One thing you have to say about the apostle Paul-he was not a man to mince words. It didn’t matter who it was-a judge, a ruler, or his fellow apostle Peter-Paul said what had to be said. In Galatians 2:16, he made the same point three times: No one is justified by the works of the law.
The law was a critical issue in the early church because many of the converts were Jews. Although they believed in Jesus, some of them just would not let go of their legalistic ways. I imagine hearing them say, “A person can’t be saved unless he is circumcised and refuses to eat meat offered to idols. And no Jewish believer should ever eat with Gentiles.” But Paul told them in no uncertain terms that they were wrong. Being made right with God comes by faith, not by any requirements a church or individual adds.
As the author of confusion, Satan finds all kinds of ways to corrupt the gospel by giving us the impression that faith is not enough. He plays into our desire to be in control and to do something to save ourselves-adding anything from tithing to perfect church attendance to clothing styles to entertainment choices. Each of these is important to the believer, but none is essential to salvation.
The point is: Salvation is by faith.
Lord, I know that salvation is by faith because
of Your grace. Help me not to require anything else
from myself or others, so that I cannot boast
in my goodness-but only in Yours. Amen.
Justification: Our guilt gone; Christ’s goodness given.