6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 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.”
What an encouraging passage of Scripture – God went before Paul and the Jews and their thinking about what is acceptable and not acceptable to God. Grace and faith matter, not ritualistic observance! I find myself thinking where have I added to the requirements of grace and faith? Where have I asked for more than God does? I am sure the people at the meeting were zealous to do the right thing by God, but sometimes our zealotry like theirs denies faith – it is almost a race to the bottom rather an inspiration to follow Jesus. I can add nothing to His saving grace of any value. So may I remember it is Christ alone!
Father search our hearts that we not place any impediment to following Jesus on anyone! Help us to stay true and close to Your Gospel which brings freedom and peace!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta