“No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” Acts 15:11
Various Jewish believers were going to Antioch and telling the Gentile believers that they had to become like a Jew in order to be Christian. This meant they had to be circumcised and follow all the Mosaic Law. Peter stood up to them and pointed out that, with Jesus, salvation was a matter of faith and done in the heart, not just in actions. It is by grace that a person is saved, not by what they do or do not do.
Even though many years have passed, this problem still exists among Christians. No, the issue of having to be a Jew is no longer being discussed. It is now that a person is often required to change their lifestyle and habits before accepting Jesus.
Many believers expect a sinner to clean up his life before or as he comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Salvation comes by believing in the work and salvation that Jesus provides. Once a person believes in Jesus, God can do a work in their heart to change their lifestyle.
Christians are very good at putting down a huge set of rules in order for being a Christian. Jesus did not do that. No one can fulfill all the regulations, all will fail. Jesus provides that salvation with by His mercy, not by your earning it. All that is required is to believe in Jesus and obey Him.
Let God do the changing of a person in His time. Any person who is truly trying to love God will work at being more like Jesus everyday. They will want to change their ways. It will come from the heart, not from outside regulations.
Do you believe in salvation by grace that Jesus provides? Or do you believe in your good works? Which one are you telling people? Which one are you holding people to?
I pray today that you will see the grace that Jesus has given you; that you will give that grace to others; that you will not require acts that Jesus did not require; that you will live in the grace of Jesus; and that Jesus will use you to tell others about Him.