The Council at Jerusalem – Acts 15:1-41
“…we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.“
I realize that this verse is in the context of a very specific discussion about what Gentiles must do (or not) in order to be considered part of this new Christian faith. As the Jewish Christians are hammering out the essentials of the faith, they are confronted with the question about what portions of the law the new Gentile converts must obey. Ultimately, they choose an open stance with few requirements, mirroring their understanding of the grace of God.
Even though this verse is within that specific context, I find that the quote has far-reaching implications to our own lives. As Gentile Christians, we might rewrite it as “…we should not make it difficult for the non-Christians who are turning to God.”
Are there things that we do that make it difficult for those who are turning to God? Non-biblical behavioral requirements? Church dress codes? Insider language? Unfriendliness? Judgmentalism? Hypocrisy?
Any of those behaviors on the part of a Christian, could be something which becomes a stumbling block to an unbeliever. Our actions and attitudes could form a hurdle which keeps someone from accepting the free gift of salvation. Let us be as free and as gracious as the Early Church as we share the Good News with all.
I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name;
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share His love as He told me to.
He said, “Freely, freely you have received;
Freely, freely give.
Go in My name and because you believe,
Others will know that I live.”
– Carol Owens