KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:1. And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Our key scripture says certain men came down from Judea who taught that the brethren had to be circumcised as Moses taught the Israelites before one could be saved. Apostle Paul and Barnabas had a very sharp dispute with them over this. Paul was very vigilant concerning issues about the grace of God. He defended it even to the peril of his life. Let’s be reminded Paul was and ardent Pharisee who defended the law strictly.
What these Jewish Christians were teaching was works are necessary for salvation. This teaching is the basis for all other religions. This is the main difference between Christianity and other religions. The bible teaches emphatically that “For by grace are ye saved through faith not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast”. Ephesians 2:8-9. Salvation is a gift of God. Gifts are received. They are not earned or worked for. Circumcision is the works of the flesh. Galatians 5:3,4 iterates this point clearly “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you whosoever of you, who are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace”.
Many religious people believe it is too simple to claim that when one believes in Jesus he is justified and therefore saved. Jehovah witnesses teach one has to teach the materials of the watch tower before he or she can be saved. One needs only to believe in Jesus to be saved, nothing more.
The bible said Apostle Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension with them. Why was Paul so aggressive to defend the truth? Paul had a great love for the disciples or brethren. He would not want one of them to fall away. A little leaven leavened the whole lump. The scriptural security of the brethren, especially the young ones must be our true concern. Let us go to any length to secure them from the wrong doctrines. These days we have multiplicity of voices speaking to them. There are so many television stations, countless radio stations, outdoor preaching with a very vibrant social network. One way to protect them is by prayer, travailing prayer for their preservation. The second means is by teaching them the truth.
May all Christians come to know the essence of God’s grace, so they may accept its provisions in Jesus name.
Acts 20:28 ” Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
Acts 20:31. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.