By Pastor David M. Choi
As more and more Gentiles come to believe, some of the Jews grow increasingly alarmed. They observe that these Gentile Christians are not obeying the laws and customs of Moses, in this particular case, the practice of circumcision. As a result, this continues to stir theological debate within the early church.
Some believe that the gospel merely permits Gentiles to join an already established Jewish community, and therefore that it is still imperative for Gentiles to observe and practice all of their laws and customs. The apostles, however, vehemently disagree with this line of theological reasoning. To be sure, they agree that, through faith in Christ, the Gentiles are now permitted entrance into the the life of Israel; however, the apostles believe they must go one step further to realize that the gospel transforms not only the lives of Gentile believers but even the very life of Israel itself.
In other words, even when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we are not yet a finished product. Though we are called to be witnesses “out there,” we are also called to continually question whether our own lives truly correspond to that of Christ’s. The gospel is not only the gift of salvation for those who have yet to believe, but it remains the gift of ongoing transformation for those who have already come to believe. Yes, we must put our trust in Christ and help others to do the same. But a part of what it means to help others experience this good news is to ask how we ourselves can be more like Christ today.
Jesus Christ, you have called me to bear witness to your kingdom in this world. Yet, as I seek to do so, help me not to overlook my own personal need to grow, day by day, in the glory of your likeness. Keep me from spiritual arrogance, from thinking that I have everything figured out. Instead, teach me humility, so that in my witness people would not be burdened by my preferences but freed by the power of your unblemished truth. Amen.