[James speaking] "The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord...' "
Thoughts for Today:The passage James is quoting from is Amos 9:11-12, where it says "The words of the prophets are in agreement with this." The first time I read our passage today I didn't quite see how James' quote of the Old Testament prophet Amos fit into the point he is trying to make here, that Gentile believers should not be forced to observe Mosaic Laws such as circumcision. After looking at this a little closer I realized James is demonstrating from this quote that when the Lord returns, certain Gentiles will be present and saved as well (their nationality preserved), not just the Israelites. But how are the Gentiles saved? It certainly isn't because of a conversion to Judaism or they wouldn't still be recognized as Gentiles. The answer is in the phrase, "all the Gentiles who bear My name." In other words, it won't be circumcision or any other act that will save them or us, only Jesus.
This is an incredibly important eschatological step for the new church, the recognition that salvation comes singularly through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; not from any duty we must perform or act we must complete (such as circumcision). Sometimes this just seems too simple, but it is God's radical truth.
Questions to Ponder:Salvation comes through the name of Jesus and _________. What have you put in the blank in your own life? What do you think you need to give up or start doing to be saved? How have you over complicated the simple message of salvation for yourself? Or for others?