Watch weighty words of wrath. The future founder of Israel, Jacob, fled from his father-in-law Laban who quickly pursued in search of his missing household gods. Jacob, quick to vindicate himself with weighty words of wrath, nearly issues the death sentence for his favored wife Rachel who had secretly carried off the idols (Gen. 31:31). While Jacob was fortunate to escape the repercussions of his words (31:34-35), later generations did not fair as well: Judah is trapped by Tamar and forced to eat his words of condemnation (Gen. 38:24-26) and Jephthah sacrifices his own daughter due to a mindless vow (Judges 11:30-38). Weighty words still divide today as James and Paul remind us that the tongue cannot be tamed (James 3:7-8) and not to let the sun set in anger (Eph. 4:26). Fathers should encourage their children instead of berating them with reminders of past failures and shortcomings lest resentment split their families (6:4). Christians should choose gentleness and respect over ultimatums and venomous ad hominem when debating with unbelievers so our words will attract them to the gospel (1 Peter 3:15-16).
How “Jewish” did you have to be in order to be included in the church before Acts 15? After Acts 15?
What forces led to this change?
Why does this matter today?
The meeting of the Apostles and elders in Acts 15 could be considered to be the first “church council.” Like church councils of the future, the meeting addressed issues occurring prior to the meeting, and then set the appropriate direction for the future.
Ephesians 1:4 - "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will..."
While studying the book of Ezekiel, I was suddenly overwhelmed with God's love for us. I set to writing and this story of the gospel came out.