Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –
Here’s a brief thought from Acts 15. In verse one, we read
Certain men came down from Judea
and taught the brethren,
“Unless you are circumcised
according to the custom of Moses,
you cannot be saved.”
Some Jewish Christians came to the congregation in Antioch and taught that Gentiles could become Christians, but only after first becoming Jews, and submitting to all Jewish rituals, including circumcision.
Through Acts 15 there is a brilliant defense of the important truth that we are saved by the grace of Jesus and His grace alone – not by a combination of grace and obedience. The troublemakers who started all this trouble in the church at Antioch were corrected, and all came to agreement.
Here’s the thought: Acts 15 never mentions the names of these troublemakers. In verse 1 they are “certain men.” In verse 2 they are “them.” In verse 5 they are “some of the sect of the Pharisees.” In verse 24 they are “some who went out from us.”
The apostles battled for grace, and they were gracious to those in the wrong.
Of course, there is a time and place for calling people out by name; Paul did it on several occasions. But regarding these ones who were wrong and then corrected in Acts 15, God spared their names recorded for all eternity in His everlasting word.
As you battle for grace, never forget the principle of graciousness.
Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik