Saved by faith
Gracious Lord, I come on the basis of faith in the work of Another. Thank You.
Read GALATIANS 3:1–14
 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.  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?  Have you experienced so much in vain-if it really was in vain?  So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?  So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.  Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.  For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”  Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”  The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”  He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhere had the Galatians gone wrong?
We have already noted that Paul is angry and exasperated. It’s as though Team Galatia has forgotten which side it’s on and has taken to playing in the wrong direction. Now Paul delivers an impassioned team talk! He asks if someone has bewitched them (1), since they are wandering off so foolishly. When they were first converted, they clearly understood that it was Jesus on the cross who had saved them from sin and won for them eternal life. Now they are misguidedly trying to “prove” their faith by getting themselves circumcised and submitting to the Jewish law. Paul takes them back to the example of Abraham, who was counted right with God simply because of his faith, before he was circumcised—and long before the Law was given to Moses (Rom. 4:9–11). The Law is good and helpful, but because no one is able to keep it, we are all condemned (Rom. 3:23). The gospel tells us that Jesus took our death penalty upon himself—and those who believe in him are the faithful descendants of Abraham.
Set out to do good gladly out of gratitude because of what Jesus has already done for us.
Father, protect me from the subtle shift of turning from grace to trusting in works.
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