Two Kinds of Righteousness

Should Christians Try to Keep the Ten Commandments?

That I may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:9)

Acts 15 tells about the council that was called to resolve the question, "Should the Gentile believers be taught to observe the Law of Moses?" Peter called the Law "a burden which neither our fathers nor we were able to bare," (Acts 15:7-11). But James, the half-brother of Jesus, and now a leader of the Jerusalem church, held out to "advise" the Gentiles to keep certain dietary rules from the law of Moses (Acts 15:13-20).

Strangely, Paul, the missionary to the Gentiles, was completely opposed to putting them under obligation to keep the Old Testament law. (Compare Galatians 2:1-10 where Paul relates the same events.) What makes this so strange is that Paul had been the best law keeper of them all, head and shoulders above the rest, before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. By his own confession, he was a leading Pharisee, living blamelessly according to the Law (Philippians 3:4-6 and Galatians 1:13-14).

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Updated 5/21/2010