Scripture Notes and Queries

A.-The conference at Jerusalem (Acts 15) settles for us the question of " abstaining from blood." It does not take up Lev. 17 so much as the command to Noah as to this. The question to be settled was, could the Gentiles become Christians, without first becoming Jews? Amos 9 is cited for the sake of the words, "And all the Gentles upon whom my name is called." It is not that the prophecy was fulfilled, but that the name of the Lord could be called on them as Gentiles. Jerusalem herself gives up the title to impose the law on the nations, and the apostle or the circumcision uses the remarkable expression, "S We shall be saved even as they" (v. 2), i.e. through grace; the manner in which a Gentile is dealt with, mercy being God's way, through grace, with the Jew (cf, Eph. &c.) When the "apostles, elders, and brethren," write their decision, in vv. 23-29, they embody in it those "necessary things," which were opportune and right for Christians to observe. 1st, The unity of the Godhead to be maintained, in contrast to the " idols" of the heathen. 2nd, That life belonged to Him, they were to abstain from "blood, and from things strangled." 3rd, The marriage tie was sacred, and to be kept pure. In fact they go back to what was right and ordered of God in creation, coupling it with those things I name; not as enacting new laws, bet giving what was right to be observed in the midst of an evil world.
Thus, what was enacted in Gen. 9:44But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. (Genesis 9:4), is held good in Christianity. I do not think therefore we are exempt, but bound, as in all things, to do the will of the Lord.