Today’s passage teaches us again about how loving and graceful God is towards us. The story focuses on a debate about whether or not Gentile’s should follow the laws and sacraments of Judaism. The passage concludes with the consensus that belief isn’t dependent upon keeping sacraments such as circumcision, but rather faith in Jesus.
I love this passage. I love that no knife need go near my genitals in order for me to be saved. I love that nothing I can do will make God love me more, and nothing I can do will make God love me less. I love that it is my faith in Jesus that qualifies me before God, and that His grace covers me. I find it incredible that no matter how different we are, we are all one in Christ and are all saved by His grace, not by who we are, or what we do.
All are welcome
No matter who you are, or what you’ve done; you can only come to God through Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life. Whether or not you worship or are addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, or pornography; God loves you. It doesn’t matter if you are popular, ignored, or are bullied; God loves you. God doesn’t discriminate against anyone based on any characteristic or action, but saves those who trust in Jesus and repent from their old way of life.
We must welcome all
This has a flipside for those who already follow Jesus. Jesus didn’t discriminate against anyone in his ministry, but rather preached to all. In today’s passage, we read that the leaders of the Early Church chose not to discriminate against those who weren’t Jewish. Similarly, we shouldn’t discriminate against anyone when we do mission and welcome people into our church. Both the homeless and the CEOs of Investment Banks need Jesus. It’s our job to share the gospel to all!