And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. Acts 15:1-4
Acts Chapter 15 has turned into one of the important chapters in the New Testament, why? Because of the Council of Jerusalem, as we see from the opening scripture “certain men were teaching unless you are circumcised , you can’t be saved” This is the beginning of heretical teachings within the Church and the removal of Gods grace through Jesus Christ
Unfortunately we still see this alot today, many teaching you must perform certain “works” in order to obtain salvation. As we know its not by our works we are saved, but by grace through our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9) This setup the meeting of the Council of Jerusalem, so the Apostles can correct these false teachings based on the true teaching of Jesus Christ
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 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; Acts 15:5-8
The religious leaders stated “the Gentiles must be circumcised to obtain salvation” This was quickly refuted by the Apostles, however sadly there are still some who believe this today. Ask yourself, are those who are circumcised and reject Christ still saved? Absolutely not, circumcision was a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant but it doesn’t obtain salvation for you. It’s only through Christ that you can be saved, period
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 15:9-11
Peter rebuked this teaching of the Pharisees and said “Why put the yoke of The Law on the neck of the Gentiles? The same yoke that the Jews were unable to carry”? Why do some Christians today still want to put themselves under The Law when we are under Grace?
As Peter stated “Its the Grace of The Lord Jesus that we are saved” its not our works, its not circumcision, its not keeping The Law, which nobody has been able to do. Its only through Christ alone we can be saved Amen!