Archive for November 16th, 2017

Galatians 3

Galatians 3 has Paul dealing with the church at Galatia around the topic of the law and faith.  It seems they have lost their way a bit in their understanding of how faith alone is the way to salvation through Christ.  “Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith”?  He reminds them that they were saved by faith, but now are falling back to works and the law.  “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh”?  Their change makes no sense.  They received Christ through faith, and the Salvation God offered them through grace.  But now they are waffling on that.

So he gets in their face and challenges their fallback to works.  “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—just as  Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?  Salvation has always come through faith.  They know this and have previously believed.  But the enemy tests our faith and challenges the truth of God’s grace.  Paul reinforces it.  “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham….So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith”.  God made a promise to Abraham many centuries earlier that is still in effect today.

There can be no salvation outside of grace which does not depend on the law or our works.  “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them”.  God’s standard is clear and simple – it is perfection to keep all His commands.  No human is capable of living that standard without fail.  Thus no one who attempts to achieve eternal life based on the law and our works has any hope of achieving salvation.  It cannot be done by mere mortal man.  So God sent Jesus to the Cross.  “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us”. 

We have no hope except through Jesus.  “For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law”.  The theory of becoming righteous by our works may seem possible, but it is not – it is impossible.  “Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that  the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe”.  God had to provide a different way, and that was done through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed….the law was our  guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith”.

The law was in place before Christ, but now has been replaced by God’s grace.  “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith”.  Paul makes is crystal clear.  We will never achieve salvation through our works.  Our salvation does not depend on us at all.  It is completely and absolutely dependent on Jesus.  God gave us grace when Christ went to the Cross and that alone is our hope and salvation.  He is our King.  He alone can redeem us from the penalty of sin.  He alone is Savior and Lord.  We need to make sure we are right with Him!

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