In these passages is the account of some newly converted Jewish believers trying to impose religious rules on the newly converted Gentiles in Antioch. They told the Gentiles that unless they became circumcised according to the law of Moses, they could not be saved. So, Paul and Barnabas took this matter to the Apostle Peter and elders in Jerusalem to get their guidance.
Peter said of the Gentile converts, “God who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by Faith.” Again, it is the heart that is all important.
It was the new converts’ belief in Jesus that was saving them. Therefore, it was not necessary to lay additional burdens on them- burdens that might discourage them from maintaining their belief in Jesus. I believe that religious institutions do this today.
Religious rules and regulations have kept people from believing in Jesus Christ. What a shame. God’s Truth is simple and pure and simply requires belief. Jesus said, “Unless you believe the Gospel message like a child believes, you will not enter Heaven.” A child’s belief is pure and unencumbered with rules. That is how we must believe: simply and totally.