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Galatians 2:1-21

Thursday, 22 September 2022

“…man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus…by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” -Galatians 2:16

Man innately seeks to be made right with his Creator and usually tries to do that by virtue of his good works, like doing charity, practical holiness, inflicting his body thinking it will please God, etc. But none of these things make people right with God. Let’s see what the Bible tells us about good works.

Galatians 2:16 states that man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus and no flesh will be justified by the works of the Law. This verse is crystal clear in stating that justification by God is only through faith in Jesus Christ. A man’s personal merit won’t provide the grounds for acceptance with God. When God looks at man, He looks for Christ’s righteousness upon him and not his own good works. Only those who stand on the basis of Christ’s righteousness will be accepted by God. This concludes that faith in Jesus Christ is the basic step that reconciles man with God. Faith in the finished work of the cross is the only thing that bridges the gap between God and man.

But, James 2:24 says that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. This may sound contradictory, but it isn’t. In Gal.2:16, Apostle Paul is giving a divine perspective whereby justification is without any works from our side, but Apostle James is talking about the demonstration and evidence of justification through good works.

What is justification?

Justification is God simultaneously removing the guilt and penalty of sin and declaring a sinner righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. It’s a divine verdict of “Not Guilty Fully Righteous!” It’s not a process, but a one-time act - complete and definitive. It involves double imputation. On one hand, the sin and guilt of the believer are imputed to Christ and on the other hand, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer, whereby he is declared righteous and hence justified. Christ’s own infinite merit thus becomes the ground on which the believer stands before God (Romans 5:19). As a sinner is justified by the heavenly Father it carries implications that guarantee other changes to follow in that person.

Why do we need justification?

A person not justified is still under the authority of evil because of the sin of the first man Adam. God doesn’t want anyone to perish but that all should come to repentance and be saved from His wrath (2Peter 3:9).

Who needs to be justified?

Every person born in this world needs to be justified because the Bible clearly says in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and as such fall short of the glory of God.

How can one be justified?

True justification begins with us recognizing our need for it. We need to come to a point where we can see ourselves as we really are and being willing to admit our mistakes and sins. True justification comes only through one place – Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8-9 says that we are justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. Justification involves the acceptance of Christ’s blood for our cleansing and having a commitment to live in God’s way of life.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Let us not depend on our good works and personal merit for our salvation but let’s humble ourselves and ask the Lord Jesus to come into our hearts and cleanse us of all our sins with His precious blood and justify us- make us right, before God.

Thought for the Day:

"We are justified, not by giving anything to God, - what we do,

- but by receiving from God, what Christ hath done for us."

- William Gurnall

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