Updated: Aug 19
Acts 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”2 And after Paul and Barnabas had a heated argument and debate with them, the brothers determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.3 Therefore, after being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they were bringing great joy to all the brothers and sisters.4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them.5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to keep the Law of Moses.”
Some things are just hard to let and the men who came down from Judea and taught the "brothers" that they still needed to be circumcised to be saved could not "let it go!" Those men needed to let it go, but it wasn't happening and Paul and Barnabas got into a heated argument with them. Why? They were polluting the whole message of the gospel by saying there needed to be something physically done to be made right with God. The transforming power of God is a spiritual power that is a forgiving power and a transformation only made by God's grace. Some people have a hard time realizing just how powerful the grace of God is, so they try to find manmade ways to make sure we are a part of it. That attitude is one of pride and self-righteousness and will not work. When we try to put anything else in the mix when it comes to salvation we also pollute the purity of what God did through His Son Jesus Christ.
Paul's message was clear and many came to saving faith in Jesus, but the religious Jews could not believe it could be something so awesome and they were fighting to keep their traditional ways to salvation in place. Paul wrote this to the church in Rome in Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This gracious gift is almost too good to be true, so the religious people of the day added their beliefs to the mix, but in reality, they added us, and there can be none of us in it. it is all God. Our impressions about all of this will always be flawed and subpar. That is why it is so important to "surrender" our hearts and minds and lives to Jesus 100%.
If you have some worldly-induced opinion about salvation it is time to let it go!
The Pilgrimage Continues