(1-21) The Jerusalem Council
Despite seeing Gentiles saved and the power of God at work in their lives, some Jews and Pharisees continued to insist that Gentiles could not be saved unless they followed certain Jewish rituals such as circumcision. Paul and Barnabas, and later James, had to explain that no one is saved by following a set of rules or rituals. Even today, many Christians try to make salvation a matter of someone’s behavior. For example, if a person smokes or drinks or curses or doesn’t consistently go to church, then they can’t be saved. Becoming a Christian should reflect a lifestyle change and becoming a Christian does give us freedom to do what is good and Godly, but becoming a Christian is not defined by our behavior.
God makes no distinction between Jew and Gentile; He cleanses the hearts of all who believe in His Son by faith. We are saved by works. We are not saved by keeping rules. Salvation is an act of faith and the work of faith. We are all saved through the grace of Jesus the Christ and only through His grace. Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.”
Favorite verse: (11) But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”