Who Can and Who Can’t? (Acts 15-16)

15 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”  Acts 15:1

Over the weekend SEC Football kicked out with a strange set of rules. Because of Covid-19, seating was limited to a certain amount to people. This new rule caused a frenzy for loyal fans. The question was, who could and who could not get a ticket for the game.

In Acts 15, Luke records a strange twist of events that occurred because of a virus caused by false teaching. A group of converted Pharisees began to spread that were additional requirements for salvation than what Paul and Barnabas has been teaching the Gentiles. The question was: who could and who could not be saved.

Brothers and sisters, what are the requirements for getting into Heaven?

  • All Muslims believe you must follow Allah and his prophet.
  • Buddhist believe you must follow the Urantia.
  • Mormons believe you must follow the teachings of Joseph Smith.
  • The Jewish people believe you must follow Moses Law.

Question, who is right? When I read Acts 15, I believe the church had come to a crisis of belief.

Pay close attention to the content of this chapter. In this chapter the church clarified the gospel. Here was Peter’s summary teaching:

And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

Brothers and sisters, Jesus is the way we get to Heaven. Jesus is the truth we must believe. Jesus is the life we live now that we believe in Him.

I am so glad the good news leads men and women from a self-effort to a total surrender to His saving. In Acts 16, Paul led a jailor to saving faith when the jailor believer on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).

For 2000 plus years the church has preached the clear message of Jesus power to save. For me, the question today is simply this: Who will believe in Jesus alone as their way into Heaven.

The Hymn writes understood this in that classic hymn, “My Faith has found a Resting Place.”

My faith has found a resting place
Not in device nor creed
I trust the Ever-living One
His wounds for me shall plead. Enough for me that Jesus saves
This ends my fear and doubt
A sinful soul I come to Him
He’ll never cast me outI need no other argument
I need no other plea
It is enough that Jesus died
And that He died for meMy heart is leaning on the Word
The written Word of God
Salvation by my Savior’s name
Salvation through His blood

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