An error occurred, and the scripture passage could not be retrieved.
Please try again later, or contact the website administrator.
As Luke continues to describe the emergence of the Church in the world, he brings us to one of the most critical turning points in the whole Story of God’s plan to save the world.
Up to this point, Luke has been telling us about how the Holy Spirit was winning people to Jesus Christ. Very exciting stuff! People who were considered by the Jews of that day to be outside the scope of God’s saving work, i.e. Gentiles, were receiving the great gift of salvation, the very Spirit of the Living God!
Then the crisis arises. Some of the Jews who had come to faith in Jesus as Messiah and Lord were insisting that the Gentile converts needed to be circumcised and taught to obey the law of Moses. On first century Jewish terms, it is a reasonable request. Circumcision was the sign of belonging in the great covenant. And given that the law of Moses is, in fact, the revelation of God’s will for human relationships, it seemed only reasonable that followers of Jesus should be directed to obey it.
Problem. No one had been able to obey it perfectly since it was given! As Peter says, “This burden was too heavy for us or our ancestors.” Not that God’s law is not good, it’s just that in our own strength we have not been able to live it. We need help. We need grace.
This is what was at stake as the church emerges – and always is: Grace.
Oh Father. You have made it clear over and over again that you save us simply by your grace. Please do not let us complicate your good news by adding any other requirements. Help us place our trust in grace and grace alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.