And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the Word of the Gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. (Acts 15:7-11)
Peter had not only experienced a witness opportunity with Gentiles that demonstrated saving faith, but also had come to understand the reason for the Law, to point to Christ and our need of Him. Though Peter was not perfect and would often stumble in regard to his relationships with Jews and Gentiles, in this instance he deferred not only to God but also to James and Paul as having a better understanding of what should be done. He knew that the Jews who were zealous for the outward practices were well meaning but in error and let Paul testify of all that God was doing. James the less (Not John’s brother) stood up and formulated a statement for works meet for repentance for the Gentiles to follow, not for salvation but to demonstrate who they were in Christ.
When those who come from other faiths and traditions have a true saving encounter with the living Lord, He is the one who adds them to His church. Our practice when they come to our fellowships and congregations is to welcome them in, disciple them in the ways of the faith, and help them grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We must be sure of their faith and testimony, that they have truly received the new birth from God through repentance of sin and by faith in Him and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary. God’s church must not add additional burdens of works for salvation nor works to keep that which God has already done but be the family and fellowship which those in Christ need to grow in Christ and depart from the former things and the ways of darkness where they once walked before the new life which God brings to those who trust Him.
God calls all His people to holiness and obedience to Him that we might minister to those around us who are hurting and in need as He provides. We serve others, equipped with the Word of reconciliation and righteousness, rightly divided and fitly spoken, that they may see Christ in us, the hope of Glory. Our GOD has commanded us to love one another with an unfeigned love, even as He first loved us, and to disciple one another in the Word of GOD so that we may all grow in grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our Lord has commissioned those who are His with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to go where He sends us in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we go, we are to proclaim the Good News of forgiveness through repentance and reconciliation with the Father through faith in His Son, that those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of GOD might have life in His Name.
GOD is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance and the knowledge of the Truth. Jesus loves you and wants to establish a covenant relationship with you that is real and personal. Surrender to Him on His terms and He will give you a brand new life of discipleship and fellowship with Him that is abundant and everlasting. GOD calls you to faith in Christ and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary to pay your sIn debt. He has provided the only way of reconciliation with GOD, forgiveness from GOD, and Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD who is GOD the Son, to give you a new life in Christ. Turn away from yourself and your sIn and turn to Him alone for eternal Life, now and always.