Let's review what we have learned so far in our study of Paul's letter to the Galatians. Paul has a special gospel message that he received directly from Jesus. The early church leaders believed this, but there was a pitched battle in the Galatian church, and among the early believers, over the message and requirements of the gospel. This week Paul explains his gospel message. As we study it, we need to ask if it is still in dispute among Christians? Is it still in dispute in our own minds? Let's dive into our study and examine again the heart of the gospel message!
Various interpretations of this phrase include: "good works, " in the sense of humankind's striving for self-achievement apart from God; observances of Mosaic Law that seek to earn God's favor; and distinctive Jewish identity markers (i.e., circumcision, dietary regulations, and Sabbath observance). Judaism was "nomistic, " observing the Law not as a means of justification but as a response to a gracious God, who Acts on behalf of his people and requires that they in turn identify themselves as his people by keeping his ordinances (covenantal nomism). In this context, the performance of "works of the law" does not refer to an individual's striving for moral improvement, but to a religious mode of existence, marked out by certain religious practices that demonstrate the individual's covenant relationship. Paul's polemical argument in Galatians, however, is concerned with the inherent legalism of the Judaizers, who required Gentile converts to observe Jewish traditions in order to qualify as members of God's covenant people.
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Rom. 3:22, "even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction."
Rom. 3:24, "being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;"
Rom. 3:26, "for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one."
Rom. 4:3, "For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
Rom. 4:11, "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,"
Rom. 4:16, "Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all."
Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Rom. 5:9, "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him."
Rom. 9:30, "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
Rom. 9:33, "just as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
Rom. 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
Rom. 10:9-10, "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."
Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
Gal. 2:21, “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Gal.3:5-6, "Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
Gal. 3:8, "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations shall be blessed in you."
Gal. 3:14, "in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
Gal. 3:22, "But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe."
Gal. 3:24, "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
Eph. 1:13, "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise."
Eph. 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God."
Phil. 3:9, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."
1 Tim. 1:16, "And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life."
well that's what we're her to discuss.
The majority of your texts quoted comes from Paul so it is clear that he was building/promoting the "true" gospel over the one that had gained momentum among the Christians. The Jews although convinced of this seemed to still struggle with the practical reality of it. Do we today struggle with the practical reality of justification by faith alone?
The verb to justify is a key term for Paul. Of the thirty-nine times it occurs in the New Testament, twenty-seven are in Paul’s letters. He uses it eight times in Galatians, including four references in Galatians 2:16, 17. Justification is a legal term, used in courts of law. It deals with the verdict a judge pronounces when a person is declared innocent of the charges brought against him or her. It is the opposite of condemnation. Additionally, because the words just and righteous come from the same Greek word, for a person “to be justified” means that the person also is counted as “righteous.” Thus, justification involves more than simply pardon or forgiveness; it is the positive declaration that a person is righteous.
I think it is hard for some to understand what Paul is saying which is that Jesus is offering his followers in effect, something for nothing. We live In a world whereby if we don't work we don't get paid and without study a student will not be awarded their degree, all effort (works) in order to achieve a good end result.
@bird2000, Your utube clip... Again the constant battle is to identify truth from error, One twisted word can change the whole context. Replay it again and listen carefully..... 1% of error + 99% truth = 100% error
Monday and Tuesday's study goes on to describe justification and "works of the law", a simple way to look at it is that our righteousness is not based on our behaviour, we sometimes get ourselves tied up in knots with this but it is really as simple as that.
Lets dig a little deeper in our understanding, how would you answer this question? "Does righteousness by faith alone promote sin?"
Both versons are good, thanks for sharing the other one!
EXTRACTS FROM THE LESSON
It’s important to remember that faith itself doesn’t add to justification, as if faith were meritorious in and of itself. Faith is, instead, the means by which we take hold of Christ and His works in our behalf. We are not justified on the basis of our faith but on the basis of Christ’s faithfulness for us, which we claim for ourselves through faith.
Paul writes about the “obedience of faith.” Paul is not saying that obedience is the same as faith. He means true faith affects the whole of a person’s life, not just the mind. It involves commitment to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as opposed to just a list of rules. Faith is as much what we do and how we live and in whom we trust, as it is what we believe
Righteousness all boils down to 'LOVE' at the end of the day. If we say we love God and truly appreciate what Christ has done for us we would automatically live our lives in a way that reflected this having love for Him and for our fellow man so 'works' would follow automatically too.
The key is to take stock and look at what is motivating our actions (works)
OK fair point, so the age old Adventist question, what is the purpose of the law (works as you put it)?
The people in Paul's day questioned his theology as keeping the law (ceremonial, Moses stuff, as well as 10 Commandments) they believed, was a part of salvation and righteousness. Have we learnt from their experience or do we continue to be confused today?
EG White wrote:
“The danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining, as a people, false ideas of justification by faith. I have been shown for years that Satan would work in a special manner to confuse the mind on this point. The law of God has been largely dwelt upon and has been presented to congregations, almost as destitute of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relation to the law as was the offering of Cain. I have been shown that many have been kept from the faith because of the mixed, confused ideas of salvation, because the ministers have worked in a wrong manner to reach hearts. The point that has been urged upon my mind for years is the imputed righteousness of Christ. . . .
Are her comment applicable today as they were over 100 years ago? if so why?