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The Gospel Of Justification By Faith

Galatians 2:15-16
We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. (NIVUK)

Religion, wherever it is found, has a common thread: ‘Do better and God will be more pleased with you; do well enough and God will accept you’.  It is not true but it appeals to human nature that believes it can achieve God’s approval by following the rules and doing good.  But the gospel is radically different.  It was a difference which Paul could not understand until he encountered the Living Jesus (Acts 26:12-20).  

Previously, Paul, with all his fellow Jews, had believed that God’s favour was based on how well they kept the Law given through Moses.  But having met Jesus, Paul realised he had been wrong.  He came to understand that even the most religious law-keeper was also a sinner (1 Timothy 1:15-16).  The law cannot make anybody right; it can only accuse those who do wrong, and many good deeds could never cancel out the bad ones.
“Justified by faith” is a key theme in Galatians, where it occurs three times (Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:11; Galatians 3:24).  ‘Justified’ is a legal word; it means to be declared righteous and no longer under the condemnation of the law.  Our sins automatically condemn us.  No one can be justified by trying to obey the law because we all fail in some way.  But Jesus Christ, by His death and resurrection, paid the punishment for our sins and thereby took them away from all who believe in Jesus.  Only Jesus can make us right before the court of heaven.
Religion’s emphasis on trying hard to win God’s favour is very appealing to many people.  But it is a delusion.  It is impossible to be right with God unless our sins are taken away.  That is why the gospel of Jesus is such good news.  Although those who know the depths of their failure find the gospel wonderfully attractive, those who are proud to be ‘good’ people are deeply offended.  However, the miracle is that the Lord can make us righteous as we give Him our sins and trust Him for complete forgiveness.  That is the gospel to share at home and at work.  It is life changing.  If you hold it in your heart, please express it in what you say and put on social media (and ask your friends to watch www.crosscheck.org.uk) so that they may also know how to be saved.

Saving God. Thank You for saving me, not by my own efforts but because I have trusted that the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient to atone for all my sins. Forgive me for keeping this as a secret instead of announcing it to my friends and colleagues as good news. Please help me to share the good news about Jesus. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams