Part 2 by Preston Greene
This is from chapter 10 of my friend Preston’s book, ‘Religion vs. JESUS, Do vs. Done”. It can be found here for sale at Amazon, OR Preston has allowed for me to freely distribute to those who ask.
Repent of your sins?
Now let us look into the book of Acts to see what was written about the law and salvation. I will set this up a bit. We will clearly see that the Law of Moses is not needed for salvation. In fact, the disciples gave “no such commandment” to keep the law to be saved.
We’ll start with the first verses of Acts 15.
And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. (Acts 15:1,2)
We read that certain people believed that one must be circumcised to be saved. They made this a “requirement” for salvation. We see in verse 2 that this was “no small dissension”. In other words, it was a big dispute/debate. Let’s resume in verse 5.
“…but there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, AND to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter” (Acts 15:5,6).
From these verses, we see that circumcision was not the only thing that needed to be done. The message was that one needed to keep the Law of Moses. I believe there are 613 Old Testament laws, but most are familiar with ten that Moses delivered from the mount. Peter was compelled to speak.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, “Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the GOSPEL, and BELIEVE. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts BY FAITH. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” (Acts 15:7-11)
Much was said in these five verses. We have learned that one needs to hear the word of the gospel (1 Cor 15:1-4) and believe. We also learned that there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles (us and them). We CLEARLY see that adding the law to the gospel “tempts God” by putting a yoke around people’s necks. We also are told that “the fathers” could not bear that yoke. In other words, they couldn’t keep the law, either (does this remind you of the Galatians 6:13 passage?). Verse 11 tells us that we are saved by GRACE, after talking about how the Gentiles were being accepted by God. He concludes in verse 23 and 24.
And they wrote letters by them after this manner; “The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, AND keep the law: to whom we gave NO SUCH COMMANDMENT.” (Acts 15:23,24)
The apostles gave “no such commandment” to keep the law to “be saved”. If the apostles gave no such commandment, why are so many Protestants telling people you must “turn from your sins” (keep the law) to go to heaven?
“But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Acts 15:11).
Now let’s take a look at a few verses from Romans. I won’t go into detail explaining these verses. They are pretty clear. It does, however, give even more support to “no law” TO be saved.
Being justified FREELY by his GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we CONCLUDE that a man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of THE LAW. (Romans 3:24-28)
Romans 3:24-28 is pretty clear. In fact I am not sure you get much clearer than that. There is another CLEAR passage in Romans about the law. Before we get to the second Romans passage, let’s check out Philippians 3:9, which will define the term “our own righteousness”.
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness, which is of God by faith.”
Now back to Romans.
“For , being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have NOT submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law FOR righteousness to everyone that believeth” (Romans 10:3,4).
Why do so many Protestant professing believers add “repent of sins” to the gospel and create what Galatians calls “another gospel”? Why do so many continue to add the law to salvation? Why do so many add their own righteousness, which is of the law (Phil 3:9)? How many times does the Bible need to tell us, “no law for salvation”? Remember Romans 4:13,14:
“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was NOT to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.”
God bless you everyone. To be continued…