Just As They Are

By Rev. Lynn Sullivan

Acts 15: 1-5, 22-35

When this passage was written, the church was expanding beyond Judea to Syria, Asia and Macedonia.  The question immediately arises about the requirements to be a Christian.  Does one have to adhere to the Laws of Moses (Kosher laws as we know them today.)    Among the laws includes being circumcised.  Early church leaders argued about what was expected of the new believers.  The decision was to return to Jerusalem and ask the apostles and elders.  This was known as The Jerusalem Conference.

Even back then, disputes about who is ‘in’ and who is ‘not’ arose.

“but we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they are.”  Acts 15:11

The decision was to write a letter to the people and deliver it in person.  They chose two people who were highly respected by the believers.  The letter stated that we will not put any burden on you besides  the ones that are necessary.

What are the necessary rules for church membership today?  Who delivers the conditions around membership?

Let us pray

Holy God, we are elated to be reminded that we are all children of God by your grace.  We also know we are tasked with being the best follower and friend we can be.  Let us continue to greet people with the message of peace and encouragement as taught by the people who founded the church.  Amen