Justified by Faith

Acts 15:7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on 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 in the same manner as they."

Problems exploded over the gentiles getting saved but wasn't being told to obey the commandments of Moses by the Pharisees in church at Jerusalem.  These type of arguments have flared up in the church every since.  Nobody told the Pharisee to live by the law!  Yet they feel its their job to enforce the law upon others.  We should let God determine what He desires from us, after all, its His law.  God seemed to approve the gentiles entering the kingdom since He poured out His Spirit upon them, as He did the Jewish believers.  God knows the hearts!  He sees what man cannot.  He knows the motives of man.  God Purified their hearts because of their faith in Him.  God gave them His Holy Spirit!  Now, who are we to refute that action?  I didn't always appreciate my brothers who just came to faith but didn't prove themselves.  I treated them as highly suspect.  Yet, shame on me, for who was I to consider unclean whom God proved He cleansed by His Spirit?  Oh, God has long washed me of this stinking thinking.  
Im thankful for the leadership of Chuck Smith had over Calvary Chapel.  Through the years, many religious men questioned his stance on grace, him giving young people opportunities to serve, holding to the word of grace, and such.  He held the coarse even though he would be ridiculed and belittled for them.  He didn't waver, for he was a shepherd fighting off dangerous wolves, whom sought to destroy the sheep,  He knew the sheep wasn't his, but belonged to the LORD!  Those backroom deals were not welcomed or accepted.  Through Gods grace, we shall be saved in the same manner as the gentiles. 
With every new convert to Christ, it teaches me how gracious my LORD has been to me.  I'm amazed He would even call me out.  I'm more amazed He would call me the longer Ive been a Christian,

1 Comment

Sondra - November 21st, 2023 at 7:42am

One of the most beautiful things in this life is to watch a shepherd who cares for the flock with full knowledge that those noisy, stinky, wandering sheep belong to the Lord and are treasured by Him. Thank you.




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