Saved by Grace

Sunday, October 8, 2017 ()

Bible Text: Acts 15:1-35 | Series:

Saved by Grace

Acts 15:1–35

The doctrine of salvation by grace alone was settled in Acts 15. Unfortunately this debate has continued until today. We side with the gospel of grace.

  1. There was a controversy of requiring works in order to be saved - 1–5
    1. These certain men were unsaved false teachers of a false gospel.
      1. They pushed their agenda within the church.
      2. Their error was requiring circumcision which essentially stood for the requirement of total Mosaic Law keeping.
    2. Paul and Barnabas stood up to these false teachers - Titus 1:10–11  For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped
    3. The church at Jerusalem was the source of the controversy and it was necessary for the apostles and elders there to settle the debate.
    4. Paul and Barnabas with others were sent to represent the church at Antioch. Those in Gentile regions along the way sided with them.
    5. Some Pharisees were genuinely trying to understand the gospel.
      1. What must I do to be saved?
      2. How does the gospel of Christ save me?
  1. They concluded that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone - 6–21
    1. Peter with his stature as the spokesman for the apostles rose to speak.
      1. God chose that Gentiles should hear and believe the gospel.
      2. God knows a true heart and gave the Holy Spirit to Gentiles.
      3. God removed all distinctions between Jew and Gentile not through good works or ceremonial law but through faith.
      4. God determines what is required for salvation. Legalism is man determining what is required for salvation.
      5. God has provided one way of salvation which is through faith by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to both Gentiles and Jews.
    2. Paul and Barnabas explained their experience of God saving Gentiles.
    3. James, the pastor and leader of the church, answered with scripture.
      1. He correlated and equated the words of the apostle Peter with the words of the Old Testament scriptures.
      2. The promises to David have been fulfilled in Christ. The Gentiles will be included in His reign and so are included now.
      3. Conversion to Judaism was not necessary for salvation but sensitivity to Jewish conscience was necessary for fellowship.
    4. The letter served as a position statement.
    5. The church continued to grow as Jews and Gentiles fellowshipped together under the teaching and preaching of the word of the Lord.


We rejoice in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! Sola Gratia!

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