Acts 15

April Memory Verse: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 NIV

Read: Acts 15

In Acts 15, there arises a debate as to what new believers should do. The Pharisees and some other religious leaders believed that the new believers should follow the Old Testament Law (v. 1, 5). They believed that someone had to follow the Law in order to be saved, and in this case, they wanted the males to be circumcised to signify that they were apart of God’s people (v. 1).  

Thankfully, this is not the Gospel. The Gospel never says you must follow this certain set of rules in order to be saved. The way someone comes into a relationship with Jesus is by grace through faith. In our passage, Peter makes that very clear (v. 7-11). I think we have to remember what happened with Peter in Acts 10. God showed Peter that nothing or nobody was considered unclean anymore. Everyone was welcome into God’s family.

The verse I want to focus on today is verse 10. Peter asks the question, “Why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?” Basically, Peter is saying: “Why are you trying to make them follow a law that we haven’t been able to keep?”

Verse 10 makes me wonder. Is there any yoke that we place on ourselves or on new believers that is not found in Scripture? Are there things that we get legalistic about and try to make others follow that ultimately hinder the true Gospel?

I think we need to take time and reflect on what we are telling new believers. Are we reminding them of God’s grace and love? Or are we getting upset with them because they missed their quiet time 3 times this week?

We have to find a balance of grace and truth with new believers or people who are starting their walk with God. We should never become legalistic like the Pharisees in this passage, but at the same time, we need to hold them accountable for what they do.

For you, is there a yoke that you have placed on yourself or others that is not found in Scripture? If so, how are you going to change?

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By: Brice Stockton


Korbet Finley - April 23rd, 2021 at 6:05am

Thankful for today and Jumpstart!

Pray tell: what are we to make of this verse? "but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. (Acts 15:20)

Joey Stafford - April 23rd, 2021 at 7:02am

Korbet absolutely a great question and one that has always confused me brother. In my study Bible it says likely these were designed to elevate the moral standards of the Gentiles in a number of practices that were associated with pagan temple rites.

Recommendations possibly to lead Godly lives and to represent Christ to nonbelievers, but not tied to salvation???

Lindsay Crawford - April 23rd, 2021 at 11:09am

I kind of wonder about this too, since they just stated not to impose any rules, because it is by grace through faith that we are saved. But, as you pointed out, Joey, I guess they were addressing the most prevalent pagan customs at that time. Reminds me of Moses giving the people grounds for divorce, even though it is not God's desire. A situation where people are wanting something badly enough that they had to give them something.

Jackie Wright - April 23rd, 2021 at 6:19pm

Good question! My Bible cross references this verse with 1 Corinthians 8:7-13 which I believe helps shed good light on the context of

Jackie Wright - April 23rd, 2021 at 6:27pm

...submitted too soon...

The cross reference to 1 Corinthians 8:7-13 I believe helps shed some light on the context of this verse and the apostles exhortation to the new believers as they grow in their faith and live out their new lives in Christ.

Tim - April 23rd, 2021 at 7:26am

This is such an important passage. It teaches us how godly leadership handles disagreements within the church. It also shows the humanity of Paul and Barnabas. That helps us understand so much about how we are to be.

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