Summary: Examining the fact that we are Justified "In Christ Alone"
In Christ Alone - (Part I)
“In Christ alone, I place my trust”
”And find my glory in the power of the cross”
”In every victory, let it be said of me”
”My source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone”
It is because of Jesus Christ we can have hope today!
Theologians tell a story to illustrate how Christ's triumph presently benefits our lives: Imagine a city under siege. The enemy that surrounds they city will not let anyone or anything leave. Supplies are running low, and the citizens are fearful. But in the dark of the night, a spy sneaks through the enemy lines. He has rushed to the city to tell the people that in another place the main enemy force has been defeated; the leaders have already surrendered. The people do not need to be afraid. It is only a matter of time until the besieging troops receive the news and lay down their weapons. Similarly, we may seem now to be surrounded by the forces of evil -- disease, injustice, oppression, death. But the enemy has actually been defeated at Calvary. Things are not the way they seem to be. It is only a matter of time until it becomes clear to all that the battle is really over. - Richard J. Mouw, Uncommon Decency, pp. 149-150.
Jesus is the ultimate conqueror. He said Himself in - Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.Jesus was victorious over Death, Hell & the Grave. Jesus has defeated sin and Satan! And through faith in Christ WE can experience victory over death, hell and the grave and WE are delivered from the power of sins & Satan. I would like to look at Galatians 2:15-21 and see just a few of the many things that Jesus Christ secured for us at Calvary. Join me as we consider the thought “In Christ Alone”
We will see that:
i. We Are Justified Through Christ Alone
ii. We Are Accepted Through Christ Alone
iii. We Are Free Through Christ Alone
iv. We Are Victorious Through Christ Alone
I would like to begin in verse 16, which is a continuance of Paul’s account of his confrontation of Peter. Peter had joined Paul at Antioch and enjoyed food and fellowship with the Gentiles, then some of the Jews came from Jerusalem and Peter retreated from the Gentiles. Paul has boldly called Peter out and confronted his hypocrisy. As we rejoin Paul, he shares a common theme throughout Galatians and that is the difference between the Law and Grace. We see much about what the law couldn’t do and then we see that Jesus did what NO ONE ELSE COULD DO!
* Look with me to verse 16 as we see that:
I. WE ARE JUSTIFIED THROUGH CHRIST ALONE- v16
“Justification” is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ. Through “justification” we are declared righteous in God’s eyes. Justification puts us in a right relationship with God. Someone has said that the word Justified defines itself - “Just-as-if-id-never sinned”
* This process could not happen through the Law, it comes through CHRIST ALONE! Notice:
A. The Law Was Not Sufficient To Save Us - v16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law… v16c …for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified
Paul had a very important message for Peter, the Jewish believers, the Judaizers, the people of Galatia and for us as well. Notice: He says that “a man is NOT justified by the works of the law”
- We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners
We did not come into this world pure and then begin to sin over time. We were born sinners and our sinful behavior is a manifestation of our nature. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
The root of sinfulness is in man’s heart, not his actions! The Mosaic Law only served as a mirror to reveal sin, it was not a cure for it. Even if you could keep every aspect of the Law (which you can’t) it would still not be an acceptable means of salvation. By the law, no one would be saved, because all have sinned and deserve death.It is clear that “The Law Was Not Sufficient To Save Us” but verse 16 also contains much hope. Notice:
B. We Are Justified By Faith In Christ - “but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ”