Posts Tagged ‘Galatians’

Here’s some more good stuff from Walter Marshall on the powerlessness of the unregenerate, gospel-less man:

We are alll by nature, void of strength and ability to perform acceptably that holiness and righteousness which the law requireth, and are dead in trespasses and sins, and children of wrath, by the sin of our first father, Adam… This doctrine of original sin, which Protestants generally profess, is a firm basis and ground-work to the assertion now to be proved, and to many other assertions in this whole discourse. If we believe it to be true, we cannot rationally encourage ourselves to attempt an holy practice, until we are acquanted with some powerful and effectual means to enable us to do it. While man continued upright, in the image of God, as he was first created, he could do the will of God sincerely, as soon as he knew it; but, when he was fallen, he was quickly afraid, because of his nakedness; but could not help it at all, until God discovered to him the means of restoration (Gen 3:10,15). Say to a strong healthy servant, Go, and he goeth; Come, and he cometh; Do this, and he doth it: but a bed-ridden servant must know first how he may be enabled.”

It is the Gospel that frees us, that regenerates, justifies, sanctifies and glorifies us. Apart from the gospel there is no power to perform the acts of holiness which God requires us to fulfill. “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” – Galatians 2:21

One of the gravest mistakes of the church today and throughout the ages is the command to fulfill the command of God without giving the means to do so. Even as God gave the law through Moses to his people he gave them the means through the Gospel. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Exodus 20:2. Here we see both the Gospel, and the helplessness of their state. God rescues them from slavery, and then proceeds to call them to holiness. Oh, how often do we forget the means to to the end.

Marshall says once again in his book The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification:

Men show themselves strangely forgetful, or hypocritical, in professing original sin in their prayers, catechisms, and confessions of faith; and yet urging upon themselves and others the practice of the law, without the consideration of any strengthening, enlivening means; as if there were no want of ability, but only of activity.”

May we continually feed on the means of grace.

“There is no healing a man till the law has wounded him, no making alive till the law has slain him.”

-C. H. Spurgeon

the-lawTruly if we never look into the mirror of the law, we will never see the ugliness of sin, and thus never see the need to become cleansed.

“Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.”  –Galatians 3:24.

Have you been slain by the law? Have you seen that all your ways slander God’s Holy name? Until you see and understand this, you will never treasure Jesus. You will never understand his love and grace. You will never taste of salvation.

O God, open the eyes of the blind who see no need for the healing of their souls. Open their eyes to see the beauty of Christs love in dying for the sins of the world. May your holy law pierce their hearts and may they be drawn to the Savior.

J. C. Hahne

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians1:6-7

What was that false gospel that was being preached in Galatia? Legalism… Christ+Works=Salvation.

From the very beginning of the Christian church, legalism has been one of the biggest enemies of the gospel of grace. Throughout Paul’s epistles to the churches he constantly attacks and warns against this heresy that says you must keep the law to be able to save your soul. Unfortunately, even today legalism creeps in the church in various forms. Often we don’t even realize it until our heart have become swollen with pride.

C. J. Mahaney says in his book Living the Cross Centered Life, “Legalism isn’t just a matter of someone who has higher standards or more rules than you have. A lot of us wrongly sterotype a legalistic person as someone who never goes to movies or who thinks any music with a beat is evil. Legalism is much more subtle and serious than that- and far more pervasive than most of us realize… Legalism is seeking to achieve forgiveness from God and justification before God through obedience to God.” That will never work. Legalism pushes Jesus off center stage and says what He did wasn’t enough. It says, I must complete what is lacking in His sacrifice. Mahaney continues, “A legalist is anyone who behaves as if they can earn God’s forgiveness [or approval] through personal performance.” And thus the legalist makes Christ death in vain. Paul seeing this in the Galatian church said to them, “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” -Galatians 2:21

Legalism perverts the gospel. It promotes pride and self-righteousness. We must realize each and every one of us for ourselves, that we are the chief of sinners. No matter how hard we try to wash our sins away, or how strict we hold to certain laws, ideas, and traditions, our “righteousness” is as a filthy rag. And so we must do and say as Paul did; “But what things were gain to me (speaking of his religious accomplishments), these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;” – Philippians 3:7-9

Christ is our all in all. He is our boast. By grace we are saved, by grace we are sanctified, and by grace we will be glorified. Let us rejoice, for Christ has cleansed us by His work, and may we continue on worshiping and adoring Him.

J. C. Hahne

I’ve heard many say (especially here in Romania), “How can you say that you are saved by grace alone? Don’t you need to have good works too?”

Well, My answer is this,

“…for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” -Gal 2:16

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” -Eph 2:8-9

“I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” -Gal 2:21

Now don’t get me wrong, the true Christian will be filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Good works will flow. but they will flow from grace. Look at Titus 2:11-14, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

You see, it is by grace alone. It is the grace of God that produces good works. “The grace of God… teaches us…” to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live for the Glory of God… or in other words, to be “zealous for good works.”

I leave you with these words… REJOICE IN JESUS! For it is by his blood shed for us that we are cleansed, forgiven, accepted, and empowered.

“It’s all by grace!”

Joey Hahne