This is the age-old debate. Is Jesus enough? Or do we need to add something of our own?
Paul and Barnabas were dealing with some people who had come into their home congregation in Antioch to teach the people that Jesus was not enough. They told the people in Antioch, “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1, NIV).
Paul and Barnabas knew this was completely incorrect. They knew the truth. Jesus is enough. He is completely sufficient. And he has taken care of everything we need for salvation.
So they pushed back. Big time. Even to the extent of traveling all the way from Antioch to Jerusalem to defend the truth that it’s all about the grace of God.
They knew well, there’s no ceremony, no tradition, no act of goodness, no performance of duty, and no obedience to the law that’s needed from us. It’s purely and solely by God’s undeserved love and unmerited favor that we are saved.
Jesus has done it all.
How amazing is that?! What peace there is for those who know of God’s grace! And neither Paul nor Barnabas were about to allow anyone to steal that peace from their brothers and sisters in Christ at Antioch.
For them, and for us, the grace of God is always something worth fighting for!
“No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are” (Acts 15:11, NIV).
Jesus, thank you for your amazing grace! Thank you for the peace it brings me. I trust that you have done everything needed to win forgiveness and eternal salvation for me. Help me fight away every thought or suggestion that would attempt to sway my heart or mind away from you, Jesus, and your pure grace.
Our Bible reading for Monday, June 22, is 1 Kings 9:10 – 11:13, Acts 15:1-21 and Psalm 77:1-9.