Justification by faith Pt.2 - Galatians 2:15-21

Works of faith are the fruit of relationship with God whereas works of the Law are done to try to obtain relationship with God.

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, 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: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:16 (KJV)

Justification is not simply “forgiveness,” because a person could be forgiven and then go out and sin and become guilty. Once you have been “justified by faith” you can never be held guilty before God.

Justification is also different from “pardon,” because a pardoned criminal still has a record. (Psalm 32:1–2; Romans 4:1–8). Finally, God justifies sinners, not “good people.” Paul declares that God justifies “the ungodly” (Romans 4:5; Matthew 9:9–13; Luke 18:9–14).

What are "works of the law"? Any rule, command, or law that a person observes in an attempt to be accepted in right standing with God is a "work of the law." In other words, works of the Law are a righteousness produced by one's self, belonging to one's self, offered to God as a means of meeting God's standard for acceptance. Phil. 3:9 says it's "having mine own righteousness [a righteousness belonging to me], which is of the law" (emphasis and brackets mine - see Romans 9:30-10:10 for a fuller understanding of the works of the Law).

It takes a radical revelation of the Gospel of grace to abandon faith in the works of the Law. In stark contrast to the works of the Law, there is the "work of faith," as referred to in 1Thessalonians 1:3 and 2Thessalonians 1:11. These may be the same actions that others do as works of the Law, but the motivation is different.

Works of faith are the fruit of relationship with God whereas works of the Law are done to try to obtain relationship with God.

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