But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)We believe that through the grace . . .—This comes, in what we may well regard as a summary of St. Peter’s speech, as the closing argument. The Pharisee might regard the Law as binding, but even he, if he believed in Christ, was compelled to confess that his hope of salvation was found in the work of Christ as the Saviour; and if so, then, as regards that hope, Jew and Gentile were on the same level, and the judgment that men could not be saved without the Law was but the inconsistency of an intolerant dogmatism, insisting on imposing that which was acknowledged to be profitless. It may be noted that this is the last appearance of St. Peter in the Acts, which from this period turns exclusively upon the work of St. Paul. For the subsequent history of the former, see Introduction to the Epistles of St. Peter.
Through the grace ... - By the grace or mercy of Christ alone, without any of the rites and ceremonies of the Jews.
We shall be saved, even as they - In the same manner, by the mere grace of Christ. So far from being necessary to their salvation, they are really of no use in ours. We are to be saved, not by these ceremonies, but by the mere mercy of God in the Redeemer. They should not, therefore, be imposed on others.
we shall be saved, even as they—circumcision in our case being no advantage, and in their case uncircumcision no loss; but grace doing all for both, and the same for each.The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ; all saving grace may be well so called, it being purchased only by Christ, and bestowed upon us from the Father through Christ.
Even as they; the Jews their fathers; these were saved through the grace of the Messiah which was to come; and the apostle urges this (against the imposing of the law) to the Jews, because neither their ancestors nor themselves could be justified by the law, but only by grace.
that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ; not through circumcision, or by any works of the law, moral or ceremonial; but through the grace of Christ undertaking for them, assuming their nature, and dying in their room and stead; through his redeeming, justifying, and pardoning grace: salvation is by Christ; Jehovah the Father appointed him to be his salvation; he sent him, and he came to save sinners; and he has obtained salvation for them; and it is in him, and in no other: and this salvation is by "the grace" of Christ; it was grace moved him to engage in this work before the world began; it was good will to men that caused him to come down from heaven, and appear on earth in the form of a servant; it was pure love that influenced him to lay down his life for them; through the grace in his heart he did all this for them; and it is the fulness of grace in his hands, out of which they receive abundance, whereby they are entitled to, and are made meet for eternal glory:
we shall be saved, even as they; either as the disciples, the Gentile converts, who without circumcision, and the works of the law, were saved by the pure grace and love of Christ, in dying for them, and on which they alone depended for salvation; or else as the Jewish fathers were, for they were justified, pardoned, accepted, and saved in the same way, as the saints under the New Testament are: they could not keep the law perfectly, nor was there then, nor now, salvation by it, only by the grace of Christ; and in that way, and that only, Old and New Testament believers, Jews and Gentiles, whether circumcised or uncircumcised, are saved. The Gentiles were not saved by the light of nature, nor the Jews by the law of Moses; the one were not lost for want of circumcision, nor the other saved by it; the only way of salvation to both, and under all dispensations, is the Lord Jesus Christ; through whose sacrifice sin is atoned for, through whose blood it is pardoned, through whose righteousness men are justified before God, and are accepted with him; and through whom saints have communion with God; and by whom, and whose grace, and not by their own works, they shall be saved with an everlasting salvation, from sin, law, death, hell, and damnation: and the salvation of one and of another, even of all that are saved, Jews or Gentiles, is by grace; no one is deserving of it; they have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God; have done that which is abominable, and they themselves are abominable in the sight of God; they have destroyed, and cannot help themselves; nor have they anyone good thing but what they have received from the Lord, and therefore ought to ascribe all to his grace; it is by that they are what they are, have what they have, and do what they do. Salvation, in all its parts and branches, is owing to grace; and so it is with respect to all persons that are saved; some are not saved by their works, and others by the grace of Christ, but they are all saved by grace; and none have any room to boast of themselves against others.But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 15:11. ʼΑλλά] A triumphant contrast to the immediately preceding ὃν οὔτε οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν οὔτε ἡμεῖς ἰσχύσ. βαστ.
διὰ τῆς χάρ. τ. κυρ. Ἰ.] Comp. Romans 5:15; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Ephesians 1:2; Php 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:2. Not elsewhere used by Peter. In triumphant contrast to the yoke of the law, it is here placed first.
καθʼ ὃν τρόπον κἀκεῖνοι] sc. πιστεύουσι σωθῆναι διὰ τῆς χάριτος τοῦ κυρ. Ἰησοῦ. The ἐκεῖνοι are the Gentile-Christians, to whom the whole debate relates. Others (Calvin, Calovius, Wolf, and many older commentators, following Augustine, against Pelagius) make it apply to πατέρες ἡμῶν. Incorrectly, as the salvation of the Jewish fathers (servati fuerunt is supplied) is quite alien from the question concerning the σωτηρία of the Gentile-Christians here. But the complete equalization of both parties is most fitly brought out at the close; after its having been previously said, they as well as we, it is now said, we as well as they. Thus the equalizing is formally complete.
That Peter in the doctrine of the righteousness of faith was actually as accordant with Paul as he here expresses himself, is (in opposition to Baur, Schwegler, Hilgenfeld, and Zeller) to be inferred even from Galatians 2:15 ff., where Paul acknowledges his and Peter’s common conviction, after he had upbraided the latter (Acts 15:14) for the inconsistency of his conduct at Antioch. Comp. on Gal. l.c.; also Baumgarten, p. 430 f.; Lekebusch, p. 300 ff.Acts 15:11. διὰ τῆς χ.: twice in his First Epistle St. Peter speaks of the grace of God, of the God of all grace; so also of the grace prophesied beforehand, of the grace brought to them, cf. also Acts 3:7 and 2 Peter 3:18. The exact phrase here is not found elsewhere in St. Peter, although common in St. Paul, but see Plumptre (Cambridge Bible) on 1 Peter 5:12. In R.V. σωθῆναι is joined more clearly with διά than in A.V.—κἀκεῖνοι, i.e., the Gentile Christians, not οἱ πατέρες (as St.Aug and Calvin). For points of likeness between these, the last words of St. Peter in Acts, and his previous utterances, with characteristic idioms and expressions, see Alford on Acts 15:7 ff, cf. Schmid, Bibl. Theol. des N. T., p. 427.
Aug. Augustine.11. But] Translation fails to give the force of this conjunction. It implies an exhortation for which the remainder of the verse states the reason. But cease now from such a course, for we believe, &c.
through the grace of the Lord Jesus] (The most ancient authorities omit Christ.) It is not to our having conformed to the Jewish law, St Peter urges, that we look for salvation, but to the grace of the Lord.
even as they] i.e. in like manner as they believe. Thus the argument is: If our belief and hope are the same, and no other, than theirs, why should these new converts be urged to adopt observances which form to us no ground for our hope of salvation? In the N. T. history St Peter’s name appears no more, and when we call to mind the opposition which, at the close of the first, and in the second century, was represented as existing between the teaching of Paul and Peter, we cannot think that it was without meaning that this last appearance of the Apostle of the circumcision in the Scripture story sets him before us in full accord with the Apostle of the Gentiles.Acts 15:11. Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ, the Lord Jesus) There is not added, ἡμῶν, our: because in this solemn place there is signified THE Lord of all.—πιστεύομεν, we believe) we believe that we are saved; or rather, we believe, in order that we may be saved; by faith we strive to attain salvation.—σωθῆναι, to be saved) Salvation was the question at issue: Acts 15:1.—κἀκεῖνοι, even they) viz. those of whom Acts 15:7 speaks. For the antecedent is in Acts 15:7-9, the consequent in Acts 15:10-11. And ἐκεῖνοι, they, is used on account of the time being somewhat far back (remote, ἀρχαίων ἀφʼ ἡμερῶν), Acts 15:7. The fathers, who were not even themselves able to bear the yoke, by parity of reasoning are comprehended under the verb πιστεὐομεν, we believe, as they were under the verb ἰσχύσαμεν, “Neither our fathers nor we were able,” Acts 15:10; and therefore their case is brought under the same category of grace, as opposed to the yoke. Peter thus reasons: The disciples now present are saved in the same way as the Gentiles were formerly saved at Cæsarea. The argument formerly proceeded (was inferred consequentially) from the Jews to the Gentiles; ch. Acts 10:47, Acts 11:15; Acts 11:17; Galatians 2:15-16; and now the same argument (inference) is brought forward (deduced) from the Gentiles, who were first converted, to the rest of the Gentiles. James, in Acts 15:14, repeats this, which is the sum of Peter’s sentiment.Verse 11. - We shall be saved through the grace, etc., for through the grace... we shall be saved, A.V.; Jesus for Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R.; in like manner for even, A.V. "How full of power are these words! The same that Paul says at large in the Epistle to the Romans, the same says Peter here" (Chrysost., ' Hem.,' 32.).
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