No added extras - Hope 103.2

No added extras

By David ReayWednesday 29 Apr 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Acts 15:1-2

1 While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria,some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses,you cannot be saved.” 2 Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them,arguing vehemently. Finally,the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem,accompanied by some local believers,to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. (NLT)

We may shake our heads in despair at these ‘men from Judea’. Fancy requiring circumcision as a necessity for salvation. How legalistic they were. We all know that such things are not necessary for salvation. And yet…

We can come so very close to this sort of legalism. True,we say that faith in Jesus,genuine repentance,and acceptance of his Lordship is all that is necessary for salvation. But in practice,we may still have our own informal listing of what any real Christian would do or believe. We may find ourselves saying,”How can that person be a Christian if they (fill in a certain behaviour or belief)?”

Indeed certain beliefs and behaviour may rightly cause us to query someone’s status,though we can never pronounce final judgement. But a person may well and truly be ‘saved’ and still have some whacky beliefs and still fall short of Christian ethical standards. We need only look in the mirror to see an example of such an individual!

Ultimately,we dare not add to what Jesus requires of us. Humble trust in his mercy and a genuine if imperfect intention to follow his ways would seem to be the irreducible minimum. Anything else might be desirable but may yet fall into the category of added-on extras.

David Reay