Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Paul and the Feasts

Paul did sometimes still keep the Feasts, even after he believed. But not always! For example, he spent three years at Corinth, without once going up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast as required by the Law of Moses, even though he could have if he'd wanted to. But sometimes he did go to the Temple, when he was already in Jerusalem for another reason. But he certainly didn't require Gentile believers to. When he wrote, "let us keep the feast" - he wasn't saying, Let's all become Observant - he was saying, Since Christ is our Passover, let's keep the 'feast' by being sincere and true, rather than the feast of unleavened bread etc. And he told the Gentiles not to let Judaizers judge them for being free. This was Paul being "all things to all men that he might win some". To those who were under the Law, he was able to act without breaking the Law; while to those who were not under the Law, he was just as free not to obligate them to become observant of the Law - so as to remove unnecessary barriers to people coming to faith in Jesus. To a Jew, it would have been a barrier, if he perceived that the faith of Christ meant breaking the Law... ...to a Gentile, it would have been a barrier, if he was told the faith of Christ made him obligated to the Jews' Law as well... When really, the Law was a non-issue, either way. So Paul was free to behave both ways, depending on who he was with. But in his teaching, he was quite clear that Law-keeping wasn't a necessity. The Council at Jerusalem decreed that too. And after AD70 it became impossible to carry-out the Feasts the way the Law stipulated anyway. So that nullified the question.

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