Tuesday, October 22

Saved by grace—even us!

Scripture: Job 11-12, Acts 15-16

Acts 15:10–11 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.”

Observation

I let out an audible, “Wow!” when I read these verses!

Some Pharisees who had become Christians still believed that one needed to be circumcised and obey the Law of Moses to be saved, and were insisting that the new Gentile converts conform to this standard.  Peter’s response was not just that the Gentiles don’t need to keep the Law of Moses, but even they (the Jewish believers) don’t!  This is the import of what he says in verse 11.  Peter doesn’t say, “We believe that they are saved through the grace of Jesus, just as we are.”  That could be interpreted to mean that the Gentiles must do what the Jews did.  Instead, Peter turned it around: “We believe that we are saved through the grace of Jesus, just as they are.”  In other words, Jewish Christians were saved by grace, not law-keeping, just as the Gentiles also are saved by grace, not law-keeping.  We’re all saved by grace.  No one—not even a Jew—is saved by being circumcised and keeping the Mosaic Law.  All are saved by grace—even us!

This was a turning point in the life of the church, assuring that Gentiles would be equal citizens in God’s Kingdom, and that the gospel was good news of grace, and not just a new version of Judaism and law-keeping.  Peter’s statement, while familiar to us, was ground-breaking, and turned the tables on the Pharisaic Christians, insisting that law-keeping for salvation was over not just for the Gentiles, but for them too!  It’s all grace!

Application

This doesn’t mean that we don’t obey God.  We do.  But we obey out of gratitude and love, not fear or obligation.  We are saved (safe and fully alive) because of God’s grace and goodness, not our effort.  There is no scorecard we need to keep; God has already filled it out in Jesus—and you are in!  Grace frees us to live—really live in freedom, not fear.  

Prayer: Thank You Lord for saving me—all by grace!  I love You and want to live for You.  Here is my life—it’s for You.