BIBLE READING: ACTS 15
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE DISPUTING
If you and I think we will go through life and never find people that disagree with us, we are in for a surprise. As convinced as we are of something and cannot see how anyone could feel differently about it, people will have different viewpoints. As Christians, we need to learn how to disagree with each other, and yet not divide each other.
GOD MAKES THE DECISIONS
“God made choice among us”. I have my opinion, you have your opinion, and God’s opinion is the only one that matters. While everyone was arguing, Peter stood up and reminded them of what God had decided.
GOD KNOWS THE HEARTS
Well, the men were bringing up all the differences between each other, Jew and Gentile, Peter was bringing up the one thing we all have in common. God knows our heart. We do not know our heart, and we do not know the heart of our brother, but God does. We tend to look on the outside, but God looks on the inside. We tend to focus on the surface of something, but God looks at the heart of something.
WE ARE TO REST IN GRACE, NOT BE BURDENED BY YOKES
These men were trying to require the Gentiles, who had become believers, to be circumcised now that they were believers. As if some traditional work would complete their salvation. Peter explains to them that it would be unnecessary for them to put a yoke on these men that would be unbearable. He was speaking of the requirements of the law. It was not necessary. Peter said neither you nor your fathers have been able to keep the law, why make them try. We can all have our opinions, but we cannot add to or take away from salvation. Isn’t it just like us to take it personal? Just be the same and try not to change them and make them into what we think they should be. Peter said, “we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved”. Amen!