7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
Some of the Jewish believers from Pharisaical backgrounds were beginning to make demands that the Gentile Christians be circumcised. Peter however stands up and rightly refutes this on the basis that all “are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus” (verse 11).
We do well to reflect on the fact that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that “it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” And because of that it is a precious thing indeed.
When it comes to salvation, God’s grace is His gift to us and it is by faith that we access and receive that gift. Circumcision – or any other requirement beyond our faith – no longer makes grace God’s gift and instead makes it something we earn or attain through our works.
Every other religion in the world teaches this. If you are good enough, or strive hard enough, or are devout enough, THEN you will attain salvation (or whatever else it may offer).
But Peter rightly points out, that trying to live up to God’s standards in order to be saved is actually a “yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear” (verse 10).
The good news is that God GIVES us His grace through the life and work of His Son Jesus. If you don’t feel worthy of God’s salvation, it’s because you are not! None of us are on our own merits. We are all fallen and broken people in need of God to save us.
The other part of the good news is that God extends His gift of grace to all, because we all are in need of Him.
Have you received God’s gift to you of salvation?
PRAYER: Father God, I come to you in need of salvation. I confess my sin and my need for forgiveness. I ask you to forgive me and cleanse me of all my sin. I give my life to you and ask you to be Lord of it. I will follow you in obedience and submission. I thank you Father, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, please let me know in the comments – I’d love to encourage you in your faith!