Summary: Galatians 2:15-21, Dying to live
Dying To Live
I. The inability of the law from without v. 15-19
A. Salvation is not by natural birth v. 15
* Salvation comes through super-natural birth, NOT natural birth.
* Many Jews thought that because Abraham was in their ancestry, they had heaven as reward.
John 3:1-8 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
* Jesus is contrasting the physical with the spiritual
-- natural birth –vs- supernatural birth
* For the lost man, his spirit is dead to God
* When a man is saved, his spirit is made alive to God.
- He can "hear" God, "see" God, & know God in his heart.
* It makes no difference what church your mother and father, grandmother and grandfather belonged to, salvation is not by natural birth.
* You cannot be physically born into God’s family.
Gal 2:15 (Message)- We Jews know that we have no advantage of birth over "non-Jewish sinners."
B. Salvation is not by working hard
1) We know salvation is not by trying, but by trusting v. 16a
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works[trying] of the law, but by the faith[trusting] of Jesus Christ,...
* You may be trying your best…
* You may be out-running your neighbor and everyone else when it comes to good works
* You may be doing the best you can, but it’s not by trying.
* You may be working hard at keeping the ten commandments, but it’s not by trying
v. 16 – "knowing" – Paul had no doubts. He knew beyond the shadow of a doubt.
- He was absolutely certain, that it’s not by trying, but by trusting Jesus.
2) We experienced salvation through the Saviour, not self-effort v. 16b
Gal 2:16 …even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law…
* Paul speaks of his own personal conversion.
* It was not the result of Paul’s self-effort that led to his being justified.
* Salvation was not the result of Paul pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.
* Paul’s faith was not in himself and what he could do, it was in Jesus and what He had already done on the cross.
Gal 2:16 (Message) - We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it--and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good.
* Our faith in Jesus, not our working or self-effort, resulted in our justification
* Paul says he trusted and believed in the Saviour and not self-effort.
* So Paul had not only a head knowledge, but a heart knowledge of Jesus as his Saviour
C. Salvation does not result in sinless perfection v. 17
* In Jewish eyes, anyone without the law, was a Gentile and considered a sinner.
* For Paul to turn his back on the law, was to prove himself to be a sinner.
Gal 2:17 "But if while seeking to be justified [or, declared righteous] in Christ, we ourselves also are found [to be] sinners, in that case, [is] Christ a servant of sin? Absolutely not!
* Paul says, "Yes, we are sinners, but that doesn’t make Christ a promoter of sin"
* Jesus doesn’t make people sinners, …man is born a sinner!