Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad.
The men mentioned in verse 1 insisted circumcision was essential for justification. Perhaps they based their theology on passages such as Genesis 17:14 and Exodus 12:48-49. But Paul and Barnabas argue against such a flawed theology since salvation is inclusive for all not only those who are from Jewish descent and who are circumcised.
Similarly, our theology, culture or social background subconsciously inform our thinking that specific actions, dogma or the lack thereof is essential to be justified in Christ.
Let these verses help us to rethink what we believe is essential for salvation in Christ.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Pray for someone you may know who is need of physical healing.