Through Jesus, we are to live a life free from any yoke of bondage, but still bearing one.
Acts 15:10 – Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
There are times when I really become aggravated at the thoughtlessness of many Christians. We see it every day in their general behavior towards people around them, especially when the Christian behaves in a selfish, self-centered, or egotistical way. But there is a thoughtlessness in the body of Christ that many do not recognize. Many Christians simply give no thought to who they are, what they say, or how they say it. One of the key reasons for that is they do not take time to read, study, meditate upon, and rightly divide the Word of truth. And another is the carelessness that seems to pervade the body of Christ when it comes to accuracy in speech, whether spoken or written. Take time to listen to Christians as see how often they misquote the Scriptures in a manner that totally changes meaning, points of responsibility, and application.
It is from this thoughtlessness and carelessness that many yokes are laid upon so many in the body of Christ. While the placement of yokes on believers is fought against in some circles, it is tolerated in others as proving people. And some even advocate it as an elimination mechanism for those not qualified for ministry. However, it needs to be put away from believers altogether. Look at our Text for Today once again. Peter called the use of these “yokes” tempting the Lord. Do you see that? When we try to place yokes on our fellow believers, regardless of our reasoning, we are tempting God. That, my friend, is not good business in the kingdom.
Allow me to be clear. The standards for service, position, and certain kinds of authority that are set forth in the Scriptures are NOT yokes. They are God’s qualifications. And if God said it, that settles it. Yokes are formed when we apply our own rules and standards to others; rules and standards that we could not even keep ourselves on our best day when we were at their level of Christian growth. Peter’s reference in our Text for Today was specifically about using the law of the Old Covenant, laws that even the Jews, on their best days, could not fully keep, to measure new believers in a still, very young church. To do so is to count the blood and sacrifice of Jesus as ineffective and insufficient. That, we know, is absolutely wrong. Yes, there are Biblical standards, and they are to be applied Biblically, according to the New Covenant. The ONLY yoke for the New Covenant is the yoke of Christ that He said was “light.” Think on that.
Manna for Today – Acts 15:1-21; Galatians 3:13-29; Romans 8:1-17; Matthew 11:28-30