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Already Free (Part 7)
Series: Already Free, A Study on the Book of Galatians
As I've shared with you, the entire book of Galatians is the apostle Paul's convincing us to believe in the grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ over the works of the flesh, and he gives argument after argument as to why and how we should do that. Last week we discussed Paul's charge to not set aside the grace of God. As we enter chapter 3 in our study of Galatians, Paul presents three more arguments as to how we should not set aside God's grace.
1. First, he tells us faith is greater than works.
2. Second, he tells us God's promise is greater than works.
3. Third, he tells us our relationship to God as his accepted and loved daughters is greater than works.
Today I want us to zoom in on Galatians 3:2-3 to look at Paul's first argument in this chapter. It reads:
“I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Galatians 3:2-3 (NIV)
Paul is pretty much telling us: don't fix what's not broken. If you were saved by faith, then you also walk with Christ by faith. Our faith is not only for the prayer we say when we ask Christ into our lives, as though it's then up to us to figure it out from there. The faith that saved us is the same faith that will keep us. It is your faith in God's grace that leads to righteousness, not works, or striving, or hustling. We are saved by faith, so we live by faith.
The Galatians knew that their salvation was only because God's grace through faith. But now they were tempted to think that this same grace and faith was not enough to help them maintain their walk with God. So Paul has to remind them to get the equation right:
Faith = righteousness
Works = death, because your work can neither save you nor keep you.
When we don't understand this, this is when we see a lot of self-righteousness. It's that feeling like, “OK, Jesus saved me, but now I feel like I need to work to deserve that salvation.” It's like we're trying to work off a debt because we feel we owe God, but the debt has already been paid by Jesus on the cross. So when we work with the mindset of, “Oh, I need to pay Jesus back,” we're not operating in the grace that keeps us. We need to work with the mindset of, “I want to do right because of what Jesus has already done.” We need to work and live from a stance of gratitude and not a mindset of debt and feeling like we owe God.
In Galatians 3 Paul gives us the example of Abraham, who is known as the father of faith. In verse 6 he says:
“So also Abraham belie ...
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