The Outward Sign of Salvation

The Outward Sign of Salvation

Word of God
Acts 15:1-2 King James Version (KJV)
1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
Devotional Insight
By Frances Taylor

What are the hoops that some people make others jump through to become Christians? Different churches have different traditions around Baptism. Some require a declaration of faith in Jesus as their personal Savior. Others have waiting periods, or probationary periods where they need to work as missionaries, and others require classes to make sure they know something about the traditions of that denomination. I think it makes us sound like those Jews who wanted the Gentile converts to follow the Jewish laws. Having worked with people who had chosen to be baptized, I have been overwhelmed by the faith they have just in coming forward. Yes, they should know the basic beliefs of Christianity, and I have found that they are eager to do so. They have all been so led by the Spirit, that their desire to learn far outweighs that of people who have been born into the faith. I don’t believe that God intended that stumbling blocks be put in the way of those who desire to follow Jesus.

Fortunately for the spread of Christianity, the apostles in Jerusalem who gathered to meet with Paul and Barnabas felt the same way. They only asked that the Gentiles avoid certain sins. Of course those who choose to become Christian need to know what behaviors may need to change. They need to learn the importance of the commandments of God as well as Jesus commandment of love. They need to know of the importance of justice for all people, especially the poor and the vulnerable. They learn by observing us, those who already claim to be Christian.

My hope is that I will never be a stumbling block to anyone wanting to follow Jesus. What about you?

Let us pray

Gracious God, you sent your Son to free us from the bonds of sin and death. You want all of us to come to hear and believe the Good News. Just as you helped the apostles understand the importance of removing any stumbling blocks to conversion, may you continue to be with those entrusted with accompanying those men and women today who wish to become Christian. Amen.

Source: iDailybread Co., Limited

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