Today’s reading in my journey through the New Testament brought me to Acts 15:1, which reads:
And some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
I have learned through my years as a follower of Christ to beware the phrase, "Unless you (fill in the blank), you cannot be saved." When someone asserts that you must do something or be something in order to be considered saved, it is often in error and based upon something that is legalistic rather than scripturally sound. And it diminishes the grace of God.
Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
- “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” Acts 15:11
- that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Rom. 10:9-10
- For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Eph. 2:8
Of course, as we mature in Christ (the sanctification process), we are changed in many ways and we do many things because of our obedience to Him. The Bible is filled with examples of that: Putting on the armor of God, walking in the fruit of the spirit, a life of prayer, a life of service, rejoicing in tribulation, participating in the community of faith, observance of the sacraments, etc. But those changes within us and those things we do in obedience to the Lord are not what saves us. Salvation happens the moment we put our faith in Christ and comes to us because of the grace of God.
To which I say, "Thank You, Jesus." Because I am…
In the grip of His grace,