When Paul and Barnabas had completed their first missionary journey, they returned to Antioch and declared all things that God had done through them (Acts 14:27). When the word of God's dealings and saving mercies among the Gentlies had filtered back to Jerusalem, certain of the Pharisees took upon themselves to travel to Antioch and tried to subvert and convince the Gentiles who believed, that it was needful to be circumcised and to keep the law of Moses before one could be saved (Acts 15: 1). Paul and Barnabas traveled to Jerusalem to consider this vital question with the Apostles and Elders of the church. After there had been much disputing Peter stood up and clears the air with this plain, God-inspired statement of the gospel, "We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." From this one statement we can learn at least four things.
Because God is holy and all mankind are most sinful, the only way God can be just and justify the ungodly is exclusively by His sovereign grace. This is the plain teaching of scripture and the message of all the prophets and Apostles. We are chosen by His grace (Rom.11: 5). We are justified by His grace (Rom. 3:24). We are saved by His grace (Eph. 2:8-9). We are called by His grace (Gal. 5:15). We are glorified by His grace (Eph. 2:7). From election to glorification salvation is all of GRACE!
2). Salvation is through the Lord Jesus Christ!
There is not one single spiritual blessing given to any sinner apart from Jesus Christ. God has blessed His people with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly things only in Christ (Eph. 1:3-6). Jesus Christ is our salvation (I Jn.5:12). He only is our righteousness (Phil. 3:9). Jesus Christ is our wisdom (I Cor. 1:30). He alone is our redemption from all sin (Heb.9:12). God's grace is always given through righteous means (Rom. 5:2 1).
3). Salvation is certain for those whom God has foreknown!
Peter says, "we shall be saved." There are no uncertainties with God. James says, "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning"(Acts 15:18). All of those given to Jesus Christ in the covenant of grace (John 6:37); all those from whom Jesus Christ was made Surety, Mediator and Saviour must be saved (Rom. 8:29-30). The blood sacrifice He made guarantees their salvation (Heb. 10: 9-17).
4). God saves all whom He wisely saves by the same means!
There is not one method of salvation for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. Peter says, " we shall be saved even as they." No Jew nor Gentile will ever be justified by the law, but only through His mighty grace!
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