The Unity of Faith

When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.” The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:4-9 ESV)

Hearing the word of the gospel and believing it are the actions that lead us to back to God. There are no additional requirements, no rituals, prayers, or fee to obtain this kind of faith. The Holy Spirit is given to everyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord, and in this instance Jews and Gentiles.

Being chosen by God does not mean that we are exclusive and any more special. Rather he chose to love and forgive us through his Son, redeeming us by dying on a cross. There is no two-tiered Christianity where one group is holier than the other. We are all the same, sinners saved by grace.

In our society, there still exists an insecurity where we tend to judge the worthiness of people by their characteristics, contributions, and flaws. I can think of no other reason for me to hold such judgment other than feeling good about myself because I am not like this person or that person. Having that attitude is sinful and I am reminded that given the right circumstances, I am capable of doing the same things.

As Christians, we are one family under God, and we are given the same love and grace. Yes, he distributes specific blessings and gifts in different ways, but that doesn’t mean that those with more are much better than those with less. We must always remember the story of Job and his wise words when he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

To treat every person with equity is not accomplished by creating our own laws and enforcing them. It is accomplished by loving God first and then loving others. What would our world look like if everyone just followed those two commandments? It would be very different, much more peaceful and enjoyable because there wouldn’t be any more conflicts, hatred, and wars. One day it will be like that when Christ returns.

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