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They shall keep guard over you and over the whole tent, but shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary or to the altar lest they, and you, die. They shall join you and keep guard over the tent of meeting for all the service of the tent, and no outsider shall come near you. And you shall keep guard over the sanctuary and over the altar, that there may never again be wrath on the people of Israel. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.


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Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?

But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.

Worship in the Early Church

Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.

Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.

The Early Christian Church at Rome

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

To add other rituals, or to invest those two rituals with meaning that is not taught in the New Testament, is to worship God falsely. In New Testament terms, every believer is a priest 1 Pet.

Did Paul Sin in Submitting to the Temple Ritual?

Jesus is our high priest and He offered Himself as the complete and final sacrifice for our sins Heb. Also, the New Testament is clear that being baptized or partaking of communion are of no spiritual value, unless you do them out of faith in Christ. Baptism, whether performed on infants which I believe is wrong or on those old enough to understand what it means, does not convey salvation or forgiveness of sins.

If the baptized person acts in obedience to Christ as a confession of saving faith in Christ, then baptism is of great value. We should not minimize or abandon these rituals. But there is no spiritual benefit conveyed just by going through these religious rituals, apart from reality with God through faith in Christ. At this point, Paul would have shocked his Jewish readers.

He makes the point that…. And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? Cranfield, cited by Thomas Schreiner, Romans [Baker], p. There is debate about who is the uncircumcised man who keeps the requirements of the Law. Is this merely hypothetical? Does Paul mean that no Gentile has ever kept the Law or could do it, but if he could, he would be counted as circumcised and thus condemn the Jew? Or, could Paul be referring to unsaved Gentiles like Cornelius Acts 10 , who were devout, God-fearing men?

Or, is he referring to Gentiles who really do obey the Law because God has changed their hearts? Paul will explain this in verses 28 and 29, where he says that being a true Jew which means, one who is in right relationship with God is not a matter of external circumcision, but of internal circumcision of the heart, brought about by the Holy Spirit.

Those who have the Spirit are empowered to observe the law , but one only receives the Spirit by believing in Jesus, whom God has set forth as a propitiation for sin But they wrongly were concerned more about outward matters than about their hearts before God. As Jesus said Matt. Reality with God is a matter of the Holy Spirit changing your heart, not of your performing religious rituals. Paul uses four somewhat overlapping contrasts to drive home this point: 1 not outward, but inward; 2 not the flesh, but the heart; 3 not the letter, but the Spirit; and, 4 praise not from men, but from God.

God looks on the heart.

Paul's letter to the Romans

You can impress people with polished prayers, powerful sermons, generous gifts to the church, and all sorts of religious activities. What was your motive when you did those things?

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And, what kinds of thoughts were you entertaining? But the outward must begin with the inward. Paul says in line with Moses and Jeremiah that true circumcision is not a matter of the flesh, but of the heart. This means that we must deal with sin on the heart or thought level. We must put to death or cut off the deeds of the flesh when they occur in our minds. Paul says Rom. If you develop that habit, you will not fulfill the deeds of the flesh by outward sins. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. Ezekiel was talking about the new birth, which Jesus told the religious Nicodemus he needed John The letter refers to the past age of the Law and its many commandments.

The problem was, the Law combined with sinful human flesh, resulted in disobedience and death Rom. Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search.

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