Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. Acts 15:1-4
This seems to be the first recorded controversy in the church. It was handled in record time because the church leaders recognized the need to stamp out trouble quickly. The issue was circumcision but it could easily have been any number of different issues. Most of those issues are “works-relate” and exist in some form even today.
It’s the Gospel plus.
- The Gospel plus circumcision.
- The Gospel plus baptism.
- The Gospel plus helping the poor.
- The Gospel plus women covering their heads.
The Gospel is clear: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Those are certainly words to live by.