What Is A Sovereign Grace Bible Conference?   

Acts 15:1-35


     The first sovereign grace Bible conference was held at Jerusalem during the apostolic era. The reason for that conference and the things that transpired at it are recorded in Acts 15. A matter of gospel doctrine needed to be clearly settled and publicly declared in unison by the servants of God.

     There were some among the Pharisees who professed to believe the gospel of the grace of God in Christ. But these men sought to mix law and grace. They wanted to compel believers to be circumcised and "to keep the law of Moses." They were saying, "A man cannot be saved unless he is circumcised and he cannot live right as a christian if he does not live by the rule of the ten commandments" (vv. 1, 5).

     Needless to say, this caused quite a stir. Paul and Barnabas would not stand by quietly while these Pharisees attempted to put the yoke of bondage upon God's children, who had been freed from the law. Therefore, the churches got funds together to send Paul, Barnabas and other preachers to Jerusalem, to take counsel with the apostles and elders concerning this matter (vv. 2-6). After much disputing with the Pharisees, Peter preached. Then Paul preached. Then James preached. And when they got done, they wrote a letter to all the churches (vv. 7-29). They spoke with one voice, declaring to all the world that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

     When the conference was over Paul, Barnabas and the other preachers went home, gathered the brethren, and read the Epistle. When God's saints read that letter, they rejoiced in the consolation of the gospel ( vv. 30-31). Then other brethren confirmed the message (v. 32). Not only did these brethren continue preaching the Word of grace, but many others were inspired to do so too (v. 35).

     This is a sovereign grace Bible conference.We have come together to clearly, publicly declare in unison to all the world the singular message of Holy Scripture: That salvation is the work of God's free and sovereign grace through our all glorious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to encourage all who will to join us in proclaiming this message. May it please our great God to bless this conference to that end for Christ's sake.


Don Fortner