By Earl E. Robertson
Much has been said and written about salvation by grace and faith. Some of it has been true to the word of God and some of it untrue. Some preachers holding the doctrine of dispensationalism have contended that the Jews are saved one way and the Gentiles another. However, the speech the apostle Peter made in Jerusalem easily settles the problems raised and promoted by false teachers to all who love the truth. The prevailing prejudice and consequent misunderstanding on the part of the Jew toward the Gentile thinking he could not be saved without the circumcision of Moses’ law caused this meeting in Jerusalem. Luke records the happenings transpiring in this meeting. He says, “And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Acts 15:7-11).
God put no difference between Jews and Gentiles in the plan of salvation. He saves one and all alike. This truth is contrary to the contentions of all who teach salvation is a miracle. They all have one saved one way and another saved in a different way. But God put no difference! Peter emphatically states- all must hear the gospel and believe (15:7). But he says the Gentiles were saved by faith while stating the Jew would, through the grace of the Lord, be saved even as they. If it required grace to save the Jew but he was to be saved the same way as the Gentile, then it necessitated grace to save the Gentile; and since the Gentile was saved by faith, but the Jew was to be saved “even as they,” then it required the Jews to believe to be saved. Peter said they should “hear the word of the gospel, and believe.” The word of this gospel is the word of God’s grace (Acts 143; 20:24), and it instructs (Tit. 2:11, 12). But this gospel demands that man believe it (cf. Mk. 16:15, 16). Briefly, this is God’s grace and man’s faith. No, it is not a fifty-fifty proposition! It is not Gods grace and God’s faith; it is God’s grace and man’s faith. Acts 2 and 10 show what is involved in the salvation of both. It was evidence presented through gospel preaching; faith in the heart of the hearers; repentance – a change in mind as a result of having heard the gospel, which also changes the way of life; and baptism into Christ for the remission of sins. Read Acts 2 and 10 along with Acts 15 and see for yourself that all are saved alike, that God reveals His grace through the gospel and man accepts the terms or conditions stated therein to the saving of his soul.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 6, pp. 174-175
March 15, 1984