Paul — Church Council at Jerusalem — The Old Testament laws, circumcision, & the Gentiles.
After all the adventures of powerful ministry, today’s reading is an important contrast. The early church also had to establish their core beliefs (doctrines) to guide the ever-growing Church in various cities. It seems quite a different story than the beatings, healings, and salvations of the past few readings, but in fact the two are both sides of one issue – who is in charge? And as we have seen throughout our One Story readings – the answer is God, and only God!
For a Jew like Peter to advocate for the following statement is revolutionary: “We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”
Jews had been raised to believe that circumcision and obedience to the Law, along with regular sacrifices and other requirements were what saved them. But these Jewish believers lived by a different motivation. They had learned an important truth of the gospel: limit your liberty for the sake of love.
How about you – how does the knowledge that you are saved by undeserved grace affect the way you live today? How does it affect the way you view and treat others? And how can you limit your liberty for the sake of love?
Have a great day!