PAUL ARRIVED IN JERUSALEM
Paul finally arrived in Jerusalem and visited James and the church elders in Jerusalem. Through his journeys, he reported to them all God's works among the Gentiles. James and the elders praised God for the many Gentiles and Jews who believed in the Lord Jesus, but they were concerned about what other Jews were circulating about him that he was teaching the Jews, who lived with the Gentiles, to turn away from Moses' Laws by stopping them to circumcise their children or live according to the Jewish customs. Paul never taught against the Law of Moses, but he preached that the Lord Jesus was the one who could fulfill the Law for those who believed in Him. The problem of the Jews regarding the Law of Moses is that they cannot 100 percent follow it. If Jews disobeyed one Law, they would break the rest of the Law. And this is the reason that no one can fulfill the Law. Jesus came to fulfill the Law not only for the Jews but also for us. Paul never abandoned the Jewish custom. He circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3) and made a vow to God by shaving his head at Cenchreae (Acts 18:18).
James and the elders encouraged Paul to go to the temple with four other men to complete their vow to the Lord and pay for their expenses to show the Jews that he had never abandoned Jewish customs. Paul complied with their encouragement, went to the temple with the four men, and joined them for their purification. Regarding the Gentiles, they were not required to follow the customs of the Jews but to abstain from idols and sexual immorality. (Acts 21:15-21). (Third Missionary Journey Map). When our Lord Jesus died on the cross, He died for all our sins and fulfilled the Law of Moses for us. So when we believe in the Lord Jesus, we are completely forgiven for breaking the Law of Moses, which is God's commandment. Jesus' righteousness fulfilled the Law of God for us. So we are not saved by doing good works or following the Law but only by believing in the Lord Jesus because He has done it all for us.
We are saved not because of our good works but by believing in the Lord Jesus alone. Our good works are the result of our salvation. The moment we are saved, God begins to change our hearts so that we can do good. Let us thank our Lord Jesus today for what He has done in our lives.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) Why do I need to believe in Jesus for my salvation? What did Jesus do to save me? Do I believe in Jesus for my salvation?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for saving me through my Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus, thank you for fulfilling the Law of Moses for me. Thank you for dying on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins so that I can be forgiven. Please continue to change my heart and help me to live according to your will. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.