“Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?” Acts 15:10
The churches in Jerusalem were requiring Gentile people to get circumcised if they wanted to be saved. Peter saw this and questioned them. He wanted to know why they were putting on such a requirement that they, themselves were unable to fulfill. He goes on to say that everyone is saved by grace of Jesus, not the works.
Every religion, except Christianity, requires people to do certain works in order to be saved. In the eyes of the world, this makes sense. In ordered to be saved by a god, a person must do something to earn it. Mankind wants to earn what he gets.
Under the Old Testament Law, people were required to live a certain way and do certain things, in order to gain God’s favor and be saved. It was very quickly shown in the Garden of Eden that mankind was unable to fulfill those requirements.
Yet, throughout the history of Christianity, people have been known to put on requirements for salvation that God did not put there. Many times people are told that in order to be saved, they must clean up their life and give up certain things. Or they must go to a certain church, or dress a certain way. They are told that if they do not do these actions, or others, they cannot be saved.
No where in scripture does God put any extra work requirements upon a person to be saved. All a person must do is confess his sins, believe in Jesus, and publicly announce that Jesus is Lord. It is trusting in the grace and mercy of Jesus that brings salvation, not any work or action.
Take a look at your own life and determine how you are saved. If it was not by works, then do not add anything to others to be saved. Keep salvation by grace as Jesus made it, not the way the world wants it.
Salvation is a gift from God for any who believe. It is not something earned or bought. Keep it that way, so that all may be saved. Teach the gospel message just as Jesus gave it, one of grace and mercy, with nothing added that cannot be done.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will tell others about Jesus; that you will not add requirements to be saved that Jesus did not put there; and that you will know the grace and mercy of God in your life.