If it's WORKS — it won't work
We all need reminders from time to time of what really matters. Acts 15 is one of those chapters for all of us.
We find in this chapter that some Christians are putting “additional” requirements on salvation. They are saying, “Yes, Jesus is the way BUT, you still need to do some “works” to receive salvation. But the apostles basically tell them:
If it’s WORKS — it doesn’t work.
Read over these verses quickly.
He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 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? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:9-11 NIV)
What I feel God reminding me, and all of us, is that we have to be so careful not to allow any additional rules or regulations onto our faith. It’s easier to do than we think. Maybe you don’t feel the pressure of a major ritual that you have to perform, but have you in your heart and mind felt unworthy or undeserving of salvation because you’re “not a good or perfect Christian”, or because you haven’t read your bible enough or given enough or served enough? While all those things are valuable, it’s grace that saves not our works.
Evaluate your life and ask God to remove any condemnation you feel from not measuring up and begin to live a life that honors the grace of God but doesn’t try to earn it!