We ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God.

There it was.  After all the debate, argument, and discussion, the apostles discerned that grace and faith were at the heart of God’s covenant with his people.  They decided that the Gentiles were not required to embrace the entire Mosaic law when they converted to Christianity.  The Law was a work of God’s grace, just as Jesus’ death and resurrection had been.  it was enough for them to accept this grace by believing in Jesus and by being baptized into his name.

This is a great insight that we need to remember.  The covenant that God made with the Jews and the new covenant he made with believers through Jesus are both works of grace.  They are both gifts given by a generous and loving God.  From the very beginning, he has been reaching out  to his people, offering them a share in his divine life.

God’s grace

The apostles focused on God’s action, not theirs or anyone else’s.  And because of that, both Jews and Greeks could be saved in the same way, but the gift of grace.  It was all based on God’s work.

This focus is essential for us too.  It is not about how well you keep the rules.  It is about knowing that God’s love is at work in you and that his grace has the power to change your life far more effectively than your human efforts alone.

God’s grace works in you

So here is the question:  Can you identify how God’s grace is at work in you?  Every time your heart goes out to someone who is suffering, that is grace.  Every time you notice that you are more patient with your kids, that is grace.  Every time you find yourself wanting to please God and feeling sorry for offending him, that is grace.  These kinds of thing are proof that God’s love is making a difference in your life.  He is teaching you to obey his law out of love, not fear!

So praise God for your faith.  Put gratitude above fretting over legal requirements.  It is not primarily about what you do, but what God has done for you.

-word among us