Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 15 - 28 Day Challenge

Coping with Grace

Seems like the church right from the beginning has struggled with grace.

(v11) Don’t we believe that we are saved because the Master Jesus amazingly and out of sheer generosity moved to save us just as he did those from beyond our nation? So what are we arguing about?”

The Jews having been brought up in a culture of obeying complex and comprehensive laws to gain God's favour could not quite get with the plot. It seems hard for them to grasp that their salvation had nothing to do with their good works and all to do with the sacrifice of Jesus.

They also found it hard to believe that God's grace was for the whole world and not just for them. I suppose it is not surprising that a faith born out of Jewish people still had struggles with converts who fell in love with Jesus but found it hard to leave behind their religious doctrines.

But the battle was on for the heart and soul of this new movement. Would it be sucked into a dead end route of rules and regulations for a select few or would God's free gift of salvation be sent to the world.

Thank God that the Apostles stood up for what they knew was right and Jesus mission was intact.

(v10) “So why are you now trying to out-god God, loading these new believers down with rules that crushed our ancestors and crushed us, too?

My Prayer

Thank you God for your free gift of salvation. I realise that it cost you your son to make this unavailable for me through faith. I will today live a life of thankfulness to you for everything you have given me and try to give you the one thing you are looking for my obedience.


Anonymous said...

This was going the extra mile - actually sending Paul, Barnabas, Judas and Silas to confirm what they are writing to them - making sure that there are no misunderstandings in the interpretation of the letter. It seems that they were anxious to ensure that the Gentiles were included in the gift of salvation - thank God for that! It paid off too - 'they were glad for its encouraging message'. A little bit of encouragement goes such a long way...

I had a little smile to myself around verse 29 though -
"You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell."

Seems we could have moved on a bit in the art (and niceties) of letter writing over the years.

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