Acts 15.6-11

Those present in Acts 15the apostles and the elders, took the time to consider this matter (15.5). There was enough humility about the group to consider that they might have misunderstood the crux of what Jesus was saying, teaching, and demonstrating. After much debate, Peter says this:

“Brothers, you know that some time ago God chose me to preach to the Gentiles so they would hear the message of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, has testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between them and us, cleansing their hearts by faith. So now why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.”

(Acts 15.7-11, NET)

Peter makes a firm and final testimony that there is now no distinction between Jew and Gentile where salvation and eternal life are concerned (Galatians 3.28). More humility is evident when he even says that neither our ancestors nor [us] have been able to bear the yoke of keeping the law. Why, then, would those who cannot keep the law force others to try (Acts 15.1, 5)?

The current unity of ‘us’ is so much greater than the former ‘us and them’ and is abundantly clear when Peter says that

“…we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.”

(Acts 15.11, NET)

Their message is consistent: salvation from the consequences of your sin comes only through the grace of the Lord Jesus. This is true for all (in the same way as we are) and is not something that anyone can earn, irrespective of national heritage or ethnicity. 

The wonderful truth for you and for me is that no matter who we are, no matter where we are from, no matter how we may have started life in relation to God, the path to forgiveness, acceptance, and salvation are the same: the grace of the Lord Jesus. There is no need (and no point in trying) to try and earn your way to heaven, it can’t be done. It is the free gift of God (Romans 6.23b) that we receive by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2.8). 

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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