8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith.
— Acts 15:8, 9 NLT
The believers of the sect of the Pharisees wanted to require that all of the new believers who had not been circumcised must do so. Peter stated that that was a requirement under the law and the law had been too heavy a burden for the Jews to bear. So, he asked, knowing this, why would you lay this same unbearable burden on the new believers? Throughout the history of the church, there have always been those who wanted to add requirements to God’s simple plan of salvation. God says that “we are saved by grace through faith” There is nothing else that is acceptable in His sight. Nothing less and nothing more. That’s it. When the thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him, Jesus assured him that they would be together in paradise. Nothing less, nothing more. That is the key that unlocks the gates to heaven. Once that step is taken, there are things that need to be done to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus said He brought to us. Those things do not add to the salvation plan, they just make for a more purposeful, abundant lifestyle here on earth and more rewards when you get to heaven.