Summary: The first part of a two-part look at Paul’s two-fold proposition in Galatians 2:15-21.

Freedom, The Grand Proposition - Part One

(Galatians 2:15-16)

Theme: God’s Righteousness is imputed to those who have faith in Jesus Christ.

Purpose: What do I want to happen in the hearer when I preach this sermon?

A. Increased knowledge. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to define the term righteousness.

1. Referring to God: Righteous, Perfect, Right, Just.

2. Referring to human beings: Justified, Perfect, Right, Just.

And to know that the source of our righteousness is never perfect performance but, rather, something which God gives us—a free gift based upon our faith.

B. Increased insight. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to see that when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ God imputes righteousness to him our her.

C. Changed attitude. After I preach this sermon, I want the hearer to determine to work in order to develop and strengthen faith rather than to earn salvation or stave off doubt.


Objective: Celebrate salvation by grace through faith.

Need to be

Surfaced: It is difficult for human beings to trust that God makes us righteous based upon our faith in Christ and not upon our works of merit.

Solution to

be Offered: Justification (Salvation) by grace through faith is the plan that God has revealed to be his method of bringing us back into fellowship with him. We must trust his revealed plan even when it is not “self-evident.”

Introduction. (Get attention, surface need, make a contract to deliver a solution.)

A. The movie: Goodwill Hunting.

1. In the mathematics department at a prestigious university.

2. On the blackboard there was a famous equation which no one had ever solved.

3. Matt Damon was the night janitor.

4. One night he looked at the problem and scratched out the solution there on the blackboard.

5. The next school day the professor came in and saw that someone had solved the equation and began looking for the unidentified genius.

B. Proposition - a definition.

1. General: a subject or statement to be discussed or debated.

2. Mathematics: a theorem to be demonstrated or proved.

a. Theorem: something that is not self-evident.

b. But that can be demonstrated to be true:

(1) Through the use of accepted premises.

(2) And accepted procedures.

3. Illustration:

a. Here is our proposition.

b. It does not “prove itself.” (Not self-evident. It may even go against “common perception”).

c. Therefore, here is our offer of proof:

(1) First, you are familiar with this particular field of inquiry.

(2) Second, you agree that these generally accepted principles are true.

(3) Third, you agree that these generally accepted procedures are valid.

(4) Therefore, if we apply our principles and follow our procedures then our conclusion must be true.

4. Application:

a. We saw last time that the doctrine of “Justification by Faith” is attractive to the human mind:

(1) It makes our lives simple.

(2) It meets us right where we are: hopelessly enslaved by sin.

b. But, it is elusive. Why?

(1) Because it just doesn’t seem right, fair.

(2) Because it doesn’t meet our felt need:

(a) It is my sins that are the problem; therefore, only I can do something about them!

(b) Justification by faith is un-American!

(3) And so justification by faith is not self-evident.

c. Here are our premises:

(1) About God:

(a) He cannot lie.

(b) He is not affected by sin.

(c) He is perfect in every way.

(d) So, his perception is more accurate than ours.

(e) He has revealed his plan for dealing with sin.

(2) About human beings:

(a) Sin has entered our psyche.

(b) Therefore, our perceptions are flawed.

(c) We have a difficult time fully trusting God at his word (it has always been this way).

(d) We are completely incapable of dealing with even one sin much less all sin.

(e) We are intelligent enough to read and understand God’s revealed plan for our salvation.

d. Here is our procedure:

(1) Come to God in humility.

(2) Read, believe, trust and obey what he has revealed about how a human being attains righteousness.

(3) Disregard any flawed human feelings or hunches which seem to militate against the unconditional acceptance of God’s plan.

C. The Grand Proposition, Galatians 2:15-16.

1. We are justified (made righteous),

2. Not by works of law,

3. But by [the] faith in [of] Jesus Christ.

D. Justification/righteous - a definition (* Purpose #1).

1. Referring to God: Righteous.

a. Perfect.

b. Right.

c. Just.

2. Referring to human beings: Justified.

a. Perfect.

b. Right.

c. Just.

3. What is the source of our righteousness?

a. Perfect performance? IMPOSSIBLE!

b. Therefore, it must be something God gives us—a free gift.

E. How do we attain this righteousness?

I. NOT by any Law of Works, Galatians 2:15-16a.

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