If you have ever been to a church’s business meeting you probably will not attend a second one unless you are under obligation. Now most of them can be boring and just keeping the congregation informed about the business side of the church.
Typically, they are attended by the main supporters of the church and often try to keep the church running like a business. Which it is not!!! At times it can be a meeting to address a conflict or problem that has built up, needs to be revealed, and more importantly, needs to be resolved.
We have insight into this problem from the book of Acts and the first church had to deal with a theological disagreement which we are still dealing with today. There were Christians who came to Antioch from Judea and were very concerned that Gentiles were being saved and allowed to join the church all by grace. We are told Acts 5:5…
“Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
Seems rather shocking to think of that in our modern culture. Typically, churches have a new members class where the new believers or transfers from other churches learn the “rules” of this new church they are considering joining.
I can just imagine being the pastor leading that meeting and saying…
“We welcome you to our church and there is just one thing we need to know… ‘Are you circumcised?’ Is the tip of your penis a hardtop or a convertible? If not, then you can visit our body shop and we can remedy that situation for you.”
Do you see what was going on there in the church of Antioch? Gentiles were being saved by grace and given their salvation freely if they would believe in Christ as their Savior and had been born again by the Spirit of God. This was a completely new system of belief for the Jews who had become believers.
So, a team of them from Jerusalem went to the church in Antioch to set the record straight. They wanted to make people do things which were from their experiences with God in the past…because certainly they cannot be saved just by putting their faith in God and that’s it??? I mean they had 1445 years of living under the Law…and now people could be saved and members of God’s family for free???
Therefore, a counsel of the church leaders was called for in Antioch. Where a big discussion happened on this matter. And the main church in Jerusalem resolved this touchy subject however with a little waffling to satisfy the ones from the party of the Pharisees.
The reason this was important for them and important for us is that there are still believers who want to destroy the gospel of Grace Alone, in Christ Alone, through Faith Alone. For example, a while back someone posted in my comments section on the 180 website this message…
You are teaching Free Grace…which is not biblical.
I guess the party of the Pharisees is still in existence. One cannot just believe in Jesus and then they are saved. That is Cheap Grace…come on there needs to be some things we need to do for someone to be born again. They need to change and become more like us. They cannot drink, smoke, and chew nor go with girls who do.
They need to attend church regularly, give 10% of their gross income, and have their family at church with them at least twice or three times a week. Thank God most churches have moved past that.
So, I wanted to ask that person saying that Free Grace was not Biblical…then what is being saved by Grace mean? And the reply is always we are saved by grace…AND… They want to slip in some little rules and works to salvation because faith without works is dead.
Now do I believe that there should be works or changes in the life of believers? Yes, I do but it is not the works that caused the salvation. Good works do flow out of genuine saving faith.
But they are not what one needs to do to be saved…they only show others that they are saved.
This is what happened in the church in Galatia. They wanted new members to be circumcised. So, Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians and says this near the end in Galatians 5:12…
“As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way
and emasculate themselves!”
Listen to me…there are still those in the Church who want to preach a gospel of works. A list of things you must do and expectations you must fulfill. Now, those things might be true if they are talking about growing in your sanctification…but they are not required for the beginning of salvation or our justification.
Yes, I do teach Free Grace because I do not know anyway that Grace cannot be anything but FREE.