Again, this shows the way I’m which God was accepting non-Jews.
Finally, James speaks and he makes reference to prophecies that predict the salvation of the Gentiles. He then Laura down some simple guidelines for spiritual cleanliness; guidelines that would not be burdensome to these believers.
As John begins in v1 he does not speak of the ‘Word of God’,
but of the word who was with God, and was God. John is telling us how things have been from all eternity. For John the Word is revealing the man: Jesus Christ.