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Mission Statement: Quiet Spirit writes for those who seek a closer relationship with God.















Friday, April 20, 2012

Recognition of Grace



James. Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars,
 gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship
when they recognized the grace given to me.
They agreed we should go to the Gentiles and then to the Jews.”
Galatians 2:9 (NIV)

            Paul had difficulties in trying to be recognized for his new spiritual heart. In his pre-salvation days, his plan was to put an end to the sect that called themselves Christians. He had killed several of those who claimed to follow the Lord.
            In Jerusalem, a man named Joseph, an encourager, earned the nickname,” Son of Encouragement’ or Barnabas. He felt drawn to those who needed to be built up. Thus, he befriended Paul. Barnabas saw the change of heart in Paul and encouraged him to continue in his new found mission to expand God’s kingdom.
            Because of Barnabas’ standing with him, Paul was accepted and approved by the Jerusalem Christians. The body of believers extended the right hand of fellowship to both Paul and Barnabas.
            James, Peter, and John recognized the grace- the unmerited favor- given to Paul by the Lord Jesus Christ. Seeing this must have come as a result of lots of prayer to the three who had been very close to the Lord. The apostles accepted Paul and granted their approval of him.

            In my teen and early adult years, the denomination in which I worshipped extended the right hand of fellowship to believers who aligned themselves in their churches when they came from another church of that group. I haven’t heard of this expression in several years. As I have researched this I wonder if people on both sides of the act realize the meaning of this term-acceptance and approval.
            As children of God, we seek His approval. We should measure ourselves according to God’s standard. All other instances of judgment fall under His purview.

2 comments:

  1. I remember this term from when I was younger, and at the time, I didn't know what it meant. I agree with you; we should measure according to God's standard above all else.

    Blessings,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't understand its meaning for a long time. We studied Philip Yancey's book on grace before I did. Thank you for your thoughts.

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