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#108-G54 ~ Galatians 2:16c

Gary Googe Apr 22

We continue with our study of Galatians 2:16. In this verse we learn more about the subject of justification by faith. As we’ve seen, this is a verse that stresses the place of FAITH in salvation. God has always required this, but what He’s required as the OBJECT of one’s faith has changed from time to time. Today it is all about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. But people typically think THEY have something to contribute to their salvation. But it is FAITH that has always been the key. Man’s personal works have really nothing to do with it. In our time it is quite different from what it was before. The emphasis in our Galatians study has been on what God requires of people today. The Mosaic Law system that went before us has been set aside. It is in the apostle Paul’s writings that we find out about all this.

From here we went to a famous Old Testament passage that points out the importance of faith in pleasing God. We then go to Romans 3:20 and Ephesians 2:8-9 where it is made clear that salvation comes when we focus on what He has provided, not in what we provide. Works should come AFTER we are saved, but they are not the means to our salvation.

Then we go to Romans 3:24 where there’s more on all this. The emphasis in this verse is on how salvation is provided FREELY by God’s GRACE. It is because of Christ’s redemptive work that it is offered freely to us. The specifics of how we express our faith is in a passage that I often refer to. That passage is I Corinthians 15:1-4, a passage we should all be sharing with others ongoing. I then go on to explain that passage again, as I often do.

The next passage I go to is II Corinthians 5:21. The emphasis here is on the righteousness of God that is provided at the point of salvation. Goodness for salvation is an issue, but it’s not OUR goodness. Salvation comes through the goodness, the righteousness of God being credited to us. Christ’s work on the cross made this possible.

Romans 3:28 is the next passage I address. Again, faith in Christ WITHOUT the deeds of the law provides salvation. Our works have NOTHING to do with it. There was a time when man’s works as one’s expression of faith WAS an issue, but not today. Today it’s all about the ONE work of Christ–His death, burial, and resurrection.

In Galatians 2:16 we have this phrase about the faith OF Jesus Christ. The emphasis here is on the FIDELITY of Christ, His faith. This is emphasizing HIS merit over ours. If Christ had not been faithful to the plan of God the Father, salvation would not be available to us. This phrase, faith OF Christ comes up twice in this verse for emphasis. People need to be reminded of this again and again. Our works DO NOT count AT ALL for salvation, only Christ’s work and His work alone.

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