Sunday, October 25, 2020

778. Grace or Works: The Apostles Vs. The James Gang

This week’s program dives into Acts chapter 15 where Peter, Paul and others met with the Jerusalem church council which included James and former Pharisees. The apostles were making the case during a heated debate that God was saving the Gentiles and receiving the Spirit freely. The council had accepted that Gentiles could be saved, but believed they needed to be “brought into the fold” by including and applying the law of Moses with the newfound life given by God’s Spirit.

The debate was about choosing whether salvation is by grace through faith alone … or whether works of the law needed to be included. In the end, James spoke on behalf of the church board with a surprising change of opinion—or judgment—by saying the Gentiles should not be troubled with keeping the Mosaic law. Although not everyone agreed, the revelation being brought forth was that Gentiles would not be brought into the old way of law, but that Jews were also freed from it. It couldn’t be a grace/law mixture for one group (Jews) and not the other (Gentiles).

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