Is Salvation Based On Grace Or Works
Some in the church in Galatia were peddling a doctrine of salvation by works. Paul asks and answers three bombshell questions of those Galatians who were trying to peddle this doctrine. These three questions and their answers stopped their salvation by works message in its tracks.
You remember, of course, that Paul believed that Jesus’ blood took care of the sin problem for the human race.
Now here are his three dynamite questions and their obvious answers.
Question #1: “Did the Galatians receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?” Galatians 3:2. In other words, can you work to receive the Spirit or is that a product of believing on Jesus and receiving Him (by faith) as your personal savior? Of course, receiving the Spirit comes by faith upon receiving Jesus as savior.
Works have nothing to do with it. Paul’s logic, then, forces the conclusion that works of the law have nothing to do with the removal of our guilt and feelings of unworthiness for our sins. This is solely through Jesus’ blood which is God’s
supreme act of grace. The blood of Jesus is appropriated by faith and not by works at all
Question #2: “Since they started out by the Spirit, what makes them think they can switch from the Spirit to the flesh to continue their Christian experience? What makes them think they can switch from the Spirit to the fleshly works of the Law to finish out their Christian experience?” Galatians 3:3.
They can’t. Therefore, Jesus’ blood, applied to us by the Spirit through faith, will take care of our guilt and
unworthiness problem. Consequently, Christians who rest and trust in Jesus’ blood refuse to be brought under bondage for unworthiness caused by the guilt of their sins.
Consequently, they will not let these feelings of guilt and unworthiness interfere with God’s blessings of healing, prosperity, family well being and salvation contained in the Abrahamic covenant for them.
Question #3: “Did the one who ministers the Spirit to them and works miracles among them do these things by the hearing of faith or by the works of the law?” Galatians 3:5. Of course, he did these things by faith and not by the works of the law.
Paul’s logic, here, forces the conclusion that (1) since these Galatians received the Spirit by faith and not by works of the Law, (2) since they cannot switch from the Spirit to works of the Law to maintain their Christian life and (3) since the ones ministering the Spirit and works miracles among them continue to do them by faith and not by works of the Law, then neither can the Galatians arbitrarily switch from salvation by faith in Jesus to salvation by works of the Law. Neither can they attempt to follow any mixture of faith and works.
From the preceding, obviously Paul believed that Jesus’ blood took care of everything. His blood was the grace of God in action. His blood took care of the guilt and feelings of unworthiness for all our sins. To add one thing to this heavenly formula in the form of any religious work that we must do to get our guilt and unworthiness removed would void God’s grace and render Jesus’ death useless and meaningless.
Never let the devil or his gang tell you that you can’t have your Abrahamic blessings of healing, prosperity, family well being and salvation because of feelings of guilt and unworthiness.