Strange and different ideas about religion have become popular again. People like to hear someone whose ideas excite their imagination. But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and always (Hebrews 13:8). And his good news will never change (Galatians 1:6-9).
The first Christian leaders knew this problem well. That is why they constantly referred to the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible). They wanted to prove that they really were teaching Godís word. During their lives, God was doing things that he had promised to do long before. So their message was not different or strange. It was the same message that God had always declared to his people.
The problem was that, even in the first Christian churches, some people were already teaching strange and different messages. And often, they too said that their ideas came from the Old Testament. But they were not teaching people to believe and to trust in Jesus. They were not teaching people that only Godís grace (love and kindness) can save them by the death of Jesus. Instead, they taught people to obey rules, customs and traditions. And they taught that people could save themselves by that method. That is why those ideas were strange and different. And they were also wrong, foolish, and dangerous.
Those wrong teachers often emphasised laws about foods. The Old Testament contains many rules about foods. The purpose of those rules was to teach people to think about their relationship with God constantly. So there were rules for all of Israelís people. And there were special rules for the priests when they ate holy food from the sacrifices (the gifts that they offered to God). But Christians have received something that is even more holy. They have benefited from the death of Jesus, Godís perfect sacrifice. And for that reason, they must not follow the strange and different ideas that people may try to teach them.
Next part: An altar for Christians (Hebrews 13:10)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.