How do we explain to others about being “under grace” and still obey the Torah? Are we “under grace” or “under law”? Paul explains this in his letter to the Romans.
Paul returned to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) to celebrate one of the appointed times of the LORD. While there, the leadership of the body of believers there note the great work God’s Spirit is doing among the nations but point out opposition from some believers who claim that Paul is teaching believing Jews to disregard Torah — the first five books of the Bible — and tradition. This was a revisiting of the ruling by the Yerushalayim Council, recorded in Acts 15, on what standard the new believers from the nations were called to follow.
Some claim this passage shows Paul’s “being all things to all people,” by going along with the supposedly obsolete Torah. A new body of New Testament scholars are warming to what’s called the New Perspective of Paul, which views the traditional interpretation of “works of law” in the letters to the Galatians and Romans as referring to the Torah itself to be misleading. Today’s discussion of this passage is a beginning point for looking at “works of law” before the study of Galatians begins after Acts.