Faith Not Works

  When we think of faith, we can't think of anyone that had more faith than the apostle Paul. A Roman soldier who persecuted Christians till he was struck down by God and blinded on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9). Paul (Saul at the time), not only became a scholar of the word, but he spoke several languages. His faith was shown in his teachings by writing most of the new testament. Yes, his faith in God was unquestionable and he gives an awesome testimony between faith and works of the old schoolmaster (the Jewish law), in his letter to the Galatians.  

  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? (Galatians 3:1). Who put a spell on you and deceived you. You used to see the meaning of Christ's death on the cross.

  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Galatians 3:2). Did you receive the "Holly Spirit" by trying to keep the Jewish law? No way! The "Holy Spirit" came to you after you heard about Jesus Christ and believed in Him to save you, not the law.

  Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:3). Obeying the Jewish law never gave you spiritual life before, why do you think by obeying the laws now will make you stronger Christians. "We can only have life through Christ." (John 20:30-31).

  Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. (Galatians 3:4). You suffered so much for the Gospel, now are you just going to through it all away. 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? (Galatians 3:5). Does God give you the power of the Holy Spirit and work miracles around you because you try to obey the Jewish law? Not at all... It is because you believe and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (Galatians 3:6). Abraham had the same experience and God declared him fit for heaven, only because he believed God's promise. What promise? The contract with God that He would make Abraham (father of all nations), a great nation with blessings. (Genesis 12:1-2). Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7). The real children of Abraham are all the men of faith who truly trust in God.

  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. (Galatians 3:8). This word "heathen" would be the gentiles. God told Abraham long ago that any nation who trust in Him as he did, He would bless. (Genesis 12:3). And God does bless those nations who believe in Him. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Galatians 3:9). All who trust in Christ share the same blessings Abraham received. 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. (Galatians 3:10). Those who depend on the old Jewish laws to save them are under a curse. Why? Because you can't keep all the laws written in God's book of the law. No man can!

  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (Galatians 3:11). No one can win God's favor by trying to keep the Jewish law. The only way to be right with God is through faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. (Galatians 3:12). How different it is to live by faith, from the man who tries to live by the law. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. (Galatians 3:13). Christ brought us out from under the curse of trying to keep the law. He took the curse out from under us and put it upon Himself as He hung upon the wooden cross. No more under the old schoolmaster, "the Jewish law."

  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:14). Again, Abraham's blessing was for all nations, gentiles alike, that believe upon the Lord. "That promise of the Holy Spirit." Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. (Galatians 3:15). In everyday life a promise made by one man to another, when written down and signed, cannot be changed. He cannot decide to change the promise later. A promise is a covenant or contract, and should be kept.

  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16). Now God gave Abraham and his Child some promises. Not speaking of his children here, but one special child that would come from his seed-line. That one special child would be Christ. Reference: (Deuteronomy 34:4). And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. (Galatians 3:17). God's promise to save through faith, (His contract), cannot be changed even four hundred and thirty years later, when God gave the Ten Commandments. See, there was no law yet when God made the promise to Abraham to become a mighty nation and that his wife Sarah would have a child. (Genesis 18:10-22). This was the time when Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed for breaking the laws of nature. (Genesis 19).

  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. (Galatians 3:18). If obeying the law could save us, it would be different way of gaining God's favor than Abraham's. Abraham just accepted God's promise. "Abraham's faith." Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (Galatians 3:19). Why were the laws given then? They were added after the promise was given Abraham, to show men how guilty they are of breaking the law. The law was only there till the coming of "Christ which was the promise" that God made. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. (Galatians 3:20). God gave His promise to Abraham, He did it by Himself alone, without the angels or Moses as go-betweens.

  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. (Galatians 3:21). Are God's laws and God's promises against each other? Not at all... If the law could save us, then God would not need to give us another way out from under the grip of sin. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (Galatians 3:22). The way out from under the grip of sin is through "faith in Jesus Christ." This is open to all that believe in Him.

  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. (Galatians 3:23). Until Christ came, we were all under the law as our guide and protection, until we could believe (and have faith) in the coming Savior. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24). The Jewish law was our schoolmaster (teacher and guide), until Christ came to fulfill the law and keep us in good standing with our Heavenly Father through faith.

  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Galatians 3:25). Now that Christ has come, we are no longer under the old Jewish law. But remember that Christ came to fulfill the law, not destroy it. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19). Don't let any man tell you that there is no more law of God. Only the statutes and ordinances were done away with, but the law of God still stands. "That includes the ten commandments."

  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26). Now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27). We that have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by Him. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28). We are all the same when we are Christians; we are all one in Jesus Christ. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29). Again, the seed of Abraham, the Father of all nations according to the promise that all families of the earth to be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3). All the promises given to Abraham also belong to us. The promise of salvation through "faith, not works of the law." That promise is Christ, your mediator between you and God; between you and the world.

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Keep The Faith,
Bart