3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Salvation by Faith and not by Works

Work out your savation

Jesse Bennett

Bible Baptist Church

Galatians 2:15-3:5

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!

* Vincent Word Studies – "A promoter of sin by causing us to abandon the law."

* To turn away from the law, and turn to Jesus, doesn’t make Jesus a promoter of sin

* Paul knew Jesus was his Saviour, but he also knew he wasn’t perfect!

Gal 2:17 Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous.

Phil 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

D. Salvation is not attained through the law v. 18-19

1) Because the law stirs up sin v. 18

Rom 7:7-8 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (8) But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

* Illus.- tell child to stay out of cookie jar, he will "take occasion"

- it will be an opportunity

* Illus – put up a "Wet paint, Do not touch" sign, and people will take occasion

2) Because the law results in death v. 19

Gal 2:19 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God’s man.

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