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Salvation is Not of The Law

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Salvation

The basis of salvation is the issue in this passage. Is salvation through Christ alone or does it come through Christ and adherence to the law. If observing the Jewish laws cannot justify us, why should we still obey the ten commandments and other Old Testament laws? Paul says we are Jews by birth and are not like Gentiles. But we know that God accepts only those who have faith in Jesus Christ, whether we are Jews or Gentiles. No one can please God by simply obeying the law. So we put our faith in Christ Jesus, and God accepted us because of our faith (vv. 15-16). As Paul will explain later in this letter, the law was given to reveal sin and not to redeem from sin ( Rom. 3:20).

Christ does not make us sinners (v. 17). Paul’s argument to Peter was that we did not find salvation through the law; we found it through faith in Christ. Furthermore, by going back into legalism, you are building up what you tore down (v. 18). It was the law itself that killed me and freed me from its power, so that I could live for God (v. 19). I have been nailed to the cross with Christ. I have died, but Christ lives in me (v. 20). And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. I don’t turn my back on God’s undeserved kindness (v. 21). If we can be acceptable to God by obeying the Law, it was useless for Christ to die. Believers today may still be in danger of acting as if Christ died for nothing.

Application

God has provided a way of salvation that depends on Jesus Christ and not my own efforts. Even though I know this truth, I must guard against the temptation of using service, good deeds, charitable giving, or any other effort as a substitute for faith.

Galatians 2:15-21 (English Standard Version)

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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