Read Acts 15:1-21
Key Verse: Acts 15:9 “He made no distinction between us and them, for He also cleansed their hearts through faith.” (NLT)
Peter was called of God to do a very special work. He had to begin the work of spreading the Gospel message to the Gentile people. It seems that part of that responsibility was to protect and take care of them after they had received Jesus as their Lord. Peter found himself in the middle of a hot debate: Should gentile Christians be expected to do exactly what Jewish Christians were doing?
The decision was made that they were accepted by God the way they were and should not be weighed down with extra rules and regulations that would only make it impossible for them to stay true to Christ. The only regulations that the church decided to place on new Gentile believers were ones that related to purity, living a holy life, and protecting one’s witness.
As a Christian you are called to Act Out for God and reach those in your circle of influence for Jesus. Once they come to Christ, the question will then become: How should we expect them to live now that they are Christians? From Peter’s example we need to understand that many of the standards of living that we are used to as believers may be very important for Christian living while some may not be absolutely necessary for everyone else. The real issues that need to be dealt with are the ones that relate to how we live pure, holy lives while maintaining a high standard to protect our witness. Whatever the case, it is important that we not burden down new believers simply to try and turn them into us.
Prayer: “Lord, help me to accept that not all Christians have to be just like me and please help me to protect my witness.”