But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they. —Acts 15:11
A problem developed in the early church over the subject of salvation. The question at hand was: What does it take to be saved? The Jews believed that salvation was for the Jews only. They believed a Gentile's only hope for salvation was by becoming a Jew, which meant fulfilling the rite of circumcision and baptism.
Those who believed that put a heavy burden on the Gentile believers. So the first church council was established to answer the issue. What does one have to do to be saved? Are we saved by faith alone, or is it a combination of both faith and works?
Salvation is through grace—through Jesus alone.
Many today still teach that salvation is through faith and works. Most of the cult groups and even many churches require certain works for salvation. But the Bible teaches that salvation is through faith alone. Works don't save you. Works simply demonstrate the genuineness of your faith. If you truly believe in Jesus Christ, there will be changes in your life. You will no longer practice sin. You'll have a changed attitude and a changed heart. But those good works don't save you. The only one who can save you is Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent" (John 6:29). God has made salvation through faith so that no one can glory in what they have done. And that is what the early church concluded. Salvation is through grace—through Jesus Christ alone.
Thank You, Father, that the cross was the finished work for our salvation. Lord, draw us to Your love. In the name of Jesus, amen.