The occasion of the above reading involved a strong disagreement among Jewish Christians about the need for gentile converts to accept Jewish practices. Many Christian Jews thought that if a gentile converted first to Judaism, then the gentile was qualified to convert also to Jesus Christ. After all, most gentiles knew only idolatry, not the living God the Jewish people knew. Many gentiles had terrible concepts about divinitythe Jews thought they could destroy those terrible concepts and prepare gentiles for having the lives they should live.
Interestingly, the disagreement 2,000 years ago is very similar to our disagreement today: What is the foundation of salvation? Is the foundation our acts or Gods acts? The primary difference in their discussion and ours was (is) this: their discussion focused on background and our discussion usually focuses on the necessity of obedience.
Peter said to them and would say to us, Your concerns miss the point! Salvation is able to exist because of what God did in Jesus death and resurrection. Any human response to what God did is just thata response, not a foundation. Faithless salvation does not exist: the person must place total confidence in what God did in Jesus death and resurrection. That is the foundation of salvation: the foundation of forgiveness, of sanctification, of redemption, of righteousness. That is God propitiating for our failures.
Every act of obedience is merely a response to what God did in Jesus. Obedience is a huge, believing, thank you to God that declares appreciation to God for what He did for us. Obedience is not a question mark or an unbelieving manipulation (I did the right acts so You, God, have to save me!) Human acts can never manipulate God!
Thank you, God, for not making our salvation dependent on a humans or group of humans approval. Our hope is in what You did for us, not in what we do.
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell