DCLM Daily Manna Sunday 17 December 2023
TOPIC: Faith Versus Works
TEXT: Galatians 3:1-12 (KJV)
3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”
DCLM Daily Manna Sunday 17 December 2023 MESSAGE
The doctrine of justification is an account of how God removes the guilt of the sinner and receives him or her back to communion with Him. The essential question concerns how the tension between human sin and divine righteousness is resolved.
Martin Luther’s central claim is that faith alone justifies the one who believes in Christ as a result of hearing the gospel. In contrast to medieval doctrines on justification, Luther argues that Christ Himself, not love, is the form or essence of faith. Love and good works are the necessary consequences of justification. From our text, the Galatian brethren were under pressure from preachers of Judaism. They told them their salvation was null and void if they failed to keep the ceremonial laws of Moses, like going through purifications in the temple, being circumcised and making the mandatory sacrifices.
Paul the apostle reminded them through this epistle that even Abraham was justified by his faith, not works. The miracles, which God did in their midst were not the product of works, but by His Spirit working through their faith. The just shall live by their faith; and faith without good works is dead. However, the inclination to love and perform good works is present in the believer through Christ; but these characteristics do not have justifying power.
They are the products or fruits of justification by faith and salvation through grace. We should be warned against the perverted doctrines of present-day deceivers who substitute faith in Christ with what they call ‘articles’ that help faith. They require incense, holy water, candles and money to sow seed or other works of men’s hands. Salvation is free. It is the gift of God.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Salvation is by faith, not works.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Zephaniah 1-3