No Gatekeeper

There are a lot of Christian denominations out there. We have some large categories like Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant, but no matter how you look at the breakdown of Christian beliefs, there are more things we have in common than differences. One of those shared beliefs is that we are not worthy of God’s forgiveness. When we are non-Christian, someone who has yet to accept Christ’s free gift of grace, we are all equally unworthy. We cannot do anything to earn our forgiveness, which is why we call it a gift.
“Then a strange phenomenon occurs: as soon as we are included in the party because of Jesus’ irresponsible love, we decide to make grace “more responsible” by becoming self-appointed Kingdom Monitors, guarding the kingdom of God, keeping the riffraff out (which, as I understand it, are who the kingdom of God is supposed to include).” (Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli. p. 65)

Many of us forget that we didn’t earn it and start making it harder for others. We’re not alone in this. The early church struggled with avoiding the trap of legalism that Jesus had come to set them free from. One prime example is the arguments around circumcision.
“While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: ‘Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.’” –Acts 15:1 NLT

The Council of Jerusalem met, and the first “church conference” was held to address a theological issue: do you have to be circumcised to be saved? The answer was no; the only requirement to be saved is to accept God’s grace. You’ll see throughout the New Testament that this argument comes up repeatedly.

Our challenge today is to ensure we don’t do the same thing.

Thoughts to Ponder

  • Reflect on your life before you were saved. What things were you ashamed of in your life?
  • Would you be the person you are today without God’s grace?
  • How can you make a point not to stop someone else’s enter to God’s family?

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