Faith Alone

Krista Williams

Day: 3 | Plan: Christ Alone

Today’s Reading: Galatians 3:1-14

Galatians 3:11 (NIV) “Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because ‘the righteous will live by faith.’”

Have you ever ruined something by adding to it? Like when you are cooking, and you add a spice that ruins the taste of the entire dish. Or when you are completely satisfied after a meal and then you have one more serving and you’re miserable. Or you add one more thing to your completely full schedule, and it results in stress for everyone.

In Paul’s day, there were people called Judaizers who were trying to add to the already perfect gospel of Jesus Christ. These Judaizers were compelling Gentile Christians to live by the Jewish law and in many cases be circumcised. Circumcision was an outward symbol that they were entering into the covenant of God’s people.

But Paul argues that Abraham was credited righteousness before the Law came and before Abraham and his descendants were circumcised. (Genesis 15:2-6; John 8:56; Romans 4:3; Romans 4:18-22) Abraham’s faith in the promise that the Messiah would be his heir was the basis of God declaring him righteous, proving neither the Law nor circumcision is greater than the promise. And just like Abraham, all who believe the truth about Jesus are counted righteous before God. Trusting God’s promises about Jesus is the only way for any of us to be made right with God.

For a people who had spent generations measuring their righteousness by works of the Law, this good news of Jesus was hard to embrace. The Judaizers, like so many Jews, wanted to be able to see, measure and qualify their holiness. To them, their traditions and rituals, like circumcision, earned their right standing before God.

Faith in our traditions, religious rituals and good works will never save us. In fact, Paul says that those who live this way are cursed. And if we deny we are justified by faith alone we nullify the work of Christ.

Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because ‘the righteous will live by faith’” (Galatians 3:11).

The key verse makes Paul’s main point. This, according to Paul, is the essence of the gospel. Faith plus nothing equals salvation. For Abraham it was faith in the promise of God alone. For us, it is faith in the person of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of all God’s promises.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I have been guilty of adding to Your perfect gospel. I’m so thankful that by faith alone in Jesus Christ I am made righteous before You and have been adopted as Your child. All praise and glory to Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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