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Church History
The First Century – Conflicts With
Judaism & With Rome
Law vs. Grace
Clean / Unclean
Angels vs. Christ
Temple Worship
Holy Spirit vs Tradition
“Jacob’s Ladder Spirituality”
Conflicts With Judaism
Justification is not by lawkeeping but by faith in Jesus
Christ alone (Romans chapters
3-8, Galatians)
We have died to the Law
(Romans 7:1-6, Galatians 2:19)
If we go back under the Law we
are cut off from Christ
(Galatians 5:1-11)
The Law no longer has any
power over us, therefore there
is no condemnation from the
Law for those who are in Christ
Jesus (Romans 8:1,2)
These doctrines caused major
conflict esp. between Paul and
the Jews
Law vs. Grace
Jesus touched many unclean things
and was not defiled by them (dead
bodies, lepers, woman with an issue
of blood etc)
 Christ more powerful than ritual
 Jesus declares all foods clean
(Mark 7)
 Peter told not to call unclean what
God has called lean (Acts 10)
 Romans 14 – still to act according
to our conscience
 1 Corinthians 8 & 10 – we are not
to eat in idols temples but neither
are we to see the meat as ‘defiled’.
Rather we are to stay away from it
so as not to stumble others
Clean /
The Jews had an understanding of
spirituality as vertical and that you
proceeded upward one step at a
time toward heaven.
Rich, obviously blessed people,
teachers priests and prophets were
at the top and common people and
‘sinners’ at the bottom.
When Jesus said ‘the tax-gatherers
and sinners will enter the Kingdom
ahead of you’ He upset this
John 3- Nicodemus, John 4 –
woman at the well. Both ‘ends of
the ladder’ – no difference. Ladder
Jacob’s Ladder
Many Jewish Christians
insisted that Gentiles
Christians be circumcised as
part of entering into the
blessings of Abraham
 Paul insisted that the blessings
of Abraham were by faith and
that all who were of faith were
sons of Abraham and that
circumcision / uncircumcision
was nothing but rather faith
working through love
 It was resolved at the
Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 –
that circumcision was not
necessary for salvation
The Sabbath was the Jewish
day of rest and was strictly
observed by the Jews as part
of the Ten Commandments
 Yet Jesus frequently ‘worked’
on the Sabbaths and declared
Himself Lord of the Sabbath –
(Mark 2:27,28)
 The New Testament Sabbath is
our Sabbath rest in God
(Hebrews chapters 3&4) and is
not a particular day of the
 We are not to let people judge
us about Sabbath observance
(Colossians 2:16)
The Sabbath
The Gentiles were seen as so sinful
that it was ‘not possible’ for them to
become Christians
If was thought that if Gentiles were
righteous they would become Jews
first, clean up their lives and then
become Christians
Spirituality and culture were tightly
connected as were spirituality and
Grace reaches down even to those
with highly dysfunctional lifestyles
and this outraged the Jews who
strove for works-based
Of Gentiles
In the Jewish view the Law was
infallible because it was delivered
through angels and was mediated
by them (Acts 7:25, Hebrews 2)
Christ being greater than the angels
was able to revoke the Law
The supremacy of Christ over the
angels is the starting point for the
book of Hebrews (chapter 1)
Paul even tells us that we shall
judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:1-3)
The Gnostics again tried to place
Christ as lower than the angels
But the Bible asserts that Jesus
Christ is above all heavenly powers
and that they will bow to Him
(Ephesians 1;20, Colossians 1:1520, Philippians 2:5-11)
Therefore Christianity is superior to
Judaism as it has not an angel but
God’s Son as its Mediator
Angels vs. Christ
Acts 7:48, 17:24…God does
not dwell in temples made
with human hands. First said
to the Jews, then to the
Jesus ‘spoke of the Temple of
His body’ (John 2:21)
Our bodies are now temples of
the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians
Temple worship ceased in
70AD and has never resumed
Temple Worship
Jesus was the ‘once for all’
sacrifice – for all people, for all
time… (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12,
Sacrifices of bulls and goats were
the shadow but Christ is the
reality and has replaced them!
The Aaronic system has been
replaced the priesthood of
Melchizedek (Hebrews 7&8)
The only sacrifice now required is
praise and thanksgiving
(Hebrews 13:15)
In the NT the Holy Spirit
replaces law and tradition as
the inner guidance of the
Hebrews 8:8-13, 10:15-17
Matthew 7:8, Colossians 2:8
We do not need traditional
rabbinical instruction: Matthew
7:29, 16:17, John 6:45, 8:28,
14:26; 1 Thessalonians 4:9,
1 John 2:20,27
Revelation comes via the Holy
Spirit: 1 Corinthians 2:9-16
Holy Spirit
Refusal to say Caesar is Lord
Seen as atheists because of the
lack of temple observance and
‘meet adoration of the household
gods’ (refused to participate in
ancestor worship)
Seen as cannibals for ‘eating the
flesh of Jesus Christ’
Makers of idols fomented riots
against Christians
Pleasing the Jews (by
persecuting the Christians)
A convenient minority to blame /
Tensions With Rome