September 27, 2008

Faith vs. Works? My Morning Meditation on Galatians

[I was reading this morning, and the following thoughts came to my mind, so I turned them into a post.]

In the letter to the Galatians, Paul used some strong, strong language to warn them about trusting in a work's (law) based salvation. At the end of chapter four, after he explained the difference between the two covenants - how one is of the flesh but the other is of a promise, one is for slavery and the other for freedom, one is from below while the other is from above, one is born of the flesh and the other born of the Spirit - he then ends with these words, "But what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman." So brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman." (Galatians 4:30-31 ESV).

So we see that all who are of the flesh, and who remain under the covenant of works-righteousness (law) for salvation, cannot be heirs with those who are of faith. It is only the children of the promise who are saved. Paul's point has become clear by this section of his letter, which is that salvation is only by faith in Christ. Faith unites us with Jesus, and it is in Christ Jesus alone where we find eternal life (1 John 5:11-12). As long as anyone continues in a course of works-based righteousness, they will never attain to the righteousness that leads to eternal life, which is given freely only to those who believe in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 3:21-24). Christ died, was buried and rose again on the third day making sufficient atonement and satisfaction for all the sins of those who trust in God through Him. It is only through His Person and His work that we are reconciled back to God the Father. There is no other way for sinners to be justified and reconciled to God for eternity.

I was once exhorted to remember Paul's own words in the beginning of chapter five: "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery [works-righteousness]" (Galatians 5:1 ESV). We ought to also know and understand that faith does not free us to live any longer in sin, but rather it frees us to enjoy living by God's grace through faith which always works through love (Ephesians 2:8,9,10; Galatians 5:6).

Grace and peace be multiplied to all who find their righteousness and rest in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Total Depravación, part 2
In Hope He Believed Against Hope
Entering His Rest

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