“The other day,” Stan began, “we talked about how in the Book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas were really great examples of giving God all of the credit for what was happening in the early church.”
“That’s right,” I replied. “Don’t hog any of God’s glory for myself for what He is doing in and through me.”
“There’s another point about this particular story,” Stan continued, “that I think has real and lasting application for me.”
“Let’s have it,” I said.
“You’ll remember,” Stan replied, “that the issue here had to do with some of the Jewish believers saying that the Gentile believers would have to be circumcised in order to be ‘real’ Christians.”
“I do remember that. They wanted to add something else to what Jesus had already done.”
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “It was like Jesus’ finished work on the cross was not enough. They were saying, in essence, it was ‘Jesus plus whatever they wanted to impose.’”
“This position,” Stan continued, “was rejected, but that is not the end of it. It is not uncommon even today to hear Christians talking about what other believers need to do to be ‘real’ Christians.”
“Satan just loves it when he can get Christians to argue among themselves about what it means to be a Christian.”
“Acceptance of the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus is all that is required,” Stan said, and then continued, “there is no Jesus plus anything.”
Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are also. Acts of the Apostles 15: 10, 11.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus. Thank you that my acceptance of that free gift is all that is required for me to look forward to spending eternity in your presence. You are fully aware of how Satan tries to work in Christians, including me, to try to get us to think there has to be more required than the finished work of Christ. Lord, please make it perfectly clear to me and to all believers that your grace through His shed blood is all that is necessary, and help me to focus on knowing you on this side of eternity rather than getting bogged down by human-induced and Satan-induced distractions. Thank you I can and do bring before you all of these prayers in the name of Jesus. Amen.