“Remove the Unbearable Yoke” (Acts 15: 9, NIV) by Carley Evans

“[God] purifies their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:9-11, NIV)

So says Peter to “the believers who belong to the party of the Pharisees” who are calling for the Gentiles to “be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.” (Acts 15:5)

Peter argues God shows His acceptance of these Gentile believers by giving them the Holy Spirit just as He gives Him to Jewish believers. After all, says Peter, God “knows the heart.” (Acts 15:8) James agrees with Peter, speaking before “the whole assembly” (Acts 15:12) that they “should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” (Acts 15:19) A letter is sent to “the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia” telling them that “it seems good to the Holy Spirit not to burden you with anything beyond” a few things they would “do well to avoid.” (Acts 15:28, 29)

We are able, if willing, to learn a lot from Peter and James. Often we burden babes in Christ and even mature believers with impossible rules, requirements, regulations — you’ve got to do this and not do that or God will not be pleased. We forget God knows the hearts of His people; He knows long before we do who hears and believes the good news. So, let’s not “test God.” (Acts 15:10) Let’s refrain from burdening ourselves and one another with a yoke God has removed.

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38 Comments Add yours

  1. freedomborn says:

    Yes I agree Carley man made rules are the pits, there a heavy burden to carry, so let’s Trust and obey God and walk as Jesus did without sin as He asks us to but then why would we choose to sin, we don’t want to hurt God or others so we keep God’s Commandments because we Love Him not because we have to.

    1 John 5:1-4 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that Loveth Him that begat Loveth Him also that is begotten of Him. By this we know that we Love the children of God, when we Love God, and keep His Commandments. For this is the Love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

    Christian Love Anne

    1. lambskinny says:

      “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:6-8, NIV)

  2. lambskinny says:

    Thanks Susie. God bless. Carley

  3. Freedomborn says:

    Carley, I don’t believe that this is how we should be resolving our differences but if you really do want to know the Truth please contact me privately.

    1 John 1:8 If we say we don’t need Salvation by claiming we have never sinned we are calling God a liar and if you read this Scripture in context it tells us we don’t continue to walk in darkness or sin once we have been Born again of God’s seed and so does 1 John 3:9 the cannot in this Scripture in the Greek means absolutely never. And there are many more Scriptures that confirm this Truth if you would like them.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a Son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Christian Love Anne.

    1. lambskinny says:

      Hey Anne, Actually I do have one suggestion — read 1 and 2 Corinthians and listen to the rebukes of Paul against believing Christians who are falling into sins that not even pagans commit. Then, look in the mirror and honestly ask yourself if you are completely without sin. In Christ, Carley

  4. lambskinny says:

    Thanks Patricia. God bless you, sister. I’m glad you like my note. Carley

  5. lambskinny says:

    Anne, we just disagree. That doesn’t mean that you are right and I am wrong. It just means we see the same scriptures in different ways. This has been an ongoing debate and difference of interpretation throughout history.

    Anyone who believes they are without sin has sinned already. For even Jesus says there is no one good but God the Father. It is the one who knows of their sinfulness who is justified, not the one who thinks they never sin.

    I don’t need to contact you privately as this is not a debate between you and me — this is a debate that has been going on for centuries.

    And you and I are certainly not going to solve it here.

    So I agree to disagree with your view. That’s enough for me.

    God is good; God is great. And I do agree there is now no condemnation for those who are called to His Love.

  6. Freedomborn says:

    Carley, I never said I haven’t sinned the Truth is I have sinned more then most people I know but I am forgiven because I came to heart repentance and accepted the free gift of Salvation in Christ Jesus and unlike you I am now aiming to be perfected in Love as God asks us to.

    As I said I’m willing to reason with you and anyone else who has differences in regard to any Scripture that I have shared, this is what God asks us to do, we are not to agree to disagree this is not His will, it is why there is so much division in the Church today, God is a God of Unity not division.

    As we know God asks us to be of one mind but we can’t do this if we are going to reject His Truth in His inspired word, as I said before it was not my ideas that I shared with you but what God tells us in the Scriptures and it is these you are rejecting. Also you have not given any Scriptural confirmation that we sin till we die and without it you have no foundation to reject what I have shared from the Scriptures. I have given you many of them that confirm we don’t continue to sin and there are more.

    If the Queen the Pope or anyone one else regardless of their position or title say anything that is not confirmed in the Scriptures as you have done Carley I reject it

    You have half the Truth Carley and unless you humble yourself and seek God’s wisdom instead of trusting in your own understanding or others you are going to remain like them scratching around the chook pen instead of rising up on wings like an eagle …your choice.

    Christian Love Anne

  7. lambskinny says:

    “unlike you I am now aiming to be perfected in Love as God asks us to.”

    Unlike me? Okay. You can resort to insult if you want, Anne. God knows my heart, and He’s the only One I need worry about in terms of my salvation. You did indeed say that Christians NEVER EVER SIN — if that’s not what you meant, then we don’t disagree after all. I never implied that God does not expect us to lead holy lives; He does. He’s just the ONLY power source we have to accomplish that.

    And all the people said, “Amen?”

    In Jesus, Carley

  8. Freedomborn says:

    Carley, it was you who said we can’t be perfected in Love not me and you said this because you believe wrongly we go on sinning till we die but still have no Scripture to support it, yes it is true until our flesh is put to death and we are Born again of God’s seed we may sin and after repentance we are forgiven because Jesus is our Advocate but if we continue to sin it shows we haven’t been Born again. This is not my claim that we don’t sin after we are perfected in Love although I agree with God, but it seems you are not reading what I write or understanding the Scripture so what’s the point of continuing because I also said we can’t walk in Holiness without the empowering of The Holy Spirit. Our words and Actions show our heart focus

    1John 3:4-10 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the Children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not Love his brother.

    Christian Love Anne.

    1. lambskinny says:

      “Sorry Carly this Scripture was not very clear…

      1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

      As we can see we no longer sin, the cannot in this verse in the Greek means absolutely never.

      Christian Love Anne”

      This comment is how I misunderstood you. I’m glad you really don’t believe this statement you made earlier. Obviously, we may strive to live holy lives through the power of God, but we do fail. Love in Christ, Carley

  9. lambskinny says:

    Anne, then we don’t disagree. Thanks. Carley

  10. Freedomborn says:

    No Carley that is not what God tells us in the Scripture He tells us we do not absolutely never sin again when we are Born of His seed, please stop twisting His words.

    No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

    Is that clear enough Carley God is telling you when your Born again of His seed you will no longer sin … Full Stop

    Christian Love Anne

    1. lambskinny says:

      Anne you seem to be going in circles – you say Christians never sin, then you say you sin. Now you claim again that Christians never sin –

      The whole of Scripture proves that view is incorrect . Even in First John we clearly read the author say, “I write this so no one sins. But if anyone does sin, God is faithful and just to forgive.” God need not forgive a sin that a man has not committed! And think of the many sins of omission! Things we should have done or said or felt that we failed to do! Only someone who is entirely perfect is without sin – hey that’s Jesus – not you or me or anyone else!

    2. lambskinny says:

      “God is telling you when your Born again of His seed you will no longer sin.”

      Anne –
      I’m going to make one more attempt to see if I can get you to see why you are incorrect in your interpretation of 1 John. These are, indeed, difficult verses. But, taken with the whole of Scripture and not only in the context of this letter, the author — who is God of course — is not saying we will NEVER sin again once born of water and of the Spirit.

      Rather, God is saying — when you do sin, which shouldn’t be as easy for you now as it used to be — you are going to feel My hand upon your heart and I Am going to convict you and discipline you so that you know better the way to walk in.

      Think of David and Bathsheba. David was an adulterer and a murderer; yet God was with him. God loved and called David His own despite David’s horrible sins. God disciplines His children, but He does not abandon us.

      If we are totally free of sin after our salvation, then we are perfect. How can you honestly say you are perfect?

      Of course we sin. The good news is God forgives us when we ask His forgiveness. As Jesus answers the question, How many times should we forgive those who offend us? Seventy x seven or so many you can’t keep track!

      And that’s all I’ve got to say on this subject.

      In Jesus’ great loving mercy, Carley

  11. Freedomborn says:

    Dear Carley, as I said before if you really want to have understanding about living in Jesus Christ’s Freedom, then please contact me, you are rejecting the Scriptures because of your own limited teaching, what you shared has some Truth but it is only half the Truth like many others you have not been taught the full Gospel that was taught in the early Church, they were the first fruits in Jesus Christ and He was the FIRST FRUIT.

    If it was only one Scripture that claimed we didn’t continue to sin and we are to seek perfection in Love then you could perhaps dare to reason it away, but it is not there are many, many others that tell us we are to seek for perfection in Love. Carley if you had full understanding you would be rejoicing not fearful, sadly some Cults have twisted this teaching and many have just not heard it but the Scriptures both in Old and New Testament confirm it.

    I do care for you Carley as I care for all of my Christian Brothers and Sisters and long for them to know they have been set free.

    Take Care, you know where to find me – Christian Love Anne.

  12. lambskinny says:

    Quoting you, Anne: “we are to seek perfection in Love.”

    If we are indeed sinless after salvation, we would not need to strive for or seek perfection. We’d already be perfect human beings. You are sorely mistaken if you believe you are perfected already. You are not. Neither am I.

    And of course God calls us to perfection. No one is denying that. We – myself and others here on WordPress with whom you’ve communicated – are only saying we are not there yet.

    Through God’s power, we seek after holiness.

    Bye Anne.

  13. Freedomborn says:

    Carley you and those you mentioned or anybody else will never be perfected in Love if you don’t reject your false teaching… that you sin till you die, if you believe this you are rejecting many Scriptures and they come from God not me. I never said we are all perfected when we first come to heart repentance unless it is God’s will or we have a pure heart meaning like a child who is born in sin but forgiven in Grace, the Scriptures say we are under God’s grace until we are perfected and so we are covered by Jesus’ righteousness the same as an unbelieving husband or wife are Sanctified by our faith, we are Sanctified and covered by Christ’s blood as were the Old Testament Saints who only had the promise.

    So until we are perfected in Love, washed clean and sealed…. God tells us we are to aim to win the race and we will as we are the Chosen Generation so it will be before Christ returns…. for us it is the here and now. Carley you don’t know everybody personally or their heart focus so you can’t say that there is nobody who has not won the race in Christ Jesus…..

    Jesus tells us be still and know that… I AM God.

    Christian Love Anne.

    1. lambskinny says:

      Quoting you again, Anne: THESE FEW SENTENCES express what I believe is scriptural truth:

      “we are under God’s grace until we are perfected and so we are covered by Jesus’ righteousness the same as an unbelieving husband or wife are Sanctified by our faith, we are Sanctified and covered by Christ’s blood as were the Old Testament Saints who only had the promise.

      So until we are perfected in Love, washed clean and sealed…. God tells us we are to aim to win the race.”

      So, on this we do agree! God bless, Carley

  14. lambskinny says:

    P.S. My last post today — I’ve written too many — provides some scriptural support for our struggle against sins even as believers. Thanks Anne.

  15. Freedomborn says:

    We no longer Sin Carley when we are Born again of God’s seed, I did not say this God did, so I believe it 100%, ask Him to open your eyes and then read the Scriptures again with His wisdom not your own worldly understanding. Now be still!

    1 John 3:1-11 The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

    Christian Love Anne.

  16. Freedomborn says:

    Luke 11:9-10 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth;
    and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    James 1:4-6 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be Perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

    1. lambskinny says:

      Anne,

      You apparently — I think — are making a “faith statement” that you “do not continue in sin.”

      That’s not a bad idea, actually.

      God tends to honor our goal to be holy; and Jesus does say: “Be perfect, as Your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

      I so very much agree God calls us to perfection. Ask and it shall be given, hey?
      And that is the point — He gives us His gift of righteousness — but it is HIS, and never ours. Surely you agree?

      Love in Jesus, Carley

  17. Freedomborn says:

    Yes and no Carley … we do indeed walk in His righteousness as I explained before or we would all be dammed, but when we are perfected in Love we are also righteous and do what is righteous not just some of the time but all of the time.

    1 John 3 : 1-11 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.

    I’m off to Church – Christian Love Anne.

    1. lambskinny says:

      Did you bother to look at my post with the references from Hebrews? Did you consider David? or the church at Corinth? How do you explain the obvious horrific sins that Paul dealt with at the church at Corinth? How do explain the first chapters of Revelation? You speak of the Scriptural support — believe me, there are many many more scriptures that debunk your idea that Christians do not sin. Seriously.

  18. lambskinny says:

    Anne,

    As for me, I’ve only met one person who I’d recognize as holy — His Name is Jesus.

    Carley

  19. Freedomborn says:

    Carley … please ponder on this …Have you met everyone in the World and do you know them personally or do you know their heart focus … before you judge others be sure you understand what you are basing your life on, is it God’s Truth or your own agenda or someone else understanding.

    Thanks for your encouragement on my Blog, I too have been blessed by some of your sharing and hope as you understand more about “Freedom in Christ Jesus”
    you will experience all the blessing He wants to give you.

    Must go I’m running late – Take Care – Christian Love Anne.

    1. Freedomborn says:

      Anne (freedomborn) put this comment back on my post after I repented and quickly removed it. Just clarifying this was never intended to be public. And I am sorry that I posted it briefly and that Anne saw it. For that I’ve asked God’s forgiveness, hers, and yours.

      lambskinny commented on “Remove the Unbearable Yoke” (Acts 15: 9, NIV) by Carley Evans .

      Judging?
      That’s not in my agenda, Anne.
      Who am I to judge anyone?
      I am no one.
      The only judge is God, who is the only One who is Righteous.
      All others are fallen human beings, deserving only of His Wrath.
      Peter denied Jesus three times, yet became a great disciple of the Lord. He sinned as a believer, and God restored him.
      So many Christians have fallen into sin; too numerous to count because it has been each and every one of us.
      No, I’ve not met all the people in the world. But, I also know that God’s Word teaches that only Jesus is sinless.
      I feel as if I’m close to resorting to sarcasm for when you wrote you “must go” because of “running late” all I could think was: Jesus was never late because He is the perfect timekeeper!
      Sorry, that’s how bizarre this has gotten.
      Good-night, Anne.

      1. Freedomborn says:

        Carley, why do you think Paul strongly rebuked the Church at Corinth it was because they were not putting their flesh to death by the Spirit so they could be perfected in Love. Hebrews is a warning for those who reject Jesus Christ as the only way to have Salvation but they were not Born again Christians.

        Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: THAT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW MIGHT BE FULFILLED IN US, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT

        Are you aware Carley they didn’t have watches when Jesus was on earth and the Temple was open every day, the early Christians met there and in their homes every day ‘but today we have to conform to man made times and schedules at Church. Perhaps you also don’t know Jesus was 4 days late when Lazarus was dying but it was for a very good reason and so was my being late for Church, I was trying to show you respect by responding to your never ending e-mails even though you were not respecting my wishes to resolve our differences in private and that is also the case with those who supported your wrong teaching. I let you know I was running late so you would be aware why I was not able to respond anymore and you would not think me rude or continue to send e-mails but you did not listen….so I will no longer respond to you or the others which saddens me but you both leave me no choice you just want to argue about your own understanding instead of listening to God’s Truth … enough is enough, sorry I won’t go there anymore it only grieves me.

        Christian Love Anne.

        1. lambskinny says:

          Unfortunately, you must have been running really really late, because I agreed with your conception of my last comment which I quickly deleted – yes I did publish it briefly but the Holy Spirit convicted me and I repented. Now I apologize to you publicly although the comment is no longer there. My sarcasm was uncalled for and yes — rude. Please forgive me. I am, indeed, a sinner saved by the grace of the Almighty God. Thank you, Anne. No need to comment further.

          By the way, your first paragraph SUPPORTS that Christians sin. I think you are missing the point everyone is making —

          We are NOT to sin, but we DO.

          Romans 6:1.

          Carley

  20. mtsweat says:

    We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ without the works of the law (Gal. 2:16) Therefore, in Christ, we have no sin. But our flesh (the old man) still begs for attention. And sometimes (more often than we admit) we give it to him (Rom 7). What is easy to do is overlook the sin in our life and pretend it isn’t there. Let your speedometer gauge go over the posted limit and you have sinned (Rom 13). Take an extra minute of break at work… sin. Fudge that income tax return… sin. Draw taxpayer’s money when you’re capable of working, sin. Show disrespect to the leaders of our government, sin. Want to really get down to painful talk… enjoy that extra helping of banana pudding at lunch? …sin, not only gluttony, but it displays how little we care about our neighbors (hmmm), you know, the one’s who will starve to death today (that we were to love as ourself). And the list is never ending.
    It’s why we need Jesus. Because He is the only one who has ever kept God’s standard, and therefore can be our substitutionary Lamb! Thanks Carley and God bless. Praise the Lord for a Savior, who in our weakness… He is strong.

  21. Lambskinny says:

    Amen, M.T.
    All one need do is read of the church at Corinth to realize that even Christians sin!
    The good news is Jesus saves and is the ultimate solution.
    God bless, Carley

  22. julieemoore says:

    I guess everyone I know is lost if I held to the doctrine she was telling us about.

    We are perfected in our spirit because we are new creations in Christ but until we surrender to allow the Spirit in us to transform us from the inside out we’ll never even be close to being sin free. Now Scripture does tell us we are no longer to be slaves to sin but we make that choice don’t we?

    In 1 John when he speaks of believers not sinning AT ALL he means as a way of life, a pattern of life, not absolutely sin free. if this was the true meaning no one, no not one would be saved from hell. We’d all be doomed. But thanks be to God He sent His wonderful Son who died on that cross and paid the price for ALL sin Col. 2:13-14. Amen

    1. lambskinny says:

      Julie,
      I can’t tell you how heartening it was/is to rise this morning and find your comment here.
      Thank you so much.
      God is so amazingly awesome and loves us in spite of ourselves.
      Yay God!
      Carley

  23. lambskinny says:

    Well, Anne — although God the Holy Spirit convicted me and I trashed my rude comment, God or satan — your choice — prevented WordPress from trashing it. Yep, I’m getting a little flippant again.

    I tried again just now.

    I suppose this is to expose that I am indeed a sinner! Oops!

    So again I publicly confess my sin; and ask EVERYONE to forgive me.

    Thanks! As always, praise be to God!
    Carley

  24. lambskinny says:

    Quoting you again Anne — “Carley, why do you think Paul strongly rebuked the Church at Corinth it was because they were not putting their flesh to death by the Spirit so they could be perfected in Love.”

    THIS IS WHAT WE ARE ALL SAYING — Christians don’t ALWAYS put their flesh to death and walk by the Spirit — sometimes we are NOT perfected in love… but we are still Christians.

    Anne — you are now just be argumentative for the sake of argument.

    However, I love you in Christ. And I agree — this is the end of this debate.

    Carley

  25. lambskinny says:

    To clarify, the reason I did not contact Anne privately is that I believe this is an important debate in our walk with Christ. I hope that neither of us was being contentious just genuine in our beliefs.

    I did briefly become a bit sarcastic/flippant but I’m sorry for that.

    We need not be afraid of our differences — if we believe that our conception of God’s Word is true, we need to say so.

    Gently yes; and with love.

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