Posts Tagged ‘Works v Faith’

Galatians 5:1-15 The Offense of the Cross

His works make me righteous, not mine

Paul continues to contend for the work of faith. Works CANNOT save us! Those who teach this are number one on Paul’s damnation list.

During our last reading I pointed out the jealousy that lay beneath this struggle between the Children of the Promise and the Children of the Law. The second was never able to have what the first was freely given. But there is another insidious attitude lurking beneath the surface. That monster is pride. Read more »

Galatians 4:21-31 Children of Promise

God created a separation for a reason.

Paul continues to draw a distinct line between those who would seek God through the law and those who approach Him through the promise. The law leads to slavery not salvation. The promise leads to freedom through salvation.

Just as Ishmael was jealous of Isaac, the false teachers were jealous of those living in the freedom Jesus provided. The one saw that they couldn’t have what the other was given freely. And this created conflict. Read more »

Galatians 2:15-21 Crucified With Christ

Because He lives in me I try to please Him.

Paul continues to contend for justification by faith instead of works. Not only were the Gentiles sinners but the Jews too! And just as in need of God’s grace.

The whole argument in a nutshell; “If righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose” (verse 21). The law could not do what needed done so adherence to it still would NOT save anyone.

But the concepts of serving God with your whole heart and behaving rightly towards your fellow man were not thrown out. The law gave specific directions for the Jews daily lives. It spelled out blessings and cursings for adherence to it. Everything was based on a quid pro quo system. If you do ___ then God will do ___. Read more »

Romans 10:5-21 Everyone Who Believes

What I am called to do

Paul brings us to the most important part of this whole book. The “must have” pieces for salvation, and who can have these pieces.

The bottom line in Paul’s letter is this: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame’” (verses 9-11).

Not because of our works. Not because we say the right words. Not because we belong to the right group. But because of the work Jesus did on our behalf. Read more »

Romans 9:30-33 That Kind of Faith

God calls us to faith in Jesus

Paul comes back to the core of the matter. The heart of the promise and the goal of the Law.

In our last reading I forgot to mention a very heartfelt cry from Paul. He loves his fleshly brothers. He longs for Israel to receive Jesus. That love is one of the things that drove him to pen this letter. He said that he would gladly be cut off from Jesus if it meant that all of Israel would be saved. “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (verses 2-3). THAT’S love! That’s Jesus’ kind of love. Read more »