“Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” Acts 11:17

Do seekers become earners by earning a merit badge of faith? Seekers - seek God and demonstrate their faith and love for God with action. Earners - try to earn a relationship with God by doing the work that pleases God. Examples in Acts 11 were circumcision and eating prescribed foods. An earner would do the works and then live with those who do the same works. Let’s look at two men, Cornelius a seeker, and Peter an earner.

Cornelius the seeker. He sought God and lived rightly with different people.

Peter the earner. He was circumcised and ate only the prescribed food. He also segregated away from seekers who did not do the works that pleased God like he did.

Cornelius the seeker had a vision from an angel to call Peter the earner.

Peter the earner has a vision that all food is acceptable and to go visit Cornelius. He takes six men with him to visit the outsider in contrast to Cornelius’ three. (Peter possibly thinks: I don’t want any trouble here.)

Cornelius the seeker tells Peter the earner about the angel and now his house is full of seekers.

Peter the earner gets ready for his biggest sermon since Pentecost - but he does not get to earn anything! God intervenes and gives the seekers the Holy Spirit. The seekers find God. They were not circumcised. They ate the wrong food.

God does not seem to be interested in cultural norms. As for us in the earner group, let’s not stand in God’s way. Our works to serve God should be founded on seeking Him through His Word and in our thoughts, prayers, and actions. But looking at Peter, Cornelius and us, it is wonderful that God is our greatest seeker! Paraphrasing Dr. Tony Evans, “It only takes a tiny mustard seed of faith to move mountains so it is not more faith we should be seeking but rather God Himself.” The faith merit badge’s first requirement then should be “seek Him."

by Steve Sagué, Elder

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