By grace alone: Acts 15 (27 July 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.


Daily reflection: Acts 15

When some of the Gentiles (or non-Jewish people) began believing in Christ, some of the Jewish believers insisted that they had to observe Jewish customs such as circumcision in order to be saved. Many at this time saw Jesus as the saviour and redeemer specifically of the Jewish people so they believed that Gentiles first had to become Jewish before they could become Christians.

Paul and Barnabas contested this as they recognised that requiring someone to keep the Jewish laws in order to be saved was making salvation dependent on works – on something that people do – whereas they had come to understand that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for salvation. It was the only thing that was needed and it was a gift God had given in his grace. This means that a person does not need to observe Jewish laws to be saved, so Gentiles could be saved without needing to become Jews first.

A lack of understanding of God’s grace can lead us to worry about our own salvation when we fail to do the things God asks of us in the Bible. However, we need to remember that our salvation is independent of our works – just as the Gentiles wouldn’t stop being saved if they didn’t observe the Jewish customs, we won’t stop being saved even if we fail. The fact that God saved us through his grace is freeing.



Dear God, thank you that your grace is sufficient for me to be saved. Thank you that you’ve already paid the price for my sin and that my salvation isn’t dependent on what I do or don’t do.

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