6 使徒和长老聚集在一起，商议这件事。 7 经过了很多的辩论，彼得站起来对他们说：“弟兄们，你们知道，前些时候上帝在你们中间拣选了我，使外族人从我的口中听见福音的道，而且信了。 8 知道人心的上帝也为他们作证─赐圣灵给他们，像给我们一样； 9 而且他待他们和我们没有分别，因为借着信，他洁净了他们的心。 10 现在你们为甚么试探上帝，把我们祖先和我们所不能负的轭，放在门徒的颈上呢？ 11 我们相信，我们得救是借着主耶稣的恩，和他们也是一样。”
6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
In this whole dispute, the deepest of principles was involved. Can we earn the favour of God? Or must we admit our own helplessness and be ready in humble faith to accept what the grace of God gives?
Peter said: “Religion consists in casting ourselves on the grace of God.” Underlying the debate is the difference between a religion of works and a religion of grace. Peace will never come until we realise that we can never put God in his grace gives. The paradox of Christianity is that the way to victory is through surrender; and the way to power is through admitting one’s own helplessness.