Reading: Galatians 2
Summary: As Paul showed the justification for his work among the Gentiles, he recounts some of the events of his life following his conversion and as he began to preach widely. He provides some details here in Galatians not found in Acts.
He also begins to delve into the great Bible theme of justification by faith. Both Galatians and parts of Romans constitute the classic texts on this subject.
What could be worse? Seriously, what could possibly be worse than voiding the greatest gift ever given to humanity? That would have to go on par with “crucify[ing] again the Son of God” (Heb. 6:6). Yet, Paul says some nullify God’s grace (Gal. 2:21).
It happens when one seeks to be justified by keeping the law. It’s not crucifying Christ again, but it is making His death serve no purpose. To think one is able to be right before God based their own ability to obey God and do His will is, in essence, to say we don’t need Jesus and what He accomplished at Calvary. Again, what could be worse?
In Paul’s day, it was being done by those, particularly Jewish Christians, who suggested that keeping the Law of Moses was necessary to become a Christian. These were the ones who opposed Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. Today, it’s not the Law of Moses at issue, but it is those who still maintain the law-keeping principle.
Where does my confidence lie for salvation? Is it in the completeness and precision of my obedience to God? Or is it in what He has done for me? There’s a big difference between those two. Now, it is because of what He has done that I do obey, and to the best of my ability do His will in all things. But when I begin to think that I’m saved because my obedience is somehow at the right level, I’ve kicked into the law-keeping mindset. Instead, I trust in God’s power to save through Jesus blood and because of His great gift I seek to please Him in every thing.
It’s obedience “because of” God’s action on my behalf, not “so that” God will save based on my actions (obedience).