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By Edward O’Hara
All of the apostles taught that any message that says men are saved by trusting in works for righteousness, even Jesus’ works, is to be “sharply rebuked”. And in Acts 15 the apostles did just that.
Yet so many have fallen for the work’s message that is the doctrine of original sin. Trust in the strength of man’s arm for righteousness. And not in the grace of God. Grace that was His love shown when He joined with men in our death. Not by works of the law. So that because of the resurrection we can join with Him in eternal life. A salvation that is truly by grace through faith without works of any kind.
Titus1 says the believer needs to avoid these Jewish fables. Fables I sometimes refer to as Judaism for Gentiles. Fables that teach the need for circumcision and keeping the law of Moses for salvation. Titus1:9-14 says, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.”
These are pretty harsh-sounding words from Paul. But, necessary as they address an issue that is paramount in our salvation. The fact that any message that makes one believe that works play a role in our righteousness for salvation, no matter who we believe has done them, is a message that subverts men from the truth.
In Acts15 we see dissension and disputation that gives a detailed explanation of these Jewish fables Paul referred to in Titus1. And just how contrary they are to the faith once delivered to the saints.
The chapter begins by saying there were those who resisted Paul’s teaching who believed that Christians needed to practice circumcision after the manner of Moses. These are the Jewish fables Paul told Titus to sharply rebuke so that they may be sound in the faith. Because Paul’s gospel teaches that men are saved by grace through faith without works.
And while Moses’ circumcision came from the promise God gave to Abraham. And was not part of the law given by God to Moses. So it was the seal of that promise in Abraham’s flesh that expressed his salvation by grace through faith before there was any law. That in Gal.3:17 Paul says could not be made void by the law that came through Moses 430 years after the promise was given to Abraham. A promise that was sealed by circumcision. Then of the flesh. But, now of the heart. As Paul explains in Rom.2:29.
As we read through Acts15 we see a very sharp disagreement between the apostles and some that believed because some were teaching a works salvation. Some mentioned in vs.1-5 believed that works were necessary for salvation. Specifically works of circumcision and keeping the law of Moses. While in vs.24 we see the apostles said they never taught them any such thing.
So these were rebuked sharply in vs.2, 7-11, and 24 for teaching Gentiles that they must keep the law and be circumcised. The apostles even sent men with Paul and Barnabas to confirmed to them that all of the apostles were in complete agreement on this. Saying that to teach men they must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses is to subvert their souls.
Yet in most churches today we find a doctrine that says our righteousness is because we trust in Jesus’ perfect law-keeping being imputed to us. This comes through the teaching of the false doctrine of original sin. Teaching that if He hadn’t kept the law perfectly He could not have been the spotless lamb of God the Bible says He is. These have made works necessary for salvation just as those the apostles rebuked. These reject the teaching of the apostles in Acts15. And instead find themselves agreeing with those who the apostles sharply rebuked.
Don’t let yourself be a part of those who the apostles sharply rebuke. Trust in the grace of God that saves without works. And instead of being rebuked. You will be a part of God’s eternal family.
See you there or in the air!
This message can also be heard at Rumble
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