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Acts 15:19-21 (NIV, Emph mine)

19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.

This verse is used for and against observing law. Seems like this could mean either, "There are enough people following Moses and observing the law, so no need for more people to follow the law." or "The law is repeated in synagogues and new believers will go to synagogues, so they'll learn and follow them later."

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I don't think this is saying the Gentiles should have to learn the law of Moses. Quite the contrary, I believe it is saying they should not have to be burdened with the law of Moses.

Earlier in Acts 15 Peter asks why should the Gentiles be required to follow the law the Jews have.

Acts 15:10-11 NIV
10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.

When contrasted with this, I would understand James response in verses 19-21 to be saying most of the law of Moses would be an extreme burden on the Gentiles, considering even the Jews who heard the law weekly were not able to uphold it.

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This is related to the question discussed here. Both question discuss the same passage.

Quoting from the verse given by user

therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

What was difficult for gentiles turning to God ? Difficulty was following the Law as we can see in verse 5 (NLT)

some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”

The conclusion was that gentiles should not be burdened by the Law of Moses

Verse 10

why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?

Then as I explained in question quoted, leaders given some concessions considering that complete disregard of Law should not be a stumbling block to Jewish Christians. Considering "For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath", they asked Gentile believers to observe just four things, two which are affirmed elsewhere in the New Testament: food offered to idols and sexual immorality. So I believe those principles are binding to us even today, and another two (eating the meat of strangled animals, and consuming blood), which appear more to the situation at hand (strong views of Jewish Christians).

So I believe in summary, this do not call for observing the law, but re-affirming that salvation is not by Law, but by Grace as pointed out already by a_hardin.

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That simply means, don't burden them with too much now. Since this stuff is tough every Sabbath (Saturday), they will learn gradually.

So assume the other interpretations that it means we don't have to burden gentiles with the laws is inconsistent with Gods character. Keep in mind, Revelations indicates that Gods remnant people will be keeping Gods Laws and Commandments. Obviously, it still matters. And it's Lucifer aim to have Gods people to ignore Gods laws. After all, that was Lucifer's claim, that Gods laws are unjust. Therefore Lucifer began his campaign against God and His laws.

There are other things you also need to consider. Such as, what are the Moral Laws and ceremonial laws. Ceremonial laws were done away with at the Crucifixion of Jesus, because those laws all foreshadowed the final Lamb (Jesus).

Non-ceremonial laws, such as dietary and the 10 commandments are still in effect and were followed by all the early Christians.

In Romans 7, Paul says, "Wherefore the law is holy , and the commandment holy, and just and good."

The following Q/A's can be read in the book Bible Readings for the home circle. Look for the section on "The Law Of God".

Question: When Christ came to this earth, what was His attitude toward God's will, or law? Answer: "The said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do They will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart" Ps. 40;7,8 See Heb. 10:5,7

Question: Who did He say would enter the kingdom of heaven?
Answer: “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 7:21.

Question What did He say of those who should break one of God’s commandments, or should teach men to do so?
Answer “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:19, first part.

Question Who did He say would be called great in the kingdom?
Answer: “But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom.” Same verse, last part.

Question How did Christ estimate the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees?
Answer “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Verse 20.

Question For what did Christ reprove the Pharisees?
Answer“But He answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” Matt. 15:3

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Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. When you have a chance, be sure to check out the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web. This is an OK answer, but also comes across as preachy. Since this is not a religious site, try to stay away from telling people what they should do, instead simply explain why you believe what you believe. – ThaddeusB Dec 23 '15 at 16:22
Welcome to Christianity.SE, and thanks for offering an answer. The question is an old one, which was asked before current site guidelines were in place. Your answer could be brought up to current specs by specifying what group or denomination of Christians in represents, including stating who issued the material from which your extended quote is taken. See: What makes a good supported answer? Thanks again, and I hope we'll see more of you here. – Lee Woofenden Dec 23 '15 at 21:28

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