One of the earliest debates that the church had when it started was this. What do we do with Gentiles? See, the first Christians were also Jewish. They were Jews that heard about Jesus and followed Him. That was what the church was at first.
But then, Paul came along. And he took the Gospel to the Gentiles. Gentiles were non-Jews. So, they heard the Good News and were saved. Then the question was raised, well what do we do with them? Are they to first become Jewish? Are they to follow the Law? Are they to be circumcised? What are they to do?
We see this debate play out in scripture, and it is a really big deal, especially in Galatians. In Galatians, we see what is expected. Listen to what we are told in Galatians 2: 9-10:
9 and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do.
This was decided, go and proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles. And if they are saved, all we ask is this. Remember the poor.
That’s always amazing to me. We see this story play out in Acts 15 as well. That was what was told of these Gentile believers. If you have accepted and followed Jesus Christ, there is nothing more you have to “do.” As I told my Bible Study the other night, Jesus + Nothing = Salvation.
We don’t have to “do” anything to be saved. We just have to believe.
But, then that belief will show itself in our lives. So, they aren’t asked to “do” anything to be saved. But, when they come to faith, they are called to remember the poor. Remember the needy. Remember those that are without.
Because as Christians, we are called to not just love with our words. But to love with our actions.
Today, do we remember the poor? Do we take time to care for them? Those of us in Mississippi, there are many among us that are still in need after the tornadoes that hit the Pine Belt. But those of us that live in others places, there are needs all around us.
Do we remember them? Do we find ways to care? Do we find ways to serve? Do we find ways to live our God’s grace? That’s our calling. That’s what was asked of us. That’s what salvation calls us to.
To remember the poor. Today, may we all keep that mission. Today may love all that we come in contact with. And may we remember the poor.