Why did Peter still find "some things hard to understand," writing in 66 a.d.. 17 years after the conference? 2 Peter 3:16.
Acts 15:1 - 41
NASB - 1 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. 2 And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.
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The short answer is because Peter and his church of God followed Christ in the flesh. Paul and his church, the body of Christ, follow Christ ascended (2 Cor 5:16). Jesus never shared the 'mystery' gospel of God's grace with Peter, so the attributes of the church, the body of Christ, as given only to Paul from Christ in Heaven, were foreign to Peter and 'hard to understand'. This is the single most divisive issue regarding Christianity even today. Israel's gospels of 'their kingdom being at hand' (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the first half of Acts), and Paul's gospel of God's grace and Christ crucified (Romans through Philemon) are far too often mixed as being the same gospel and a single church, or ekklesia. This error is where the confusion and seeming contradiction originates, and can be credited directly to Satan himself (2 Cor 11:3). This should come as no surprise: 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." God however is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33), and is why He commands us while studying to not only be "rightly dividing the word of truth", but also to not be ashamed when doing so: 2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Why would God have to tell us to not be ashamed to do this? He knew how prevalent Satan would make this error become, and how it would be his primary means of attacking the doctrine of faith alone in Jesus Christ and the blood he shed for all mankind at Calvary. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." How is the religion of Christianity (the 'other Jesus' of 2 Cor 11:4) different than the faith of Jesus Christ? Religion keeps the focus on man and what he is doing in an effort to achieve God's grace as the result. Faith alone in Christ alone keeps the focus on what God's grace has already done for man (the cross), with the result being to live a better life for God. Satan wants nothing more than for man to keep the focus on himself and his own righteousness (falling from grace - Gal 5:4), thus never submitting to the righteousness of God: Romans 10:1-4 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
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